DACA + Undocumented Students

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (or DACA) eligible and undocumented students and alumni are often highly skilled at navigating systems and developing strong support networks and relationships with mentors.  These are critical skills for navigating a co-op or job search, professional networking, and developing your career. However, shifting laws in the U.S. adds stress and confusion to an already complex process. DACA eligible and Undocumented students and alumni will find below resources about navigating their immigration status and its impact on their co-op and career. This page was inspired by the resources developed by the Hiatt Career Center at Brandeis.

Support at Wentworth

CO-OPS + CAREERS welcomes and supports students and alumni regardless of immigration status.  DACA and undocumented folks often have questions with respect to how their status impacts their co-op search and career development. Additionally, you may need support with identifying opportunities, navigating employment rights law, and disclosing your status to employers.

Your CO-OP + CAREER Advisor is available by appointment to provide advice and support in regards to your immigration status and your co-op or job search, workplace dynamics, and professional development.

Talk with us about

  • The types of positions for which DACA or undocumented students can apply.
  • Identifying when to disclose your immigration status to supervisors or co-workers, or that you are applying for DACA.
  • Identifying when to tell an interviewer that you have received deferred action, or that you have an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
  • Addressing harassment or discrimination in the workplace or during interviews.

On Campus Resources

The primary on campus advisor for DACA and Undocumented students is Peter Fowler, the Associate Dean of Students.  His office is within the Dean of Students Office, located at 003 Rubinstein Hall.  Peter can be reached via email at fowlerp@wit.edu or by calling the office at 617-989-4702 to set up an appointment. For additional support:

  • The Center for Diversity and Social Justice: Delivers programing and support to promote cultural understanding and social change at Wentworth and beyond. Contact: https://wit.edu/diversity/staff
  • Dean of Students Office: Acts as a resource, referral agent, and an advocate for students so they may live and learn successfully throughout their Wentworth experience. If you are experiencing a financial hardship, please visit their page of resources here, including information about the Student Emergency Fund. Find more information and contact details on their website.

Student Organization

Connect with Wentworth student organizations for further cultural networks of support. Up-to-date information and meeting times can be found on Leopard Spot.

Asian Student Association (ASA) – Along with helping students network and find academic success, ASA educates the Wentworth community about Asian ethnicity and culture.

Contact: asa13@wit.edu | ASA Facebook

CROWNS – Their mission is to unite, inspire, and engage womxn of diverse ethnic backgrounds within Wentworth Institute of Technology and the Colleges of the Fenway.

Contact: CROWNS@wit.edu | Crowns Instagram

Cape Verdean Student Association (CVSA) – This all-inclusive organization is open to all Wentworth and COF students and strives to provide cultural, social, and academic support to students and community members. Their goal and belief system are based upon working together to inspire positive change within the Cape Verdean community!

Contact: cvsa@wit.edu | CVSA LinkedIn | CVSA Instagram

Islamic Society of Wentworth (ISWIT) – Open to all, this club was established to serve and support the Wentworth community through Islamic educational programs, cultural and social activities, community celebrations, and social and self-betterment programs, no matter what your faith may be. ISWIT aims to foster and strengthen relationships both amongst Muslims and between Muslims and non-Muslims, based on the universal Islamic principles of acceptance, understanding, respect, and love by doing our part and exhibiting these qualities to the best of our abilities both on campus and off in the hope we may do some justice in portraying the essence of a beautiful religion of universal peace.

Contact: iswit@wit.edu | ISWIT Facebook

Multicultural Student Association (MSA) – The MSA is a student-lead cultural association that aims to celebrate and promote the acceptance of student’s cultural backgrounds as well as inspire curiosity for learning new beliefs, traditions, ethnicities, and practices outside of their own experience.

Contact: msa@wit.edu | MSA Facebook

Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) – The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) was founded in Los Angeles, CA in 1974 by a group of engineers employed by the city of Los Angeles. Their objective was to form a national organization of professional engineers to serve as role models in the Hispanic community. SHPE is brought together by heritage, social responsibility, and desire to improve the equality of all people through the use of science and technology. SHPE values excellence in education, professional pursuits, and leadership. SHPE obtains excellence through integrity, empowerment, achievement, diversity, and continuous improvement.

Contact: shpe@wit.edu

National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) – To increase the number of culturally responsible Black Engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community. We are the family that will guarantee a solid foundation in the sustainable development of you career.

Contact: eboard@witnsbe.org | WIT NSBE Facebook | WIT NSBE Instagram | WIT NSBE Twitter

Resources

Co-op and Job Search

Frequently Asked Questions about DACA and Employment
This page developed by the National Immigration Law Center provides resources and answers to frequently asked questions about DACA and Employment.

Making Money Regardless of Immigration Status
A collection of information and resources about freelancing, contracting, and building your own business from Immigrants Rising.

UndocuSTEM
Maintained listing of STEM internships for undocumented students.

DACA Employment Rights

As a recipient of DACA, you are provided with an Employment Authorization Document Card (often referred to as an EAD, which is a work permit) that authorizes you to work in the United States.  However, it is important that you be aware of your employment rights.  Employers cannot legally ask DACA recipients for more or different work authorization documents beyond what is permitted by the Form I-9.  Furthermore, an employer cannot reject work authorization documents because of your citizen status or national origin.  Both actions are not permitted under law.

Employment Rights with DACA
Find answers to frequently asked questions about DACA recipient’s employment rights with this page developed by Citizen Path.

ILRC Latest in DACA Page
News and information about the latest developments DACA laws and processes from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center.

Undocumented Students

Undocumented students are not legally allowed to work in the United States.  To fulfill co-op requirements, students may volunteer for a nonprofit or do unpaid research with a professor. Contact your CO-OP + CAREER Advisor for more information. Should this cause a financial hardship for you, connect with the Dean of Students as mentioned above.

My Undocumented Life
They provide up-to-date information and resources for undocumented immigrants, their families, and allies.

Mass UndocuFund
Provides Covid Relief for Undocumented Workers.

Organizations and Support

Immigrants Rising
They empower young undocumented folks to achieve their educational and career goals through personal, institutional, and policy transformation. Check out their list of scholarships that do not require citizenship and glossary of common legal terms on forms for DACA recipients. 

Massachusetts Immigration and Refugee Advocacy Coalition
Largest organization in New England promoting the rights and integration of immigrants and refugees.  They provide free legal assistance for DACA students in MA to renew DACA status.

National Relief Resources (by state)
Spreadsheet created by and for undocumented immigrants seeking financial, mutual aid, and legal support. 

United We Dream
Immigrant Youth Led Organization and community for immigrants and refugees, undocumented or not.

Free Clinic Finder
Find affordable healthcare options that do not require insurance near you.