It is imperative for Vermont’s immigrant college students, especially DACA recipients, and those wishing to make a first time application to begin or continue their higher educational goals, to seek guidance.
America’s labor force reveals skills gaps in different fields as baby boomers retire, and through other means of attrition. The growing immigrant population in Vermont, and other states has helped to strengthen America’s labor force because immigrants are more likely to hold advanced degrees compared to U.S. born individuals, allowing them to fill critical shortages from high-tech fields to service industry positions. Half of adult immigrants living in Vermont had a college degree, or more education in 2018, while 12 percent had less than a high school diploma. Immigrants who are concerned about their status once they finish their education and the need for any changes to their status should speak to an immigration attorney in Burlington.
DACA and higher education
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has been instrumental in the higher educational process for many immigrants who call the United States their home. DACA is a United States Federal Government program that was created in 2012 under the Obama Administration. The program was designed to address the growing number of children of illegal immigrants, who are living in the United States, who did not have access to necessary activities of American living, such as the ability to legally work, or obtain a driver’s license, as well as being excluded access to certain health insurance, and education benefits necessary for their socioeconomic mobility and health. Individuals who are looking for protection under DACA guidelines and are attending Vermont institutions of higher education should talk with an immigration lawyer to access the latest information toward their application for benefits.
According to 2019 data in Vermont, there are 27,165 immigrants living in the State making up 4.4% of the population who have paid $310.8 million dollars in taxes. Common benefits of DACA to the United States include:
- increased funding for social programs and a reduction in the economic deficit.
- increased rates of entrepreneurship.
- state benefit from increased revenue taxes.
- educated human capital – data from The New American Economy, reports 81.4 percent of DACA recipients have graduated from high school and taken a college course. In addition, nearly 17 percent have gone to college and earned a bachelor’s or master’s degree. America should want to utilize the benefits associated with educated immigrants.
First time DACA consideration
First time requests for DACA were not allowed to be considered after the December 4, 2020 Court Order and eligible individuals must meet the criteria for a first-time applicant which states:
- Individual must be under 31 years of age as of June 15, 2012,
- Entered the United States while under the age of 16 years,
- Have had continuous residence in the United States since June 15, 2007,
- Entered the United States without USCIS inspection before June 15, 2012, and individuals whose lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012,
- Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012 requesting DAA
- consideration with USCIS,
- Are currently attending school, are high school graduates, or obtained GED, or have been honorably discharged from the Coast Guard, or United States Armed Forces, and
- Have not been convicted of a felony offense, significant misdemeanor, or more than three misdemeanor offenses and do not pose a threat to national security, or public safety.
Seek legal counsel
It is imperative for Vermont’s immigrant college students, especially DACA recipients, and those wishing to make a first time application to begin or continue their higher educational goals, to seek guidance from a Vermont immigration attorney, as the laws are ever-changing and may impact the means for application to be processed in accordance with the current changes to law.