California State Legislature Proposes New Bill Allowing Undocumented Students to Work on College Campuses Without Work Permits

student-5473769_1280A new California legislative bill known as AB 2586 may soon grant undocumented students the ability to work on college campuses without having a work permit.

The assembly bill introduced by David Alvarez is meant to provide relief to the millions of undocumented students unable to apply for employment authorization under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

As our readers may know, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) stopped processing new DACA applications in 2017, when former President Donald Trump rescinded the program. Since then, only renewal applications have been accepted by USCIS, putting millions of undocumented students out of work who can no longer apply for and obtain work permits.

If passed, the assembly bill would prohibit University of California schools, California State schools, and community colleges in the state “from disqualifying a student from being hired for an employment position due to their failure to provide proof of federal work authorization,” unless that proof is explicitly required by federal law, such as in federal work-study jobs.

The rationale for passing this bill is that public colleges and universities in the state of California should be exempt from the federal Immigration Reform and Control Act passed by Congress in 1986 that bars employers from knowingly hiring undocumented workers.

Pro-immigrant rights groups believe that IRCA does not apply to state government entities, including public colleges and universities.

While the University of California system has voiced their opposition to the bill citing several concerns among them potential exposure of undocumented students and their families to criminal prosecution or deportation, the bill has passed the lower house and is now awaiting a decision in the state’s senate.

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