Fox News attacked Denver public schools by claiming they were hiring “illegal alien” teachers who are unqualified to teach. But the teachers in question have legal status to work in the U.S., have an alternative license to teach from the state of Colorado, and are working toward being fully licensed.
Fox Accuses Denver Public Schools Of Hiring Undocumented Individuals As Teachers
Fox Host Steve Doocy: Denver Has “This New Program Where They're Hiring Illegal Aliens.” During the April 11 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy claimed that the Denver public school system is hiring “illegal aliens to be teachers,” while co-host Brian Kilmeade quipped that as part of the DREAM Act, the teachers will be able to relate to the undocumented students in the school system:
DOOCY: Out in Denver, the public schools there, they've got this new program where they're hiring illegal aliens to be teachers. They've got this program where if you were brought to this country as a child and you've got a clean criminal record, they will hire you.
KILMEADE: It's the DREAM Act that the president put together and said go ahead, Border Patrol, do not arrest anybody that's been here, was taken here when they were kids. But they do say they're teaching a population that's between 10 and 20% undocumented. So they have somebody that they can relate to now. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 4/11/14]
The Teachers Arrived As Children And Can Legally Work In The U.S
NBC Local Colorado: Public Schools Are Bringing In Teachers With DACA Status. On April 10, Colorado's local 9News outlet reported that the teachers being hired all had official Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) status, which allows individuals who were brought to the United States under the age of 16 the right to work:
Part of the requirements for DACA status is that a person must have been brought to the United States under the age of 16 and have a clean criminal record. Even with DACA status, they are still not recognized as legal citizens, but they are allowed to work. [NBC, 9News, 4/10/14]
USCIS: Childhood Arrivals Are Issued “Employment Authorization For A Period Of Two Years.” According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, certain individuals who came to the United States as children and who “meet several key guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years,” making them “eligible for work authorization”:
On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several key guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and would then be eligible for work authorization. Deferred action is a discretionary determination to defer removal action of an individual as an act of prosecutorial discretion. Deferred action does not provide an individual with lawful status. [U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, 4/9/14]
Fox Links Immigration Status To Doubting Teaching Qualifications
Fox Hosts Attacked DACA Teachers' Qualifications. Doocy singled out the DACA teachers working in public schools as unqualified because they lack teacher's licenses, stating, “these are simply people with a high school education or GED who are now in schools,” while co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck stated that these individuals are “now teaching without the credentials that many teachers have”:
DOOCY: Now keep in mind, these are not licensed teachers. These are simply people with a high school education, a diploma, or a GED who are now in the schools, even though they don't have legal status.
HASSELBECK: He has a DACA status, which as Steve mentioned, still not recognized as legal citizens, now teaching without the credentials that many teachers have. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 4/11/14]
Teachers Have Been Granted An Alternative License
Teachers Have An Alternative License To Teach From The State, Are Working Towards Permanent License. NBC's Colorado 9News reported that the teachers hired by Denver public schools are granted an alternative license and are expected to attain the traditional license within a year:
They are not licensed teachers but were issued an alternative license from the State of Colorado to teach. These teachers are currently enrolled in classes to attain their traditional teaching license after one year. [NBC, 9News, 4/10/14]