Young, undocumented immigrants looking for work can get some help from the City of Seattle. Mayor Mike McGinn announced that eligible young people can have their names added to their household City Light bills. Utility bills have commonly been used to document residency.
"We have an opportunity here to support immigration reform at the local level," said McGinn in a press release.
The federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) policy launched last year provides a two-year grant of reprieve from deportation along with the ability to work for unauthorized immigrants who entered the U.S. while they were younger than age 16. They must also have been younger than 31 as of June 15, 2012.
Eligible participants can call Seattle City Light (206-684-3000) to have their names added to their home utility bill, which can provide a paper trial for proof of residency.
"Utility bills have historically been used to document residency for many different purposes, and Seattle City Light can use an already established process to help people living in Seattle take advantage of DACA," said Jorge Carrasco, General Manager and CEO of Seattle City Light.
The mayor's office said Washington has more than 40,000 residents eligible for a work authorization under the DACA program.
The Seattle Channel will run Public Service Announcements to let eligible youth know about scams promising to help with immigration paperwork for a fee, but not delivering on the service.
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