Work Authorization Woos

I’m in the market for a job again for Spring and Summer and constantly running into a problem faced by high-profile Dreamers: the assumption that everyone who is undocumented lacks work authorization.

This comes up during job interviews and it is a rather complicated matter. Asking me whether I am a citizen or green-card holder or making unnecessary assumptions about my nationality is usually on the illegal side of things. It happened at the last two interviews I went to, and while I was courteous enough in answering the question, it raises red flags for me. Maybe it is a matter of “I see your red flag and I raise my own red flag” but I expect lawyers to maintain a higher standard. I never followed up with either employer for a number of reasons, but the line of questioning certainly did not help.

The other problem is not even offering me an interview under the assumption that being undocumented or being in removal proceedings means not having work authorization. Again, that is job discrimination. And yet, I am sure that it happens quite frequently.

As a precautionary matter, my LinkedIn and personal website mention my EAD status. But beyond that, I don’t know how to deal with this problem. It will remain a problem ever after graduation unless I always mail in a copy of one of my biographical pieces! Maybe I need to do what I have always done — create jobs for myself and not worry about working for anyone else.

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