DACA illegal alien teachers in public schools

In April, 2014, it was discovered that Denver Public Schools (DPS) is working with the Teach for America program to use illegal aliens with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival status as teachers. Teach for America is a program that brings people of diverse backgrounds into the classroom to enhance learning. Members of the Walton family, the family that founded Wal-Mart, made a large private donation to help pay for illegal aliens with DACA status to enroll in the Teach for America program.2,3

DACA instructors are not licensed teachers but they are issued an alternative license6 from the State of Colorado to teach. These "teachers" are enrolled in classes to attain their traditional teaching license after one year.3

Under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA), illegal aliens are offered two years of amnesty ("deferred action" - meaning a stay of deportation), are given a social security number, and are allowed to apply for a work permit. The two-year DACA stay of deportation may be renewed on a case-by-case basis, but it does not confer lawful immigration status, provide a path to citizenship (amnesty), or alter an illegal alien's existing immigration status.

Denver Public Schools (DPS) superintendent Tom Boasberg estimates that 10 percent to 20 percent of the district's population are illegal aliens. About one-third of Denver's 87,400 students are "English-language learners," and the majority of those are Spanish speakers. The district does not track how many students lack legal immigration status. Boasberg plans to increase the number of DACA teachers to more than ten for the 2014-15 school year.3,4,11

CAIRCO concerns about DACA illegal alien teachers in public schools

CAIRCO has many concerns about this issue. Several are as follows:

  • There are at least 20 million Americans who either do not have a full-time job or are underemployed.10 This includes teachers. It is neither fair nor appropriate to hire unqualified foreign nationals to replace qualified and experienced American teachers.
  • It is unlikely that most of the illegal aliens with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status are adequately trained, qualified, and certified as educators. Indeed, DACA status requires attainment of only a high school diploma or a GED certificate. Using unqualified individuals as "educators" does a tremendous disservice not only to students of all races and nationalities, but to our entire educational system.
  • DACA teachers are being issued a Colorado "Alternative License".6,9 Yet HB 1009 was passed in the 2006 special session to mandate that Colorado will deny state business permits and professional licenses to illegal aliens.8 DACA status does not confir citizenship or legalization.1
  • The Binational Migrant Education Program supports the Binational Teacher Exchange Program in order to improve educational continuity for migrant students. The effort began in 1976 and a US - Mexico Memorandum of Understanding was established in 1990. Thus, a program already exists to educate students who truly migrate between the United States and foreign nations.
  • In 2010, the DREAM Act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) failed to pass the House. In spite of this, President Obama unilaterally implemented the program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in 2012 which grants illegal aliens a renewable two-year timeframe during which they can displace American workers. Indefinite renewal of these work permits should not be anticipated, which means that any on-the-job experience that illegal alien "educators" obtain will be lost when they relinquish their jobs to qualified teachers.
  • For over 200 years, immigrants who came to America adopted English, the native language of the United States, as well as American culture. They were proud to do so. Our schools instructed them in English. Now, DPS is trying to reverse the role of our educational system by teaching students in foreign languages. Sadly, this inverted focus will harm foreign students, penalize American students, and serve to fragment our society.


Contact Denver Public Schools Board of Education

Denver Public Schools (DPS)
Tom Boasberg, Superintendent 


DPS Board of Education
Board of Education
900 Grant Street
Denver, Colorado 80203

Happy Haynes – President
Term – 2011 – 2015

Anne Rowe  Vice President
Term – 2011-2015

Barbara O’Brien – At Large
Term – 2013 – 2017

Rosemary Rodriguez  Secretary
Term – 2013 – 2017

Mike Johnson Treasurer
Term – 2013 – 2017

Landri Taylor
Term – 2013 – 2017

Arturo Jimenez
Term – 2011 – 2015



1. CAIRCO research on DREAMers and DACA - Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

2. Teach for America - Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals.

All applicants, regardless of their citizenship status, must possess at least a 2.50 undergraduate GPA and a bachelor’s degree by June 2014 to be eligible... applicants with deferred action for childhood arrival status must have a social security number and an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) at the time of their final interview...

All applicants who are invited to a final interview are eligible to apply for transitional grants and loans, including those who are DACA recipients...

If a corps member’s Employment Authorization Document is set to expire during their two-year commitment, Teach For America will provide the appropriate legal assistance to ensure they are able to apply for a renewal...

For the 2014 corps, we will place accepted DACA recipients in the Bay Area, Colorado, Houston, Dallas Fort-Worth, Los Angeles, New Mexico, Phoenix, the Rio Grande Valley, Sacramento, San Antonio, and San Diego...

3. DPS to hire previously undocumented immigrants [illegal aliens], 9News, April 11, 2014 (see full article).

4. Denver hires teachers who came to U.S. illegally as children, Chicago Tribune, April 11, 2014 (see full article).

5. Colorado Department of Education - Apply for a Teacher Exchange

Teachers and other licensed school personnel are invited to apply for a one-year exchange with educators in other countries. Exchange opportunities are currently available in Taiwan. Additionally, there are opportunities in various countries, including Australia, as offered through the Colorado International Teacher's Exchange League. The exchange is an excellent opportunity for growth and development as an educator, providing for the exchange of ideas, experience in different teaching and learning styles, as well as immersion into a different culture.

To qualify, eligible educators must, at a minimum:

  • be a U.S. Citizen,
  • hold a bachelor's degree or higher from a regionally accredited college/university,
  • hold a valid state-issued teaching license,
  • be eligible for travel outside of the United States.

6. Colorado Department of Education - Routes to Licensure in Colorado

There are three ways to qualify for a license in Colorado:

  • Completion of an approved educator preparation program through an accepted, regionally accredited institution of higher education outside the state of Colorado. Your program must be comparable to one of our Colorado state-approved programs.
  • Completion of an alternative teacher preparation program in your preparing state.
  • Completion of a certification program in a foreign country.

There are four types of licenses in Colorado:

  • Teacher
  • Special Services Provider
  • Principal
  • Administrator (Superintendent or Director of Special Education).

Alternative Licenses:

Alternative Teacher Licensing Programs are offered statewide. Candidates teach full-time under the supervision of a professional support team, while completing an alternative program offered by a Designated Agency. Upon successful completion of the program, candidates can apply for an Initial Colorado Teacher’s License.

Prior to acceptance into an Alternative Teacher Licensing Program, applicants must be issued a Statement of Eligibility from the Colorado Department of Education.

Requirements for a Colorado Initial Teacher License:

An Initial Teacher License may be issued to an applicant who:

  • Holds a bachelor's or higher degree from an accepted, regionally accredited institution of higher education.
  • Has completed an approved teacher preparation program at an accepted institute of higher education.
  • Has provided an approved program verification form.
  • Has submitted a complete application for licensure, including official transcripts, associated fees, and other supporting documentation.
  • Has demonstrated professional competencies in the subject areas by completing 24 semester hours of course credit as demonstrated through transcript evaluation, or passage of the Colorado State Board of Education-approved content assessment relevant to the area of endorsement sought.

    Note: All elementary education teachers and special education generalists must pass the Colorado State Board of Education-approved elementary education content exam.

Colorado Department of Education - Alternative Teacher Preparation Programs FAQ:

1.  Individuals enrolled in an Alternative program in the content area of special education may take up to 3 years to complete the program requirements. 

7. Is a Statement of Eligibility a license? No. The Statement of Eligibility is used to indicate to a Designated Agency that you meet the state requirements to enter the program. It is not a license.


7. Guidelines to Sponsor for Permanent Residency at Denver Public Schools, Page 5 and 6, Denver public Schools:

4. What prerequisites does a candidate need to be sponsored by DPS?...

  • Can obtain a Colorado Teaching License...
  • If the candidate is currently present in the US, he/she must be able to demonstrate legal status in the country under any type of visa category and illegibility to change status to a H1B work authorization...

8. HB 1009 was passed in the 2006 special session: Colorado will deny state business permits and professional licenses to illegal aliens. Effective January 1, 2007. 

Session Laws of Colorado 2006S First Extraordinary Session, 65th General Assembly:

Compliance with the Provisions of Colorado Revised Statute (CRS) 24-76.5-103

Pursuant to Section 24-76.5-103, Colorado Revised Statutes, only persons lawfully present in the United States will be issued a Colorado educator license or authorization. (This includes adding an endorsement or renewing a license or authorization). Each applicant for a Colorado educator license or authorization must provide the Colorado Department of Education with an accepted form of identification at the time of application, January, 2007.

Colorado Department of Agriculture Measurement Standards - Citizenship / Immigration Status Verification Form Affidavit:

Colorado Revised Statutes section 24-76.5-103 requires all state agencies to verify the lawful presence in the United States of all natural persons (individuals and individuals doing business as sole proprietors) who apply for certain public benefits, including the license, permit or registration for which you are applying. This requirement applies only to natural persons. It does not apply to partnerships, corporations or other business entities that apply for state benefits.

9. DACA teachers license(s) in State of CO (search Colorado licenses):

Alejandro Antonio Fuentes Mena:
License Number:  93112; License Type: Alternative License; Issue Date: 09/01/2013; Expires: 9/01/2014 (one year).
License Number:  85695; License Type: ALT: Statement of Eligibility;  Issue Date: 07/25/2013; Expires: 07/25/2016 (3 years!).

10. Video: Immigration 'reform' adds 33 million competitors to jobless Americans, NumbersUSA. "20 million Americans want a full-time job but cannot find one."

11. DPS wants Colorado to make training to teach English learners mandatory, Denver Post, May 12, 2013

...Colorado has a shortage of teachers with specialized English-learner training...

English learners... represent more than 160 languages...

DPS leaders said most teachers applying for jobs at the district are not certified to work with English learners because it is not a requirement for teacher licensure... Nearly 36,000 of DPS's 84,000 students are English learners...

Recruiting qualified educators who can work with those students is a key priority as DPS seeks to meet conditions laid out in a federal court order governing the education of English learners. The agreement requires DPS to hire fully qualified educators to teach English learners, but also allows the district to provide on-the-job training, which will cost about $700,000 next year.

About 1,800 of the district's more than 5,200 educators are fully qualified to teach English learners. Only about 600 of those teachers are bilingual. DPS officials said about 1,400 teachers are in training programs...