County of Santa Clara Fellowship Program Provides Career Development Opportunities for DACA Recipients

Eligible DACA Recipients Invited to Apply by March 15, 2020

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF.—The County of Santa Clara is offering the New Americans Fellowship program to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients living, working, or going to school in Santa Clara County. The New Americans Fellowship, a 10-week leadership program that runs from June 2020 through September 2020, offers a stipend of up to $10,000 to cover living expenses. The application is available at and is due March 15, 2020.

“Each cycle of the New Americans Fellowship has brought the County bold, impactful thinkers who offer both personal and innovative perspectives that have enriched the County’s work,” said Supervisor Dave Cortese, who initiated the creation of the program. “We are looking forward to welcoming the 2020 fellows.”

Fellows are placed in various County departments and will gain transferable skills and professional development in the areas of research and policy analysis, public communication, group facilitation, graphic design and marketing, project management, and learning to serve as ambassadors to improve and expand immigrant integration.

“Our Office is excited to continue the New Americans Fellowship for the fourth consecutive year,” said Mike Gonzàlez, Interim Manager for the Office of Immigrant Relations. “Various offices within the County will guide fellows as they navigate the immigrant rights movement at the intersection of local government. Through research, analysis, reporting, storytelling, collaboration and networking, fellows will advance big ideas that will positively impact our ever-evolving County.”

The Office of Immigrant Relations is committed to building a welcoming county that involves developing the full potential of all residents. Within the framework of Welcoming Communities, the County established the New Americans Fellowship as an investment into equipping DACA recipient youth with skills and tools to serve as ambassadors of change and inclusion in the community.

About the Fellowship

  • 10-week program between June 2020 – September 2020
  • Up to $10,000 stipend to cover living expenses
  • Fellows work on a research and/or community engagement project focused on immigrant integration
  • Fellows are placed at participating County departments and Board of Supervisors offices


  • Application Deadline: March 15, 2020
  • Letter(s) of Recommendation Deadline: March 18, 2020
  • Notification of Selection: April 6, 2020


  • Up to $10,000 stipend to cover living expenses
  • Mentorship from subject matter experts
  • Letter(s) of recommendation
  • Exposure to local government
  • Professional skills such as:
    • Research and policy analysis 
    • Public communication and group facilitation
    • Graphic design and marketing
    • Develop knowledge to intergovernmental processes
    • Project support and management
    • County software​
    • Serve as ambassadors to improve and expand immigrant integration

Eligibility Requirements (All Must Apply)

  • Current recipient of Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA) with work permit* eligibility through the entire length of the fellowship (June 2020 - September 2020)
  • Employment authorization card
  • Currently working, living, or attending school in Santa Clara County
  • Commit to 10 weeks between July 2020 - September 2020
  • Undergraduate, graduate, or recent college graduate
  • Desire to be involved in social justice for the immigrant community

*A current DACA recipient is an individual with a current grant of deferred action under the U.S. government’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

How to Apply

  • Complete the application at (deadline is March 15, 2020)
  • Provide 1-2 letters of recommendation from individuals or organizations you have worked or collaborated with that can provide insight to your public service activities and leadership skills (deadline is March 18, 2020)
  • College transcript(s)

Contributions Made by DACA Recipients

California has the largest immigrant population in the U.S. and, as a result, has the largest DACA population of the 50 U.S. states. The top five metropolitan areas with the largest DACA populations in California are L.A., Riverside, SF-Oakland, San Diego, and San Jose. There are 8,780 DACA recipients in the San Jose Metropolitan area. According to The Center for American Progress (CAP) research, the DACA population of the San Jose area contributed $187,500,000 in federal taxes and $79,000,000 in state and local taxes in 2017.

What is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)?

DACA is an administrative relief from deportation. The purpose of DACA is to protect eligible immigrant youth who came to the United States when they were children from deportation. DACA grants young undocumented immigrants protection from deportation and a work permit. The program expires after two years and is subject to renewal. There are about 700,000 DACA recipients nationwide.

DACA Today

  • As of September 5, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) no longer accepts first-time DACA permit requests
  • Existing DACA permits can be renewed
  • DACA recipients will no longer be able to request advance parole to travel abroad

U.S. Supreme Court Case on DACA

  • On November 12, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments about the future of the program
  • Court decision is expected between May 2020 and June 2020

DACA Renewals

  • For now, DACA recipients can still submit renewal applications
  • Current DACA recipients are strongly encouraged to renew as soon as possible, especially before the expected court decision between May and June 2020
  • Unfortunately, new DACA applications are no longer accepted
  • The County of Santa Clara offers scholarships for DACA application renewals. To learn more, contact the Office of Immigrant Relations at [email protected] or call at (408) 678-1430


About the County of Santa Clara, California

The County of Santa Clara government serves a diverse, multi-cultural population of 1.9 million residents in Santa Clara County, the sixth largest county in California. With a $8.17 billion budget, more than 70 agencies/departments and nearly 22,000 employees, the County of Santa Clara plans for the needs of a dynamic community, offers quality services, and promotes a healthy, safe and prosperous community for all. The County provides essential services, including public health and environmental protection; behavioral health and medical services through the County of Santa Clara Health System including Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (Hospital and Clinics), O’Connor Hospital and Saint Louise Regional Hospital; child and adult protection services; homelessness prevention and solutions; roads, parks and libraries; emergency response to disasters; protection of minority communities and those under threat; access to a fair criminal justice system, and scores of other services, particularly for those members of our community in the greatest need.

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Media Contact: Carolyn Lê, Office of Immigrant Relations, (408) 678-1430


Posted: March 5, 2020


News Release


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