What do you do when you are talented enough to attain any job you want, yet your legal status in the country is keeping you from working with top employers? According to the Los Angeles Times, some immigrants are choosing to start their own businesses as they do not have the correct documents to work for a U.S. company. While there are strict laws against hiring undocumented workers, there are no rules regarding entrepreneurship.
Carla Chavarria entered Arizona from Mexico with her mother when she was 7 years old. She went to school and worked hard under the impression that one day her efforts would eventually pay off. She had hopes of attending college and then securing a great job.
“We’re taught as young kids that this is the land of opportunity,” Chavarria told the source. “They told me, ‘You could be anything you want to be if you work hard, you’re a good person, obey your parents and go to school.'”
While Chavarria had big dreams of attending college to become a graphic designer, a lack of funds kept her from enrolling in school. As she sought ways to earn a living, she soon discovered a loophole. She could start her own limited liability company (LLC) instead of working for an employer.
After submitting the necessary paperwork to the state, Chavarria could become her own boss. Each state has its own regulations but, overall, the process of setting up an LLC requires paying taxes and initial fees and opening a bank account. It is not necessary to be a citizen of the country in order to start an LLC or work as a freelance artist.
Chavarria is a participant of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. According to U.S. News & World Report, DACA is a two-year deferment program that keeps undocumented residents from being deported. The program was instituted to help young children who were brought to the country by their parents. Under DACA, people like Chavarria can obtain a driver’s license and may be eligible for in-state tuition at universities, depending on the state. Program members can also apply for work authorization until immigration reform laws are passed in Congress.