Is Someone Trying to Represent Your Deferred Action Application? He May Be a Fraud
President Obama announced on June 15, 2012 an important new policy that will grant deportation relief and work permits to young students who have grown up living in the United States. This new policy is known as “deferred action.” Eligible students are those under the age of 30 who have lived in the United States for at least five years and have not committed a serious crime. It does not, however, grant or lead to citizenship. Eligible students will be allowed to obtain work permits for two years with the option to renew.
The Obama administration has estimated that this new policy will affect approximately 800,000 young immigrants. It is estimated that close to 50,000 students will be eligible here in Connecticut for the Dream deferred action policy. President Obama describes the new policy as “the right thing to do” and goes on to say that DREAMers are “Americans in their hearts, in their minds, in every single way but one – on paper.”
Since the announcement, there has been an unexpected increase in immigration frauds and scams. While many people offer help with immigration services, not all are authorized to do so. This is why it is important that you consider the services of a skilled Connecticut Immigration attorney for deferred action and other complicated immigration matters. Working with unofficial consultants may delay your application, cost you unnecessary fees, or possibly lead to removal proceedings.
One example of a scam is “notario publico” or “notary publics”. In the United States, notary publics are people appointed by the government to witness the signing of important documents and administer oaths. In many Spanish-speaking countries, “notario publicos” have the same authority as attorneys with special legal credentials. Here in the United States, a “notario publico” cannot lawfully provide you with legal services related to immigration law. However, many try to hold themselves out as lawyers and charge well-meaning immigrant families thousands of dollars with the promise that they will help the family with their immigration case. Before applying for Deferred Action and other immigration services keep these tips in mind to avoid fraud and potentially devastating consequences to your case:
- Don’t believe that any immigration counselor or notario can speed up your individual application or has special connections to the government. Some notaries are going so far as to claim that they either work or used to work for the government and can help get undocumented people legal residency.
- The new Deferred Action program created by President Obama on June 15, 2012 has not started yet. Regulations and application procedures have yet to be adopted. Anyone who tells you that they will start your application now either doesn’t know anything about Immigration Law or is trying to steal your money.
- Ask for a written contract that explains what services you will receive and what you are paying for. If a person claims to be a lawyer, they must provide you with a written contract explaining the scope of the services that will be provided to you. If a person who claims to be a lawyer will not provide you with a written contract and a receipt for your payment, you should get up and walk right out of that office.
- Be wary of immigration websites and the “legal” advice that they purport to give; they may not be accredited or have legal qualifications. There are many blogs and question and answer pages on the internet. Immigration law is constantly changing. Some phrases in the Immigration laws and regulations are legal terms that may not be interpreted correctly by a person not trained in Immigration Law.
- Find accurate information and legal advice from a reliable and licensed Connecticut Immigration attorney with experience with immigration or an USCIS/Immigration and Naturalization Services-accredited representative. Consult with a skilled Connecticut Immigration Attorney when you feel your case is too complicated to handle on your own. Don’t leave your future in the hands of an untrained notario.
We are here to answer any questions you have and give legal advice concerning this new immigration policy and other legal immigration concerns.