By Kim Tremblay, Esq.
Recent news reports have stated that scams targeting potential Dreamers are emerging across the country. One such scam involves receiving a phone call from a person claiming to be a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services officer (“USCIS”). The person typically has some background information on the person he or she is calling and says that there are discrepancies in the person’s immigration record and that a Western Union money transfer is required to fix the discrepancy.
Moreover, other scammers are telling potential Dreamers that the government will require $3,000 or $4,000 in fees to obtain deferred action status. The government has yet to issue any regulations regarding the fee.
How can you protect yourself from such scams?
Do not give money or information to anyone who contacts you claiming to be a government representative. The government usually sends written requests for information to applicants after applications are filed if additional information is required.
Do not submit any paperwork or money to USCIS until the government issues guidance on the deferred action process. This should occur around August 14, 2012. Also, do not submit an application for a work permit, again USCIS has not issued instructions to do so.
Finally, do not consult with an individual who is not a licensed attorney or accredited representative (authorized by the Board of Immigration Appeals). This includes immigration specialists, travel agents, notaries public, and notarios. It is illegal for these individuals to file applications with the government for you and to give legal advice. They may also take your money, never file applications, and put you and your family at risk. Only a consultation with a licensed attorney or accredited representative will ensure that you are aware of all the benefits and potential risks of applying for deferred action and are actually eligible for deferred action.
For more information on avoiding immigration scams or filing a complaint:
See the Federal Trade Commission’s Website:
See the AILA notario fraud website:
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