Undocumented immigrants who believe they may qualify for the new DREAM deferred action immigration policy recently announced by the Obama Administration should beware of notario scams. “Notarios” are so-called immigration experts who may use the recently announced deferred action plan as an opportunity to take advantage of unsuspecting foreign nationals by deceiving them into paying expensive fees for their assistance.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced on June 15 of the new DREAM Deferred Action Process for Young People policy that would allow young undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States and get work authorization if they meet certain criteria. Secretary Napolitano said that the USCIS would have 60 days to create an application process to accept requests, and she urged people not to submit requests yet until a process is ready. There is no process set up at the present time
Notarios and other unscrupulous people may misrepresent DREAM deferred action as a “new law” or as a “path to immigration status” as a scam to prey on undocumented immigrants who are desperate for legal immigration status. This is not a new law, but rather it is an enforcement policy of the executive branch, which could easily be overturned by a new president. It also does not provide a path to legal status, a green card, or U.S. citizenship. Instead, it provides a shield against deportation and grants work authorization.
Foreign nationals who wish to apply for DREAM deferred action should avoid anyone who claims that they can submit a request to the USCIS before a process has officially been set up. Since notarios are not lawyers, it is against the law for them to give legal advice, and they are not permitted to represent foreign nationals and cannot talk to the government on their behalf.