Free and Low-Cost Legal Assistance for DACA Applicants
The Associated Press reported that USCIS received over 72,000 applications. The American Immigration Lawyers Association reported that grants of the first DACA requests are slowly trickling in. Wall Street Journal reported that the projected massive numbers of DACA filings aren’t so massive after all. Seems everywhere one turns, most practitioners are talking about DACA, and for good reason. The Deferred Action for Childhood Dreamers (DACA) process is filled with nooks and crannies that have yet to receive full illumination by DHS. Our past DACA-related articles have highlighted some of the primary concerns that potential applicants have voiced. These issues included:• Use of social security numbers • How to gather documents • How to proceed with issues of fraud • How criminal aspects can affect one’s DACA case • How DACA filings can inadvertently affect one’s family • How travel can affect DACA filings • Opinions on the future of DACA
On our sister I-9 and E-Verify Blog yesterday, we discussed the issues related to DACA that will inevitably impact U.S. employers. From a DREAMer’s perspective, it’s easy to see how many individuals would want to take a step forward to gain some form of legitimacy. From a legal perspective though, there are dangers that DACA can pose to DREAMers, precisely because this process is so new and there are so many “unknowns” at this point in time. The ultimate risk of being placed in removal proceedings is severe! At the same time, it’s important for individuals toavoid scammers, unlicensed “legal consultants” or notarios, and “immigration consultants.” Before embarking on filing any request with the government, there are plenty of free and low-cost legitimate legal organizations that provide legal assistance for the DACA process and help educate DREAMers about their unique situations. We urge all individuals considering the DACA process to utilize these resources available to them. Many resources are available in multiple languages. Below is a list of networks to enable individuals to search for legitimate, licensed legal assistance:
www.ailalawyer.com (for a listing of AILA immigration attorneys)
https://www.justice.gov/eoir/ra.html (for a listing of Board of Immigration Appeals Accredited legal organizations)
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