Initial Thoughts on DREAM Deferred Action

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From the American Immigration Lawyers Association conference in Nashville: After the initial euphoria, immigration lawyers are starting to consider possible scenarios, risks and concerns. (This is what lawyers do).

We have no information about the application process or many details. These thoughts are preliminary, but some things to consider:

Coming forward to the government has risks. The benefit is "deferred action" NOT green card or amnesty. "Deferred" means they will not deport you now but could later. Meanwhile you will have a work permit, but your name and address will be known to the government.

Politically, it seems unlikely that even if a different President is in office next year (if Mitt Romney wins the election) the government would want to revoke this benefit if it is given. Most Americans support providing a solution for the DREAMERs. Of course politics can change.

Some have suggested that Congress could try to keep the benefit from being given through introducing legislation to stop it. However, no one can apply for deferred action until procedures are put in place so at this time we can only wait and watch (and contact Congress to let them know your view).

Do not go to Immigration offices now. Wait until they have announced the application process.

We don't know how people will apply for deferred action. Do not pay a fee to a non-lawyer (notario) until we know what is required. Unscrupulous people can use this announcement to take advantage of those that are desperate for a legal status.