With the Oct. 5 deadline for DACA renewals fast approaching, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is warning Dreamers to be on the lookout for potential scams.
“Scammers will often capitalize on fear and anxiety to take advantage of immigrants and their families,” Schneiderman said. “I encourage all grantees to be vigilant and protect themselves from those seeking to take advantage of this uncertainty to make a quick buck.”
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, aka DACA, is an Obama-era protection for immigrant minors, known as Dreamers, who illegally entered the U.S. with their parents.
Last month, President Donald Trump announced he was ending the DACA program, and he tasked Congress with revamping it within the next six months, giving an uncertain future for nearly 800,000 Dreamers currently participating in DACA.
The Trump administration said it will process already pending DACA applications and renewals by Thursday’s deadline, but the Department of Homeland Security will not accept new applications. Recipients whose work permits expire between Sept. 5, 2017, and March 5, 2018, are eligible for renewals.
Scneiderman’s office warned DACA recipients to watch out for:
• legal services offered via social media, phone calls or other unsolicited ways
• phishers, who often use websites that look like legit official or government sites
• individuals offering expedited applications for an extra fee or those who guarantee special treatment
• cash-only services.
The AG also reminded DACA participants to employ an attorney or accredited Office of Legal Access Program representative for advice or representation, and only sign forms they understand. He also warned against hiring notarios publicos, which are not attorneys in the U.S.
Anyone who thinks they have been scammed can call the AG’s Immigration Fraud Hotline at 866-390-2992 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.