Following the Trump Administration's announcement that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program will be phased out, a Los Angeles-based immigration lawyer is warning DACA recipients to avoid falling victim to immigration scams.
So-called experts have sought to take advantage of changes in immigration laws to offer costly services that are unnecessary and could put a particular case at risk, lawyer Alma Rosa Nieto told NBC4's sister station, Telemundo 52.
"I call them vultures because they take advantage of our own community," she said.
DACA will end in six months. However, those who at this time already have a work permit, which will expire no later than March 5, 2018, still have a month, until October 5, to request a renewal that would grant them two more years of protection, Nieto said.
In that sense, it is important to act immediately, she said. However, Nieto does not recommend waiting for the first few days of October to renew.
"We have to renew our permits today, but here's where frauds come in. It's important to be advised better than ever before. Do not sign, do not give away your money, get an immigration lawyer and maybe even two," Nieto said.
Given the importance of being well oriented, Nieto also recommended that those in the program consult with competent and experienced immigration lawyers.
For those who have never applied to DACA, Nieto warned to be careful about offers to start the process for the first time.
"It's a lie ... only people who are already within the DACA program can renew," Nieto said.
As for the concern about the information that so-called dreamers provided to obtain their DACA permit, authorities said that they have no plans to look for them unless they commit a crime.
"You have to behave very well, and keep your record as it has been so far to be out of the sight of ICE," Nieto said.
According to experts, the announcement does not mean that the dreamers will be deported in six months. In fact, many will be able to take their cases to an immigration judge, and that could take years because of the wait time in the courts.