Due to a federal court order delaying immigration relief, the federal government will not begin accepting requests for Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), nor for the expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), until later in 2015.
This delay in the implementation of the immigration programs may lead to more immigrant New Yorkers being defrauded by con artists posing as immigration attorneys or authorized immigration representatives, who charge fees for services that are never provided.
Immigrant consumers should make sure to get advice from the right person – whether you are renewing your Green Card, applying for naturalization or citizenship, or trying to choose the right forms.
· Only lawyers and representatives accredited by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) can provide advice, assistance and representation on immigration matters.
· Anyone providing immigration services must also comply with strict rules governing contracts and advertising.
How to protect yourself from immigration services fraud:
1-Call a qualified provider – you can get a free referral by calling the New York State New Americans Hotline at 1-800-566-7636.
2-Make sure to get a contract, and don’t sign it until it has been explained to you.
3-Pay with a check or money order. Don’t pay cash.
4-Always get a receipt.
5-Get and maintain copies of all forms and documents sent on your behalf.
6-Don’t sign blank forms or documents that you don’t understand.
7-Get a second opinion.
For more information about immigration issues or to seek a referral for assistance from a local community-based organization, call the free multi-lingual New York State New Americans Hotline at 1-800-566-7636.
Anyone can also call the Hotline if they suspect they are or have been a victim of immigration services fraud.
Source: New York State Office for New Americans