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Commentators warn young immigrants about scams

After the president announced a shift in immigration policy regarding young immigrants, commentators and immigration advocates say that a surge in immigration scams has developed.

Immigration groups say that con artists are preying on young immigrants, offering to help the immigrants to navigate through the immigration policy regulations for a fee. The federal government is still working on the regulations, and details about how the new policy will work remains sketchy, at best.

Immigration reform advocates say that scams have become pervasive in immigrant communities across the country. The groups say that con artists are presenting themselves as lawyers, offering to assist young immigrants in the application process that will potentially allow the immigrants to gain work papers under the president's new immigration policy.

This blog previously reportedly the immigration policy shift, after President Obama announced his executive order June 15. After the announcement, the Department of Homeland Security has been tasked with developing guidelines to implement the administration's policy.

Commentators say the immigration officials are still potentially months away from implementing the plan. Nonetheless, commentators on immigration reform issues and advocacy groups say that con artists are popping up all across the country seeking to prey on the unwary to generate fees.

The president's policy will allow some immigrants who came to the United States under the age of 16 with their parents and who have lived in the country for the past five years to apply for a non-immigrant work permit. The papers are expected to remain good for two years and are renewable. To qualify, an immigrant must have no criminal record. Be enrolled in school, have a high school diploma or must have served in the U.S. military.

But what an application will require still needs to be worked out. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, part the Homeland Security Department, must develop regulations to implement the program, including deciding what documentation an immigrant will have to provide the federal government to apply.

Unfortunately, immigration scams are not new. This blog has previously discussed issues surrounding immigration scams, including people presenting themselves as notarios offering services without providing authorized services.

Source: Baltimore Sun, "Advocates warn immigrants of scams," John Fritze, July 8, 2012

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