Ever since the Obama administration announced plans earlier this summer of an executive order which would allow some undocumented immigrants in the US freedom from deportation, those who may qualify for the new measure have been eager to hear more. Some immigrants have already started to gather documents and to seek advice from immigrant organizations in order to apply.
The executive order will defer the deportation of qualified youth, offering work permits to those who qualify. Now, the Obama administration has announced that more information about the program and the application process will be released in the first week of August. The program is expected to help about 800,000 individuals defer deportation.
The USCIS has announced that it will begin accepted applications for the new initiative on August 15. The government is still developing specific guidelines for the program, which is one reason why applications have not yet been accepted. Unfortunately, there have been instances of unscrupulous attorneys and notaries accepting thousands of dollars in payments in exchange for promises to help applicants apply early. The USCIS is stressing that there is yet no application process and there is no way to apply early, so anyone making these claims is not being honest. Those who are approached by unscrupulous individuals promising applications for cash can report the fraud at www.stopnotariofraud.org.
So far, a few details about the new application process have been released. One of the most interesting disclosures is that the application process will not give any applicants a chance to appeal. This means that if someone applies for a work permit and deferment of deportation under the new program, they will have no recourse if their application is denied. It is unlikely that rejected applications will be at risk of deportation, unless they use fraud when applying or unless they have a criminal record. The fact that there is no appeals process also makes it far more important for applicants to fill out the applications carefully and correctly the first time.
According to immigration groups, there are many things that people can do between now and August 15, when they can apply. For example, they can gather documents proving residency in the US. Men between the ages of 18 and 25 may also wish to register with the Selective Service, a requirement for all immigrants. Immigrants who may qualify for work permits under the new policy may also wish to review their resumes and start looking for possible jobs.