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Criminal Justice

As Immigrants Seek Info on New ‘Deferred Action’ Program, Experts Say Delay Is Advisable

Posted Jun 20, 2012 10:47 AM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Immigration lawyers have been bombarded with calls from excited clients, following an announcement last week that the U.S. would be changing its deportation policy to allow many undocumented individuals under 30 who came to this country as children to stay and potentially get work permits.

However, it could be as much as two months before the Department of Homeland Security creates an application process to qualify for deferred action, which, for those approved, will grant a two-year renewable stay of deportation during which they can seek work permits, reports the Houston Chronicle.

Although potential applicants, who must meet other criteria, such has having no serious criminal record, can start gathering documents now to prove their case, they should be wary of doing too much before the standards they must meet are established, experts tell the newspaper.

"It is important that people not do anything until it is clear what the actual process is to apply," said Wafa Abdin, who serves as legal director for the Cabrini Center for Immigrant Legal Assistance, which is supported by Catholic Charities. "We don't want them to fall prey to notaries or attorneys who are only after money and are not really going to be helping them."

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "US Won’t Deport Illegal Child Immigrants Now Under 30 Who Meet Criteria, May OK Work Permits"

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