Late last week, various media outlets began reporting about President Obama’s ten-point plan on immigration reform. Within hours, the White House responded by saying that nothing was final, no decisions had been made, and that the points listed in the articles were mere speculation.
Some of the points listed made sense. For example, extending DACA to people who have been here since January 2010 instead of June 2007 would certainly allow more young immigrants to gain deferred action.
Other points seem less likely to happen, such as reducing government filing fees for naturalization.
Regardless, we do not know what President Obama will announce or when he will announce it.
Unfortunately, someone will always try and take advantage in situations of uncertainty. I’ve heard stories where attorneys and notarios are charging $500 for immigrants to be placed on a waitlist. A waitlist for what, exactly?
Although all signs point to something happening with reform, nothing is guaranteed. Even if we do get reform, will the people who paid money to be on a waitlist even qualify for the new measures?
Just a few days ago, CNN interviewed me for tips on what people can do to prepare for potential immigration reform.
Right now, the best thing anyone can do is to pay attention to. When the President announces executive action, I will share the information on my reform e-mail list-serve.
You should also do research on immigration attorneys so that if the time comes for you to hire one, you can feel comfortable with your choice for representation.
Should the President announce new programs and policies, it will likely take 45 to 60 days for instructions, forms, and fees to be established.
Eligible applicants will not be able to file for relief immediately and it may take time to gather the required documentation.
It will be important to focus on doing things right instead of being the first to file. Take the time to research attorneys and review your eligibility before spending your money.
It’s an exciting time to be in the field of immigration, but we all have to be careful not to get caught up in rumors and false promises.