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New York Acts to Help Undocumented Young People

July 30, 2012
Plain English Version

President Obama’s decision to allow many undocumented youngsters to remain in the U.S. without fear of deportation will soon go into effect. New York State plans to protect applicants from fraud and abuse. The Governor is calling for media outreach, community programs and help from lawyers across the state.

When granted waivers, young people can go to school, work and get driver’s licenses. The applicants must have come into the country before age 16, be in school and have no criminal record.

The plan will pay for immigration lawyers to work with groups helping young people apply for the waiver. The state also plans an immigrant service hot line. It will include information about the policy and will refer callers to service providers.

Some say the waiver will encourage dishonest people to promote themselves as immigration consultants to charge high fees and evade the law. New York’s secretary of state said, “I think there is going to be a great deal of fraud, and these young people are going to need a great deal of help. The federal government is going to want many different documents. It became clear to us that this was going to be a golden opportunity for scammers.”

Immigrants nationwide have been seeking information on how to apply for the waiver. However, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services has not finished the process for accepting applications. The agency is expected to begin the program by August 15, 2012.

Some eligible to apply have concerns. A young Colombian woman said “It does not really solve the problem. If I did not get it, I would be putting my family’s information out there. That does not guarantee my mom will not be called in. It is a tougher decision to make than people think.”

The New York Times

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