Why You Shouldn’t Pre-Pay for Immigration Programs That Have Not Opened
Immigration issues were a forefront of former President Trump’s campaign and administration. During his four-year term, there were many executive orders, policy changes, and regulations that impacted almost every type of immigration case. In turn, there were also multiple court orders reversing some of these changes. Consequently, the immigration rules and landscape has changed almost daily during these past 4 years. Changes included lawsuits regarding the DACA program, the implementation of the public charge rules, the increase in USCIS filing fees, travel suspensions for citizens of certain countries, and finally the approval of the Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for certain Venezuelans that Trump signed the last day of his presidency.
Accordingly, President Biden has given immigration much needed attention. Some of the focus will be on restoring protections, programs and policies, and another focus will be on addressing more longstanding challenges. President Biden is taking executive actions to reverse several actions of President Trump, issuing new orders to strengthen the DACA program, and he plans to present a bill before Congress for an earned pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. There are other changes in other areas of immigration law planned as well. Significantly, all of these plans and changes could take months or even years to take effect. Keep in mind that, bills and rules that are proposed do not always become the law of the land. Sometimes the final version of a new law can end up very different from how it was drafted in the beginning. We do not yet know much about who will be eligible or ineligible for any new programs, if passed.
While there is a lot to be relieved and excited about in this new era of US immigration law, beware of attorneys, notaries and others who take advantage of the immigrant community. It is rarely a good idea to pre-pay for a law or program that has not been fully established yet. It is always a good idea, however, to consult with a reputable and experience lawyer about your immigration situation. For example, even though President Trump signed the DED for certain Venezuelans, USCIS has not yet explained how this program will be implemented. This means that no one knows yet which forms will be used or how much the filing fees will be to submit these applications. Anyone who offers to assist you with applying for one of these proposed programs, without a process established by the relevant authorities, is probably trying to deceive you. Check the news, inform yourself and ask lots of questions. For example, ask about the pros and cons of a program. Ask the attorney to explain how you are eligible. Again, never prepay for a program that has not yet opened. You can also check official government sources, such as www.uscis.gov. Finally, you can always get a second opinion if you are unsure about the advice you are getting.
Still have questions or need help?
The attorneys at Antonini & Cohen understand the stakes in fighting to seek and achieve the American Dream. Antonini & Cohen has been successfully representing immigrant clients for many years. Visit us online at antininiandcohen.com or call us at (404) 850-9394 for assistance with any immigration issue you’re facing.