Sharma Crawford

Dream Act Excitement Now Followed by Patience, Caution

Obama Administration’s policy change comes without details for immigrants still facing deportation.

Kansas City, MO (June 19, 2012)    On Friday June 15th the law firm of Sharma-Crawford Attorneys at Law were busy fielding calls from media, fellow attorneys and illegal immigrants eager to learn more about the Obama Administration’s announced policy change under the Dream Act.

Just a few days later, the calls of excitement are now leading to concerns and fears as those already in removal or deportation proceedings won’t benefit from the new ruling before being led out of the country.

Those close to the immigration removal and deportation process have even greater concerns. Without clear guidelines and a process in place, many unscrupulous individuals and organizations may be preparing themselves to take advantage of the situation.

“We’re concerned that those untrained in the complexity of the ever-changing immigration law and policy may start offering services to individuals – at a price,” said Michael Sharma-Crawford, a principal of the immigration law firm based in Kansas City, Missouri. “It isn’t as simple as filling out a form at your local convenience store, and a mistake in this process could mean the difference between staying in the country under the new rules or being deported.”

The attorneys at Sharma-Crawford Attorneys At Law offer this advice to anyone who may be impacted by the Obama Administration’s recent change in immigration policy:

Preparation will be critical to successfully meet the requirements of the new immigration rules. Those who think they are eligible to stay in the country should begin to collect evidence of continuous presence in the country for the past 5 years. Also, these rules will require eligible individuals to prove they were here on June 15, 2012, so get and keep evidence now as to presence on that date. Don’t throw away newspapers, receipts, movie tickets, anything that proves presence in the U.S. 

No legal procedural guidance has been given to anyone or any organization as of today. When there are announcements made, seek the advice of an immigration attorney or one of the many social service organizations who can interpret the new rules as they become public.

Do not pay any individual or firm for filing any forms or applications regarding the new policy or to stay in the country under the Dream ACT. Only eligibility rules have been determined. There are no forms or applications available at this time.

Be wary of any individual or organization who tells you they can help you complete forms, apply for citizenship or help you stay in the country under the new rules. These rules have not yet been published.

In addition, proof of a high school diploma, a GED or current school enrollment will be required. Those seeking application should also be assembling those documents. Those illegal immigrants not currently enrolled should enroll in school or classes as soon as possible.

If a “Dream Act individual” is eligible for benefits under the new rules but are facing deportation, contact an immigration attorney immediately.

“Stay informed,” added Sharma-Crawford. “And if your situation is unique or deportation is pending, seek the advice of an immigration attorney or visit one of the many social service organizations who are monitoring the situation and will provide accurate, independent information.”


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