The DREAM Act is long overdue.

In just a few days, immigration officials will release application forms for immigrant youth seeking defense against deportation.

When the program was announced, several news media outlets, political commentators, and immigrant advocates claimed the DREAM Act was finally becoming a reality.

They exaggerated.

It’s merely a two-year deferred prosecution program for immigrant youth.

After two years, what happens is anybody’s guess.

Simply stated, there are no guarantees deferred action for Dreamers will be renewed at the end of two years. In fact, there are no assurances the program will even last two years.

The president, if reelected, or his successor, could terminate deferred prosecution for immigrant youth at any time.

Don’t Let Immigration Fraud Destroy Your Future

What happens in two years is a future worry.

Right now, immigrant youth who want to take advantage of the prosecutorial discretion program must deal with other issues.

Like immigration fraud.

For example, the Huffington Post reported tax preparation services, lawyers, insurance agents, notarios, and interpreters have already begun advertising deferred action specials. In at least one case, a payment of $6,000 has been requested to put applicants’ names on a priority list for approval.

In addition, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued a warning about immigration scams.

Sadly, this type of unscrupulous behavior takes place every time a new immigration program goes into effect.

Con artists open up shop, offer special deals, earn quick thousands, then they vanish.

The immigrants who have been victimized lose far more than the money spent. Many are left to face deportation and removal from the United States.

No immigrant community is immune.

As an Escondido immigration lawyer, I have witnessed the devastation on immigrant families throughout California and Arizona.

By the time victims of immigration fraud consult with me, it’s often too late.

Common Immigration Fraud Scams

Over the years, I have discerned certain patterns of immigration fraud.

I believe the best way to defeat such schemes is widespread information.

By knowing these patterns in advance, immigrant youth, Dreamers, and all immigrants can avoid becoming the next victims.

In summary, the five fraud schemes I see most often are:

  • False Friends. Do not assume that a stranger who speaks your language will care for you like a brother. Many people who commit fraud will count on the immigrant’s feelings of friendship.
  • Iron Clad Promises. Do not hire anyone who promises you will win your case or gain a special pipeline to approval. Many factors, beyond the attorney’s control, affect the outcome.
  • Inside Connections. Do not hire anyone who claims to have an inside connection to the immigration authorities. You might be getting involved with an illegal immigration fraud scheme – and you could end serving time in a prison.
  • Minor Details. Do not lie or make up facts on any documents you submit to the U.S. government. An ethical lawyer will advise you about what you do not have to reveal, but he or she will also warn you to tell the truth.
  • Unqualified Advisors. When you hire someone to prepare immigration papers, be sure you are working with a competent and licensed lawyer. A single mistake can destroy your chances of someday becoming a permanent resident.

Hopefully, by sharing these tips, I hope you, your family, and your friends are better able to recognize immigration fraud.

Like the many victims I encounter, I’m ticked off at these rip-offs.

But getting mad won’t solve the problem.

Getting smarter and wiser will.

So if you found these tips useful, please share them.

The more that immigrants know what to look out for, the less they remain vulnerable to the schemes of immigration con artists.

If you would like to find out more about ploys used by con artists, click below to download your FREE copy of How To Spot Immigration Fraud Schemes – Before You Become A Victim.