Immigration rights activists are urging “dreamers” who recently received three-year work permit not to disregard immigration agency demands to return them.
At a news conference Friday in Little Havana, the activists also urged undocumented Venezuelan immigrants to be wary of offers to help them get temporary protected status and for immigrants from all countries to ignore offers of help to file applications for an immigration waiver that is still not available.
The activists, who gathered at the Pupusa Factory Salvadoran restaurant at 1947 West Flagler St., said unscrupulous people had contacted undocumented immigrants seeking to illegally collect money from them to cover the costs of applications for nonexistent waivers and temporary protected status.
“A woman came to my office this week saying that someone had charged her $3,000 for application for the waiver that still is not being issued,” said Francisco Portillo, president of the Francisco Morazán Honduran Organization.
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The main purpose of the news conference, though, was to warn “dreamers” not to keep three-year work permits that were issued in error by the administration after a federal judge in Brownsville, Texas ruled against President Barack Obama’s November executive actions to shield from deportation about five million people brought to the country by their undocumented parents when they were children and undocumented parents of U.S. citizen and resident children.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently ordered between 2,100 and 2,500 so-called dreamers who received three-year work permits after Feb. 16 to return them no later than next Thursday.
“All those who received work permits for three years given out after February 16 must return these permits,” said Diana Albite, an attorney working with the immigrant rights activists.
Albite said USCIS could act adversely against those who fail to return the erroneous work permits.
As to the waiver applications, Albite and Portillo said some unscrupulous people posing as lawyers have asked immigrants for money to process applications for a so-called waiver of inadmissibility based on unlawful presence in order to qualify for a visa.
At this point, Albite and Portillo said, these waivers are not yet available because USCIS is only seeking comments on a proposed rule to extend the benefit.
Meanwhile, Carmen Giménez of USA Refugees and Immigrants, said though temporary protected status for Venezuelan exiles is not available, some people are telling Venezuelans they should file applications for the benefit.
“Please, be careful, because this process has not yet begun,” she said, though she added that she was convinced that eventually the benefit will allow thousands of Venezuelan exiles to obtain temporary protected status that will shield them from deportation.
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