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Reactions to Obama’s Two-Year Reprieve Announcement

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By: Lusine Lisyanova

President Obama’s recent announcement of a two-year reprieve for certain undocumented youths living in the United States has given rise to a number of opposing opinions. Many immigrant parents are preparing to file paperwork so that their children can receive deferred action for two years.

Yet, many others are skeptical. Several days ago, 250 undocumented immigrants, 100 of which would qualify for this deferred action, gathered outside the Capitol to protest this policy. These protesters asked that instead of implementing a short-term relief policy, Obama should instead pass the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. According to Marisol Conde Hernandez of the New Jersey DREAM Act Coalition, “The only thing that can fix this is national legislation – not temporary stop gap measures. It’s really symbolic, and we still don’t know how it’s going to be implemented.”

Still others worry that young people who will apply for this relief will fall victim to fraud schemes. There is worry that some attorneys, or people claiming to be attorneys, will begin to charge fees for legal advice on this matter. There is a good chance that many young people applying for this relief will get bad legal advice and will be charged excessive sums for this advice. In reality, the current guidelines are vague, and no legislation has been passed yet. Thereby, the legal advice to give right now would be that we just “don’t know,” though many people giving counsel will say otherwise in order to make a profit off of the unsuspecting youths.

It is thus important to remember that no legislation has been passed establishing specific guidelines and details for this deferred action. Consequently, immigrants must proceed with great caution when seeking legal advice.

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