Eric Schneiderman for Attorney General

Dreamers Should be on High Alert for DACA Scams, AG Schneiderman Warns

October 4, 2017

As published by The New York Daily News, on October 3, 2017.

Undocumented immigrants brought to the country as kids should be on high alert for scams involving fraudulent services, the state’s top prosecutor warned Tuesday.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued the guidance in advance of a Thursday deadline for so-called Dreamers to renew applications to stay in the country under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program created by executive order by then-President Barack Obama.

Schneiderman said scammers could seek to take advantage of the uncertainty created by President Trump’s recent decision to rescind the program, a move the New York attorney general and a group of other AGs have challenged in court.

“Scammers will often capitalize on fear and anxiety to take advantage of immigrants and their families,” Schneiderman said. “Dreamers play by the rules, work hard, and pay taxes. For most, America is the only home they’ve ever known, and they deserve to stay here and keep contributing to our state and our nation.”

He urged those in the program to be “vigilant and protect themselves from those seeking to take advantage of this uncertainty to make a quick buck.”

DACA grantees, he said, should be leery of unsolicited legal service offers via social media, phone calls and fliers and never pay a fee for an expedited application.

They should also avoid anyone who guarantees special treatment for DACA and should be aware of phishing where scammers use websites that look like government or official institutions.

Before hiring an immigration service group or submitting paperwork, Schneiderman said people should know that the Department of Homeland Security won’t accept new DACA applications.

DACA grantees with work permits that expire between Sept. 5 and March 5, 2018 can apply for renewal by Thursday but can no longer seek advanced parole.

In addition, those with deportation orders should promptly seek legal advice from a lawyer or accredited representative, Schneiderman said.

Those who believe they have been victimized by scammers can call the Attorney General Office’s immigration raid hotline at 1-866-390-2992 or online at [email protected], he said.

Schneiderman stressed no one from his office will inquire about a person’s immigration status or share their information with other government entities.