New York, N.Y. – Days after President Barack Obama in June said his administration would grant relief to certain young, undocumented immigrants, a Southern California business posted flyers and mailed postcards laying out a very Los Angeles option.
Pay $6,000 and your name could be one of just a few on a priority list that federal officials evaluating applications would then approve.
There were just a few problems: The government's deferred action directive doesn’t include the administrative equivalent of a velvet rope or a VIP room. The federal agency that will ultimately decide who gets to claim a two-year, renewable deportation reprieve and work permit hasn’t released an application form and won’t do so until Aug. 15. And, until late Friday, it wasn’t even clear exactly who would be eligible to apply.
But across the country, tax preparation services, lawyers, insurance agents, notaries, interpreters and business operators of unknown professional origin have began advertising deferred action specials, lists and programs. Some are outright scams, community activists and government officials said.