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Obama's Deferred Action: When to Hire Counsel - An Update 7/6/2012

Posted by attorney Kevin Dixler

There is much excitement around President Obama's June 15 deferred action announcement. Some lawyers and those engaged in the questionable practice of law are advertising this fact, hoping to attract new clients.

Today, the Obama Administration cancelled a teleconference scheduled on July 9, 2012 that was meant to update lawful Immigration Advocates, Attorneys, Volunteer Organizations.

Here are several thoughts to keep in mind so that you are not a victim to deferred action advertising, should the statements be too powerful to ignore:

  1. There is nothing to file now for persons not in proceedings. More detailed information is due in August.

  2. There are those consultants who will claim that you can file now. Such action may result in the loss of hundreds, perhaps thousands of dollars. It may also result in a deportation hearing. Avoid consultants, notarios and those who claim that they can file for deferred action, now. If you cannot afford or find an attorney, look for groups that support immigrants. Avvo has provided a system to help make a decision on who to hire. You may also contact the American Immigration Lawyers Association, as well.

  3. Do not go to attorneys, consultants or notarios who advertise a price for deferred action. Until the full USCIS process is known, setting a price now is difficult, and will almost certainly lead to complaints and disappointment.

  4. Avoid those who offer to "qualify" prospective clients under the proposed plan until final details are known. Be aware that attorney-client relationships can be formed before a representation agreement is ever signed. Read Rule 1.18 of your state bar Rules of Professional Conduct for more information on the duties of attorneys to their clients.

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