A lot of young and previously undocumented aliens are jumping at the government’s new deferred action program. However, these young individuals should consult with an immigration attorney before applying for this discretionary form of relief. Immigration lawyers have experience in analyzing and determining what evidence is required by USCIS.
Further, if you have ever had any contact with law enforcement (whether in the United States or in another country), it is important to have your case screened by an experienced immigration attorney. Even if the judge, or your criminal defense attorney, said you wouldn’t have a record, or this wouldn’t effect your employment, there may still be immigration consequences. Only a competent and experience immigration lawyer can properly evaluate your case and identify any potential risks.
Finally, deferred action might not be the best course of action for everyone. You may have other, better, avenues of relief available to you.
Much has been written concerning this topic. One good article comes from a blog post entitled “Do DREAMers really need a lawyer?” written by Laura Litcher, the current president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Another good article, entitled “Why Dreamers Need Lawyers” was posted on the webiste www.dreamactivist.org.