Helping You Turn Your American Dream Into A Reality

Information for those inquiring with my office about DACA

| Feb 7, 2024 | Firm News

USCIS is now accepting applications for Deferred Action, Childhood Arrivals (“DACA” and formerly referred to as Deferred Action for DREAMers).  I’d like to provide some reference information to help DREAMers, in particular, those who are contacting me for help.

What to expect

To be able to properly assess your case, you must schedule a consultation, where I will interview you to learn about your immigration history and facts and circumstances.  It is dangerous to you for me to give you legal advice without a proper consult.  Answering “yes” or “no” to seemingly simple questions, when taken out of context, can be disastrous.  Also, it takes time for me to explain the legal concepts and strategy to potential clients so that they can make informed decisions about something so important in their lives.

Consult fee and questions about rates

I charge a consult fee of $150.  My advice is valuable and will likely be cost-effective for you.  If you hire me for your case within one month, I credit the consult fees toward your legal fees.  I charge flat fees for my services.  I will not provide you with my rates over the phone.  I need to be able to assess your case before I can give you a correct fee.  For example, what if you are eligible for additional and more permanent forms of relief?  From an attorney’s viewpoint, when people ask for rates over the phone, it is an indication that the person is surveying for rates and is not serious about scheduling a consult.  Because of this, it makes it even more unappealing to provide rates over the phone and put them out there without the benefit of an assessment.

Controversy in the News

Last week, there were articles that advised people to not hire attorneys.  One even said to “run away” if an attorney charges a fee to prepare your DACA case.  This makes no sense.  As an attorney, I am not there to be a “form filler.”  I am there to provide my expertise and guidance, and to oversee your case so that you are protected and get the relief you are requesting.  Although I do pro bono work (see below) and also take low bono cases, I cannot do DACA cases for free.  I have a family to support, too! Here are some very good articles about why you may need an attorney.

No No Notarios

In some of the same articles mentioned above, immigration attorneys were lumped in with notarios, who are unlicensed to practice law.  This is highly offensive.  Attorneys go through rigorous education, training, and screening processes.  I have also gone through an additional screening process as I am a Certified Specialist in immigration law.  We also have to adhere to ethical standards and practices. Notarios do not have the training, filters or accountability.

For those who cannot afford an attorney

If you cannot afford an attorney, contact a non-profit community organization in your area.  These organizations have immigration attorneys on staff.  Some organizations are also holding events.  I will be attending one of these events on August 23 in San Pablo and will on hand to provide pro bono mini-consults (or a full consult if enough attorneys are available to assist all the people who attend).

The bottom line is that if you believe that you may be eligible to apply for DACA, please consult with an immigration attorney who is in good standing with his or her state bar, or contact a non-profit community organization with immigration attorneys on staff to ask for assistance.  It is also good to arm yourself with as much information as possible.  The best place to start is the highly informative and user friendly USCIS DACA information page.

Disclaimer – DACA does not put DREAMers on the path to U.S. citizenship.  I chose this image because it shows the underlying sentiment that DREAMers love America, and that the country can benefit from DREAMers coming out of the shadows and realizing their full potential.