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Utah Immigrant Advocates Warn Against Scams

Andrea Smardon
Attorney Mark Alvarez was part of a panel of speakers at the Mexican Consulate in Salt Lake City.

In the wake of President Obama’s announcement on immigration, lawyers and community leaders met at the Mexican Consulate in Salt Lake City Monday to let immigrants know about available resources…. and to warn them against scams.

The Migration Policy Institute estimates that 48,000 Utahns may qualify for relief from deportation under the new deferred action program. But Luis Garza, Executive Director of Comunidades Unidas, says immigrants need to be patient.

“We’d really like to encourage people to wait until we find more details from the federal government as to how the program is going to work, before they try to apply for any type of program,” Garza says.

He says it will take at least six months before some undocumented immigrants will be able to apply for deferred action status, and there is no reason for immigrants to make any payments or fill out any applications.

“There’s people that do take advantage of our community, and so they tell them that they can apply with them, when there’s really not a program that they can apply for yet,” Garza says. “So we definitely need to keep an eye for that practices that we know happen every time there is something going on with immigration.”

The Mexican Consul says they stand ready for increased demand for services. In the coming months, they will be coordinating workshops, legal advice, and payment support.

Advocates say those looking for more information about Obama's Executive Action on Immigration should visit

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