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Gutierrez, Durbin warn DREAM youth: Don't pay for immigration benefit

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WASHINGTON--Rep. Luis Gutierrez and Sen. Dick Durbin--both Illinois Democrats--on Wednesday taped a video warning DREAMers-- not to fall prey to expensive cons as Aug. 15 looms--the day youths in the U.S. illegally can apply to stay in the U.S. legally.

The two--leaders in the drive to help youths in the U.S. illegally through no fault of their own--launched by Durbin--recorded the video in the Senate TV studio this afternoon.

Gutierrez, Durbin and Mayor Rahm Emanuel will be at an Aug. 15 workshop at Navy Pier in Chicago to provide assistance to people applying for work permits and deferrals of government action against them.

Earlier Wednesday, Gutierrez from the House floor, warned that youth may be preyed upon by hustlers claiming to provide a service that is free.

Said Gutierrez, according to prepared text: "But first - a warning. Any progress on immigration is soon followed by some unscrupulous attempts to make money off of the backs of deserving immigrants. So I say to my friends today - be careful.

"Some immigration attorneys, some neighborhood "notarios", or others may try to take advantage of you. But there is no reason that applying for relief through President Obama's use of prosecutorial discretion should be expensive or cumbersome. If someone says the only way for a DREAMer to apply is to write a big check, my advice to DREAMers is they should run the other direction. They're being lied to."

"But DREAMers should run toward help, because help is on the way.

"In Chicago yesterday, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and I announced a workshop that will be held on August 15 - the very first day young people can apply for work permits and deferred action.

"The event will be at Navy Pier in Chicago and Mayor Emanuel, myself, and Senator Durbin, who has played such a leadership role on the DREAM Act for years, will be there. We will have all of the resources anyone needs to apply," he said.

Background from Gutierrez:

On June 15, President Obama and Secretary of Homeland Security Napolitano announced that they would spare certain immigrants from deportation and offer them deferred action, a two-year temporary reprieve, if they meet certain criteria. The criteria include having already lived in the U.S. for five years, being under age 16 when they arrived, being under age 31 currently, having a clean criminal record, and a high school diploma or equivalent, among other criteria.

The DREAM Act passed the House of Representatives in November 2010 by a vote of 216-198 but was blocked by a Republican-led filibuster in the Senate. It had previously passed the U.S. Senate as part of bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform in 2006. The DREAM Act was introduced in both the House and Senate previously during the current Congress.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on August 1, 2012 3:23 PM.

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