Attorneys Warn of Risks from President's Dream Program

Jul 12, 2012

Attorneys are warning today of the risks that may face those who apply for program announced last month by the president to allow some in this country illegally to remain. 

The program will defer prosecution and deportation of those brought to this country before age 16 who are not yet 30 and meet other criteria. The lawyers were announcing free legal advice through community agencies to keep people from being misled by self-styled immigration consultants. But they acknowledged a danger in coming forward, especially since a new president could simply rescind the policy. Christina Ortecho said she and other attorneys will not necessarily advise people to apply.

"I think what we have to say is this is the potential for a risk and this is the potential for a benefit," Ortecho said. "And once that youth is informed of that, once that dreamer is informed of that, they are going to make their own decision."

Daniel Rodriguez, brought to this country at age 7, said he's already made his decision.

"Every day I take a risk," Rodriguez said. "I take a risk going to school. I take a risk hanging out with my friends. I take a risk in everything that I do because anything that I do can eventually lead to me being deported. So this is definitely not a new or greater risk for me."

And attorney Jose Penalosa said he doubts that Mitt Romney would rescind the program if elected, saying the idea of helping those brought to this country as children is too popular.