Miami Immigration Lawyer Points out Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals Program Backfired Spectacularly

Law Firm Newswire



Miami, FL (Law Firm Newswire) November 14, 2013 – The DREAM Act says one thing. The young man nearly deported once and forced to leave later, because of application backlogs, despairs for the future of other Dreamers.

“Many Floridians have heard about Juan Gomez, an undocumented immigrant and a Miami high school teen who had just graduated from high school in 2007. Immigration officials came knocking on his door and were set to deport him and his whole family back to Colombia. His classmates pulled out all the stops with social media to keep him in Miami. It worked. He stayed,” outlined Larry Rifkin, a Miami immigration lawyer and managing partner at Rifkin & Fox-Isicoff, with law offices in Miami, Florida and Orlando, Florida. However, his parents were deported, leaving Gomez and his brother without a family.

Gomez then won a full scholarship to Georgetown University and got a high paying job in New York City. He was a strong advocate for the DREAM Act, even telling others his story on Capitol Hill. Then in September 2013, his temporary work permit expired and his application for a new one was snarled up in a pile of other requests from young immigrants. Gomez, who is also supporting his family, had to leave the U.S. and find work in Brazil. There is virtually no chance he will return to the U.S.A. His dream became a nightmare.

The DREAM Act had good intentions and more than 430,000 applications have been approved under the auspices of the program. However, thousands more, like Gomez’s are backlogged with no clear timeline on approval. Those still waiting are dealing with delays of up to ten months or more, which definitely puts a crimp in plans for their future.

“It’s delays like this that point out clearly that there is a need for wide-scale immigration reform,” added Rifkin. “Unless and until Congress deals with this issue, thousands of young people will not be able to achieve their potential, and many of them will be deported or leave. The U.S. then loses some find minds. Ironic, considering we trained them and can then no longer take advantage of their contributions back to the country’s economy.”

As things stand, since Gomez was forced to return to Colombia, he faces not being able to return to the very country he called home; a country that trained him and ultimately offered him several scholarships that allowed him to graduate magna cum laude. He is barred from coming back for ten years because he overstayed his expired work permit, even though it was through no fault of his own.

“How people think this is justice and fairness is just incomprehensible,” said Rifkin. “We’re bleeding highly trained people due to the fact that the government does not seem to know what the right hand is doing while the left hand acts. If immigration reform were finally signed in, would that solve these issues? Hardly. There would still be a massive backlog of applications. For now, it appears to be a problem without a reasonable solution.”