LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A Harvard University student previously stuck in Mexico is applauding President Barack Obama’s announcement of his executive action on immigration.
Mexican-born Dario Guerrero took a year off from his studies and returned to his native country to tend to his mother’s cancer treatment.
“She passed away without her family. Without my dad. Without my brother and sister,” Guerrero told KCAL9’s Jeff Nguyen on Monday.
Guerrero explains that his father wasn’t at his mother’s side for fear that he wouldn’t be allowed back into the United States due to his undocumented immigration status.
Guerrero crossed the border in San Ysidro in October after spending months in Mexico. The 23-year-old has since been granted a humanitarian visa.
The Mexican Consulate met with the city of Los Angeles and 50 community organizations Monday to determine how to deal with the high demand for applications.
They also warned people of possible scams from places, such as notary businesses, that promise to provide legal help.
“We want to make sure the community understands that there is no application as of yet through USCIS so we don’t want them to fall victim,” said Linda Lopez of the City of L.A. Office of Immigrant Affairs.
Activists advised applicants to go to licensed immigration lawyers and be aware that the government fee for the paperwork alone is $465.
“You should not be paying thousands and thousands of dollars when the cost of that service is actually a couple of hundred or something less than $500,” said Angelica Salas of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles.
The city of Los Angeles is prepared to provide free workshops at public libraries to help people with the application process.
But critics of the executive order, such as, the Tea Party Patriots, say the action is an overreach of power and immigration policies should be handled by Congress.
“He has no authority constitutionally to do this kind of executive action,” said Karen Kenney of San Fernando Valley Patriots.
Meanwhile, Guerrero says, he’s concerned the executive order announced last Thursday could be revoked by the next administration.
Under the plan, which could assist as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants, parents of U.S. citizens or green-card holders, who have lived here since 2010, may be shielded from deportation.