Illegal immigrants in Georgia who paid hundreds of dollars to take classes and receive diplomas so they could apply for President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program were reportedly scammed.
According to a report from WSB-TV in Georgia, illegal immigrants, many of whom are adults, realized their diplomas were invalid when their DACA applications were rejected.
“There are a lot of us,” one interviewee told the station.
Reyna Morales told the station that New Life Technical Academy was “giving out fake diplomas” and “stealing people’s money.” She “said her husband paid hundreds of dollars and took weekly classes” because “her husband needed a high school diploma to fulfill a requirement to apply” for DACA and stay in the country.
Illegal immigrants can apply for DACA, according to the USCIS, if they:
- Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
- Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
- Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
- Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
- Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012;
- Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
- Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor,or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
Once an illegal immigrant receives deferred action, it is unlikely that the federal government will scrutinize their education status when they apply for renewal. As Breitbart News reported, though new DACA applicants have to verify their “education status,” the new DACA renewal form only “requires only new applicants to provide their ‘education information.'”
That means that “those applying for renewal do not have to reveal whether, for instance, they are still enrolled in high school or a GED program or have completed high school or obtained a GED certificate,” which means that “someone who received DACA and then dropped out of high school could submit a renewal application without mentioning that they are no longer enrolled in school.”