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Be Careful of “Travel Agencies” and “Notarios”

Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who take advantage of the vulnerable and often desperate position of immigrants. Unscrupulous attorneys, people posing as attorneys, “travel agencies” (in the Chinese community), “notarios” (in the Hispanic community), and other “immigration service” places claim to be able to obtain visas and other legal status for people. More often than not, the immigrants end up spending large sums of money and not obtaining the status promised. Worse, sometimes fraudulent applications are submitted and people who would otherwise be eligible for legal status lose their opportunity and end up in deportation proceedings.

With the new “Obama” policy memorandum being discussed in the news (we’ll blog about that later), I have seen advertisements from such places claiming that they can get people an “Obama visa” or something of the sorts. Alas, I suspect many people will be scammed and face grave consequences as a result. For the Chinese community, this is an article from the Epoch Times about two attorneys recently arrested for such scams:

【大纪元2011年08月24日讯】(大纪元记者田清综合编译) 美国移民官员正与联邦及各州检察官、联邦贸易委员会、律师团体及移民权益组织合作,全面打击日益猖獗的假移民律师。




在纽约,有重婚罪等刑事罪纪录的波多黎各人Wilmer Rivera Melendez,欺骗了14位圭亚那移民,每人7万5000美元。他号称他有是有二十年经验的移民律师,Rivera今年一月被判处两年监禁。

还有一起案件让官员认为有必要进行更大范围的行动。联邦贸易委员会一月在内华达州向一家名为“移民表格和刊物”(Immigration Forms and Publications)的公司提出控告。该公司建立了一个看起来像是公民及移民服务局的网站,还有自由女神雕像的图样。网站的电话销售人员收到了移民以为是送交联邦机构的数十万美元签证费和服务费。

更常见也更麻烦的问题是notarios,这是指某一类会计师的西班牙单词。虽然 notarios可以在许多拉丁美洲国家执行法律职能,他们却不能在美国当律师。此外,移民团体的税务会计师有时也提供移民服务,不过他们却没有资格这样做。

官员希望这次的活动能缓解联邦上诉法院超负荷的工作量。加州的联邦第九巡回上诉法院法官Harry Pregerson表示,法院的移民案件激增,过去8年就有37万990件。

via 大纪元 | 美加强打击冒牌移民律师.