City and State Leaders Announce Partnership to Address Notario Fraud
The exciting announcement came last week after years of hard work by grassroots organizations like La Fuente, and improved visibility for the issue in light of the President's executive action on immigration announced in November. A press release from the Mayor's office highlighted the following:
Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced the formation of a new joint task force to target those who prey on immigrants, while encouraging victims of fraud to come forward without fear.
The joint task force will focus on rooting out a variety of abuses targeting immigrants, but particularly the unauthorized practice of law, commonly known as “notario fraud,” or “immigrant service provider fraud.”
New York State’s Immigration Assistance Service Enforcement Act establishes protections for immigrants who use the services of individuals or businesses that falsely represent themselves as certified legal advisers for citizenship and other issues. The law, which went into effect on February 6, 2015, stiffens penalties and adds new penalties, both criminal and civil, for violations of the Act.
The president’s recent executive action will lead many immigrants to search for legal assistance to navigate the new rules, potentially creating an opportunity for service providers or scam artists to take advantage of immigrants. Unauthorized immigration consultants can create delays in the application process, cost applicants unnecessary fees and possibly even lead to removal proceedings.
“For organizations like La Fuente, the fight against fraudulent legal service providers who target immigrants aspiring to legal status has been daunting,” said Lucia Gomez, Executive Director, La Fuente. “The announcement that Mayor de Blasio and State Attorney General Schneiderman will launch a joint Anti-Immigration Fraud Task Force demonstrates a commitment to addressing head-on an issue that has plagued our immigrant communities for decades. This laudable effort will provide immigrant communities across the state a more robust effort to ensure predators are reported and dealt with by the proper authorities. With this announcement, New York has once again demonstrated its commitment to advancing immigrant rights and recognizing the value of its diverse population.”
On April 12th, the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs will co-host an executive action legal screening for immigrant New Yorkers who might be eligible for the DACA/DAPA programs. While implementation of these programs is temporarily on hold, providing reliable information and combating abuse is more important than ever. This legal screening event will mark an important citywide collaboration between the city’s largest legal service providers and immigration advocacy groups to create a large-scale legal clinic.
The event will be held on April 12th, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Temple Emanu-El, located at East 65th Street, Manhattan. For more information: nyc.gov/deferredaction.
Read the full release in our Press section above!Add a comment