Cracking Down on Immigration Services Fraud
March 31st, 2010
Sen. Eric Schneiderman and Assemblyman Adriano Espaillat announced legislation today that would require private immigration service providers to be licensed and create a database of providers so that customers can find licensed providers. The legislation would also establish harsher penalties for service providers that violate the law.
According to a release from Schneiderman’s office the bill is necessary because of widespread fraud among service providers.
“Across New York, fraudulent service providers are making millions of dollars by ripping off immigrant communities for what they think are rushed or necessary applications for life-altering legal documents: green cards, entrance visas for family members, or the passports to leave and enter the country,” read the release. “In reality, many of these so-called service providers leave immigrant communities with nothing at all, while helping themselves to large fees.
“Many of these providers falsely claim that they are attorneys or have close connections with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, oftentimes using titles such as notary-public or “notario” to deceive people into believing that they are legitimate,” continues the release. “Victims of these scams not only stand to lose large sums of money, but also are likely to suffer harm to their immigration status.”
The legislation has the support of a number of immigrant rights organizations. “As an organization that sees firsthand the immigration consequences wrought by the shoddy work of unscrupulous immigration service providers, the Schneiderman/Espaillat bill will go a long way to protect the most vulnerable immigrants among us,” said Angela Fernandez, Executive Director of Northern Manhattan Coalition For Immigrants’ Rights.By David King on March 31, 2010, 2:06 pm
In category: Albany, Eye on Albany, Immigrants | 1 Comment »