Immigrants preparing for reform should be cautious about fraud

Abogado IndocumentadoWhile immigration reform may not be pushing through Congress right now, many undocumented immigrants are still choosing to try and get jump on any possible changes in the future by contacting lawyers and filling out paperwork.

However, there are some predatory attorneys out there, ones who have tricked undocumented immigrants in the past and charged them obscene amounts of money for nothing. Immigration supporters are warning people to be careful around anyone who offers to help fill out paperwork for immigration legislation that has yet to actually be passed.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be ready. The same immigrant supporters who are warning about possible scams still recommend getting all required documents and such in order as soon as possible in anticipation of immigration reform.

Says Daniel Sharp, the legal director at the Central American Resource Center in Los Angeles: “If you start planning for it the day it passes, you are probably going to be too late.”

This is because the day that it passes, many will be unprepared and will flood consular offices to get their required documentation (passports, etc).

It is urged that while preparing documents themselves, undocumented immigrants stay especially careful around self-declared “notarios,” who have taken the term from Latin American countries, where it carries a lot of weight. These “notarios” are infamous for draining undocumented immigrants of their cash, and in some cases may even wind up getting them deported.

California, where many undocumented immigrants reside, is doing its part by cracking down on websites that are suspicious. A future bill may also, if signed into law, crack down hard on those who call themselves “notarios.”

More on Immigration Reform:

  • Immigration Reform 2013
  • Gang of 8
  • Earned Citizenship
  • Streamlining Immigration
  • Strengthening Border Security
  • More Accountability for Employers Hiring Undocumented Immigrants