There is a flash of good news today for advocates of comprehensive immigration reform. According to multiple news outlets, several high powered individuals in New York state have begun to put together a program aimed at protecting the rights of undocumented immigrants currently residing there. The Washington Times reported that the state has launched a new task force aimed at keeping predatory parties from taking advantage of immigrants in the area. Formed jointly by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, the task force is set to take effect nearly immediately and should have an immensely positive impact on undocumented immigrants in New York.
Effectively, the task force has been established with the purpose of combating private parties and entities that routinely prey on individuals within the immigrant community. According to the New York Daily News, there are an increasing number of fraudulent organizations in the area that target these individuals for financial gain.
“There are an increasing number of fraudulent immigration services organizations.”
Essentially, these organizations contact undocumented immigrants who are attempting to gain citizenship through the proper, established channels. The fraudulent organizations then offer false promises of expedited timeframes for citizenship applications, which come at a cost and never materialize. Though rates vary, multiple outlets have indicated that undocumented immigrants are regularly scammed out of amounts varying between several hundred and several thousand dollars.
The task force
The group being put together will harness several individuals, state agencies and parties among the most powerful in New York State. According to Breitbart, the groups leading the task force will be the mayors Office of Immigrant Affairs, the Office of the Attorney General and the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs. While the task force will undoubtedly recruit other individuals and private contractors to aid in their efforts, these three parties are slated to undertake the vast majority of the work as the effort begins. In speaking with Breitbart, Schneiderman offered commentary on how this group’s efforts will correlate well with President Barack Obama’s recent efforts at comprehensive immigration reform.
“As the president’s executive action goes into effect, New York is taking the lead to root out fraud against those looking for a better life. Through this strategic partnership, we will hold accountable those who take advantage of vulnerable immigrants and help make the goals of the president’s actions a reality for thousands of New Yorkers,” said Schneiderman.
Impact and strategy
While the true impact of the task force remains to be seen, it’s an extremely promising sign in an area where immigration services fraud runs rampant. Multiple news outlets have indicated that one of the greatest difficulties in prosecuting these fraudulent parties is that they move around frequently to avoid detection, often taking the money of undocumented immigrants with them. This new group intends to make faster, more expedient prosecution and action against these agencies a priority.