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USCIS plans to crack down on fake immigration attorneys

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is planning to roll out a new initiative this summer as the agency intends to crack down on individuals that act as fake immigration attorneys. USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas spoke about the initiative on Wednesday at the National Association of Attorney General conference in the nation's capital city.

The agency says that many individuals offer services with lofty promises and bad immigration advice that can adversely affect the unsuspecting client. Experts say that fake immigration attorneys, also known as "notarios" are causing many undocumented immigrants problems, including having to face a removal hearing in an Immigration Court and deportation.

On Wednesday, USCIS Director Mayorkas asked the attorneys general to help the agency in targeting fake immigration attorneys. The notarios reportedly charge high fees for fraudulent advice on such issues as seeking legal residency status, citizenship or other immigration related issues.

USCIS plans to crack down on the fake attorneys and also start a public awareness program to educate people on how to spot a fake immigration attorney. The notarios reportedly fraudulently charge high fees for services that are never performed, leaving non citizens in the lurch. Jorge-Mario Cabrera of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles says that the shoddy work of notarios is a serious problem, "because each year countless victims languish without remedy or are deported and never heard from again."

USCIS spokeswoman Mariana Gitomer says the initiative is expected to launch this summer. She says USCIS will provide more details about the campaign as the launch date approaches.

Source: The Orange County Register, "Feds to target fake immigration attorneys," Cindy Carcamo 10 Mar 2011

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