USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas told a group of attorneys general in Washington this week that the federal government wants to work with them to protect vulnerable immigrants from falling prey to fake immigration lawyers. Apparently, the federal government is also concerned about this and will help prosecute the offenders. This is encouraging news.
Atlanta will serve as one test site (out of six other cities including Baltimore, Detroit, Fresno, Los Angeles, New York and San Antonio) for a federal program to warn people about fake immigration lawyers who charge high fees and give fraudulent advice regarding how to obtain citizenship, green cards and immigration benefits.
Those of us who practice immigration law legitimately all have had clients come to us stating that a fake immigration lawyer gave them the wrong advice which caused their cases to be denied by USCIS and put them in deportation proceedings. Most commonly Hispanic people from Latin America are falling prey to notarios - that are not attorneys in the U.S. only notary public (which everyone can basically be), paying them a lot of money and relying on incorrect advice. In Latin America notarios are very respected attorneys and this population that many time is uneducated tends to fall prey to these scoundrels. At least the federal government is starting to do something about it.