Photo: Congressman Marc Veasey
On Monday, July 28, 2014, Congressman Marc Veasey (TX-33) unveiled H.R. 5228, the Notario Victim Relief Act to assist immigrants who have been victims of fraudulent immigration practices.
This legislation allows victims of immigration fraud to have unlimited time to refile their immigration related paperwork, permitting them to have an opportunity to reopen their cases and immigrate lawfully.
“Notario fraud” happens when an unauthorized immigration consultant, sometimes known as a “notario” or “notario público” provides legal advice or services without legal authorization. Since 2002, more than 75 businesses in Texas have been shut down for providing unauthorized legal services. There is no federal statute that specifically addresses the unauthorized practice of immigration law, though federal authorities are able to prosecute using other statutes.
“While America waits for House Republicans in Washington to bring immigration reform to the floor for a vote, we cannot forget about the invisible victims of the broken U.S. immigration process. When immigration is in the news, scam artists see an opportunity. House Republicans’ reckless delay has confused the public and allowed scam artists to prey on our immigrant communities. This is a serious national problem that causes suffering for Texas families and weighs on an already overburdened immigration system. By working with advocacy groups like the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), we have crafted legislation that would allow victims of notario fraud to reopen their cases and immigrate lawfully. This legislation is just the first step towards stopping fraudulent immigration services in our nation.”