California could abolish the immigration-consultant industry to prevent fraud

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The stories of immigration fraud across California seem endless.

A Central American woman lost her job after an immigration consultant, who charged her $4,500, failed to renew her temporary protected status that allowed her to work in the United States.

A Mexican woman’s request to remain in the United States while the consulate in Mexico reviewed her green card application was denied after an immigration notary inappropriately submitted the paperwork. She lost $3,000 in the process.

Immigrant rights advocates with the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, a Los Angeles-based organization that provides services across Southern California, say these are common occurrences.  The coalition, which offered those examples on Facebook, is trying to combat such problems with a new bill that would repeal California’s immigration-consultant law and do away with this industry as of Jan. 1, 2019.

The bill, known as the Immigration Fraud Prevention Act of 2017, comes at a time when more immigrants are seeking legal help as President Donald Trump has expanded the categories of people who are eligible for deportation. It passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on a 4-2 vote. It now heads to the Committee on Appropriations.