Caballero to Protect Immigrants from Fraud
SACRAMENTO – Today Assemblymember Anna Caballero (D–Salinas) announced the passage of AB 638 through the Assembly Judiciary Committee. AB 638 is intended to combat immigration fraud, stop the unauthorized practice of law, regulate immigration service providers, and adds consumer protections for those that need assistance in immigration matters.
AB 638 would prohibit any person from acting as an “immigration consultant” unless the person is an attorney or an “accredited representative” authorized by federal law.
“Immigration matters are extremely complex and any petition filed on behalf of an immigrant child, adolescent, or adult has long term consequences on the individual and family,” said Assemblymember Caballero. “Sadly, over the years we have seen individuals seeking immigration relief apprehended or placed in deportation proceedings because the immigration consultants did not have a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the intricacies of immigration law,” she added.
“This bill would require that all persons engaged in providing advice, counsel, and direct representation have the training and accountability to ensure that rural immigrants receive high quality immigration legal assistance and are not put at risk of removal from the United States and being separated from their families,” said Amagda Perez, Executive Director of the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation. The bill is sponsored by the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), and the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation (CRLAF).
Assemblymember Anna Caballero is the Chair of the Agriculture committee, of the California State Assembly. She represents the 30th District, composed of the Salinas Valley, parts of Monterey and San Benito counties, South Santa Clara County, and the city of Watsonville.