Beware of Fraud!
As the good news of President Obama’s executive action circulates through immigrant communities, something sinister is also growing-notario fraud. “Notarios” are often people who hold themselves out to be immigration specialists or even immigration attorneys but lack the credentials and certifications. They target immigrant communities, promising them cheaper, faster and better service and results. Sadly, this is almost never the case. Notarios often take unsuspecting immigrants’ money only to file (or promise to file) nonexistent applications and petitions. They often do more damage than good.
Now that the President’s Executive Action is going to be available in the coming months, you can bet that unscrupulous notarios are going to start taking money from people and “apply” for the executive action relief now. This will all be done under false pretenses- the executive action applications are not available yet, so there is nothing as of yet to apply for. You can follow the most up-to-date information by checking USCIS.gov for updates. (USCIS is the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services who will be the one who provides the new applications once available)
It may be more expensive, but I highly recommend that any person who thinks they may be eligible for the new relief under the executive action meet with a qualified and knowledgable immigration attorney. If you are not sure if someone is a licensed attorney, you can ask to see their credentials or look them up with your state’s bar association or even the American Immigration Lawyer’s Association (“AILA”). This is your life, and you should do everything you can to make sure you receive the best possible service from a knowledgable attorney. Remember, if what someone is saying to you seems to good to be true, then it probably is. Be smart, take precautions, and stay away from Notario fraud.