Be Aware of Scams by Notarios
President Obama’s recent executive order announcing a new Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents immigration relief (commonly referred to as DAPA or DAP) has brought about a lot of excitement for those undocumented people living here in the U.S. Unfortunately, it has also brought about increased criminal activity and scams by those trying to take advantage of those undocumented people trying to protect themselves or loved ones from possible deportation.
NOTARIOS ARE NOT LICENSED LAWYERS
Notarios are not licensed to practice law or provide legal services in the United States. Notarios have no legal training and cannot lawfully represent people before Immigration Courts or in Immigration Proceedings. Notarios unlawfully offer legal services at a discount but often cause a great deal of damage to an immigrant’s case. We have even seen immigrants get deported, because of mistakes made by a notario.
In the United States, only a licensed lawyer cannot provide legal services. Only a licensed lawyer can lawfully complete and file immigration applications with the Department of Homeland Security or the Immigration Courts. THE LAWYERS AT GRIFFITH LAW GROUP STRONGLY URGE IMMIGANTS TO AVOID THE USE OF UNLICENSED NOTARIOS IN SEEKING IMMIGRATION RELIEF.
SCAMS BY UNLICENSED NOTARIOS
You must be extremely careful in seeking help with your immigration case. First, you must realize that not every immigrant is going to qualify for relief. Just because you are the parent of a U.S. citizen child, you are not automatically going to be granted DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents). There are other requirements that the government will consider before an immigrant is granted relief.
Second, the government is not yet accepting applications, so do NOT trust anyone who says they can file for your DAPA relief immediately. You can begin to collect your documents for the application, but there is no application to file yet. Applications are not expected to be available for a few months yet.
Third, do your research before you pay anyone to file papers on your behalf. As explained above, only an attorney can file papers on your behalf. Immigration Consultants, Notaries or Notarios are not attorneys. In many Hispanic countries, the notario is a professional that has not only studied law and is licensed as an attorney, but, moreover, has earned his/ her right to enter the College of notaries through education and work.
Understand that a “notary public” in the U.S. is NOT a “notario.” In the U.S., a notary public simply verifies that a document was properly signed by a person and witnessed by the notary. A notary has no legal training in the U.S.
In the U.S., a notary does not study law or submit oppositions. A notary only needs to have U.S. citizenship and pay a modest sum of money – about $60 to register with a state government. Nothing more. U.S. notaries are NOT attorneys or “notaries.” IMMIGRATION CONSULTANTS, NOTARIOS AND NOTARIES CLAIMING TO BE ABLE TO ASSIST YOU IN FILING YOUR IMMIGRATION PAPERS ARE COMMITTING A CRIME THAT IS PUNISHABLE BY IMPRISONMENT. Do not risk deportation or jeopardize your chances of obtaining immigration relief by hiring a criminal. Do your research before you pay anyone to help you with your legal needs.
WE ARE LICENSED IMMIGRATION LAWYERS
Griffith Law Group is a licensed Indiana law firm that is owned and operated by licensed attorneys. While we utilize trained support staff, our attorneys review all client files and make all legal decisions for our clients. We are not notaries. We are licensed lawyers with training and experience in helping immigrants seeking relief under the law.
Not sure if you hired an attorney? In Indiana, all attorneys must be registered with the Indiana Roll of Attorneys. To check if your attorney is registered and licensed to practice in the State of Indiana go to: https://courtapps.in.gov/rollofattorneys and enter your attorney’s name. The American Immigration Lawyers Association also offers a listing of it’s registered immigration attorneys at www.ailalawyer.com.
HAVE YOU BEEN A VICTIM OF NOTARIO FRAUD?
Do you think you have been a victim of a notario scam or fraud? You can report this activity to the government at http://www.stopnotariofraud.org/get-help.php.
Remember filing the wrong paper or not properly disclosing information can lead to deportation. You may have lost money by hiring an immigration consultant, notary or notario, but even worse, you may have ruined any chances of gaining lawful status here in the U.S. Before you pay someone to file your case, make sure you are seeking the assistance of a licensed attorney.
If you have any question about a case of immigration call the law firm of Griffith Law Group at (317) 236-0486 for a free consultation with a lawyer.