January 11, 2017
As California immigrants brace themselves for a new presidential administration, legal aid and civil rights advocates have reported an increase in predatory immigration scams throughout the state. Families are being warned to beware of who they trust with their money and important documents.
The scammers claim to have “special government connections and promise green cards and legal services at a fraction of the price.” Unfortunately, most families cannot see that their claims are illegitimate. Nasim Khansari, Director of Citizenship at AAAJ-LA, is quoted here saying the scammers “put themselves out to be authorized and then they end up scamming people, getting thousands of dollars from them,” Khansari said. “and a lot of times, not filing anything on their [client’s] behalf or filing incorrect documents that place them in removal proceedings.”
What they end up doing is costing the client their life savings and – in extreme cases – put them in situations that may get them deported. Unfortunately many immigrants don’t know that their local legal aid can help. Ken Babbock, Public Law Center’s ED, says “it’s tough to compete with the constant advertising that some of the rip-offs are doing.”
Organizations mentioned/involved: Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles (Advancing Justice-LA), Public Law Center