The 4 Worst Immigration Scams

We hear them all too often.

Here are The 4 Worst Immigration Scams:

Fake Lawyer.  So many folks have no idea that the person they have hired is not a real attorney. These “notarios,” as they are commonly called, regularly commit crimes by practicing law without a license. Worse for their “clients,” they have no concern about compliance with the real law.  While a few notarios get arrested, many vanish with the “fees” they collected in their fraudulent schemes.

Fake Marriage. Out of desperation, some immigrants enter into marriages – 100% deceitful business arrangements with US citizens – to attempt to acquire green cards.   Immigration uncovers many of these shams and denies green cards.  The penalty: typically a lifetime ban from receiving almost any immigration benefit.  It’s also a crime.  The other fallout emerges as perfectly valid marriages are scrutinized by Immigration, to ensure that couples wed out of love.

Fake Laws. Immigrants often are duped into believing that they qualify for programs such as a “new amnesty,” when no such law exists.  Too often, people invent laws out of thin air to steal money. The tragic end result: immigrants get robbed, cases get denied, and sometimes people get deported.

Fake Asylum. This scheme was more common in the days when filing an application for political asylum occurred merely to gain a work permit.  Today the rules have changed such that an asylum application does not easily confer employment authorization.  However, there are still immigrants duped into paying unscrupulous characters who charges them money to file for asylum in a desperate bid to stay in America, even when no real fear based on persecution exists.

How do you avoid all of the above? 

Call an actual immigration lawyer.  

Get references by thoroughly vetting attorneys online. 

Look for highly qualified counsel.

It may be the smartest move you ever make. 

Remember: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true.

Written by: Harlan York

Immigration Attorney Harlan York is Former Chair, Immigration Section, NJ State Bar Association and Former Co-Chair, NY State Bar Association CFLS Immigration Committee. Mr. York appeared on National Television on CBS This Morning with Charlie Rose and Primer Impacto on Univision, as well as Telemundo, NBC, and PBS. He was honored as First Ever Immigration Lawyer of The Year in NJ by Best Lawyers.

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