Recently, the Attorney General’s office has shut down a number of “notario” operations in South Texas who have fraudulently been giving legal assistance to immigrants. Notarios are problematic in the United States due to cultural and linguistic barriers. The term “notario publico” literally translates to “notary public,” which in the U.S. only notarizes official documents. Elsewhere in the world, notaries can denote a type of lawyer, educated and authorized to represent and advise in legal situations. Many immigrants are scammed out of their money and risk deportation because of this fraud. Notario fraud is a federal offense, and the American Bar Association has a number of resources for both victims and concerned parties who want to report suspicious activities. Click here to visit the ABA’s page and StopNotarioFraud.org. See the AILA’s Public Service Announcement Flyers by clicking here Notario Fraud AILA.
It has been noted that some of these scams seek to profit from the confusion surrounding the new Immigration S.744 bill, partly because it has created “a sense of urgency” for potential immigrants. HRI wants to point out that the S.744 bill is not yet law. HRI supports the efforts of organizations who work to stop immigration and Notario fraud since it can unnecessarily harm innocent immigrants who are attempting to begin the immigration process.