As the UnionLeader reported in mid-February, immigrants are falling prey to a wide range of scams.
Alfred Rubega, Assistant U. S. Attorney for New Hampshire, points out that “There are people out there that are victimizing members of this community because they think they won’t be a good witness. I think they are going to find out pretty quickly in New Hampshire this is not at all a good idea.”
One of the reasons for this is the Unlawful Practice of Immigration Law Initiative, a program intended to help catch con artists. This initiative is a joint effort of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Justice (DoJ), and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Simon Abi Nader, field service director for the Bedford branch of the USCIS, points out that another popular scam involves a “Notario Publico”. Whereas in a lot of Latin-American countries this term refers to powerful attorneys with special legal credentials (similar to those of a “Notar” in Germany, we may add), in the United States a “notary public” is not authorized to provide legal advice (unless he or she happens to be an attorney).
Given the typical lack of awareness among immigrants of the potential misconception due to the virtual homonyms, Connie Stratton of the Attorney General’s Office suspects that the lack of complaints about unauthorized practice of immigration law in New Hampshire is not indicative of a lack of such scams, but rather owed to the reluctance of people to come forward, be it because they are in this country illegally or that they merely don’t want to publicly admit that they have been taken advantage of.
In our experience, you are best off to use the services of an experienced immigration lawyer or a reputable community group, and to rely on the translation and interpreting services of a well-known language services company such as ours, the Immigration Translation Center, a division of eWorld Translations.
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