Ohio AG warns consumers of notario scams

By Bryan Cohen | Jul 6, 2012


COLUMBUS, Ohio (Legal Newsline) -- Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and the Latino Affairs Commission warned consumers of so-called notario scams on Tuesday after the announcement of a new immigration policy.

DeWine said anyone interested in pursuing participation in the federal government's deferred action process should not be deceived into paying for expensive help for the application. Fees have not yet been determined for the process and the federal government has requested that the applications not be submitted until a process is created.

"The announcement of this deferred action process is the latest opportunity for 'notarios,' or so-called immigration experts, to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers by charging high fees to submit these requests," DeWine said.

On June 15, Janet Napolitano, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, issued the deferred action process for young people memorandum. The memo stated that certain young people brought to the United States as young children that meet several criteria will be considered for relief from being removed from the country or being entered into proceedings for removal. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services was given 60 days to come up with a process to accept the requests. Napolitano urged individuals who are eligible not to submit any requests until the process has been formalized.

"Until the process to accept requests is in place, do not believe anyone who claims to be able to submit a request for you before then," DeWine said. "And after the process is in place, we urge potential applicants to seek legal advice from a lawyer. Notarios are not lawyers and cannot give legal advice or talk to the government for you."

DeWine suggested that consumers avoid notario scams by getting immigration advice only from U.S. government websites with a .gov website ending, never letting anyone keep their original documents like birth certificates and never signing forms that have not been filled out, contain false information or that are difficult to understand.

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