The number of undocumented immigrants in the country has dropped significantly after rising steadily for the past decade, according to data released recently by the U.S. Census Bureau. The number of illegal immigrants dropped to an estimated 11.1 million last year, after peaking at 12 million in 2007. Experts say the decline is due both to a weakened U.S. economy, and stronger enforcement. Statistics showed that in 2012, Asian immigrants outnumbered those from Hispanic countries for the first time since 1910.
Despite the drop in the undocumented immigrant population, the threat of immigration service scams has remained, especially following the enactment of the "Deferred Action" policy last summer that provided individuals brought to the U.S. as children a temporary reprieve from deportation. Immigration officials and states’ Attorneys General have been alerting immigrants to the dangers of seeking advice from individuals who advertise themselves as a "Notario Publico" as this term signifies a licensed attorney in Hispanic countries.
New York has taken the additional precaution of canvassing neighborhoods with large immigrant populations to bring sanctions against those improperly advertising immigration services. Although much of the attention regarding immigration service fraud has focused on the misuse of the term “Notario Publico,” the New York rule applies to any foreign language advertising and orders translations of a specific disclaimer regarding services into several languages, including Chinese, Korean and Haitian Creole.