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Opinion: Why Banning Immigration Consultants Would Backfire

Opinion: Why Banning Immigration Consultants Would Backfire

Updated 8-17-18. The National Notary Association, in partnership with a coalition of experts in the immigration industry, has been working to defeat AB 638, a bill that would prohibit nonattorney immigration forms specialists from working in California.

The bill stalled in the California State Legislature in 2017, but now can be up for a vote in the state Senate as early as Monday, August 20, 2018.

The bill would force nearly 1,000 minority- and women-owned businesses to close despite the fact that they have ethically served immigrants for decades. It also would deny immigrants the low-cost, non-legal services immigration consultants provide. Finally, it would do nothing to shut down the unethical "Notarios" who defraud immigrants. Call or write your California state senator today to ask for their "NO" vote on AB 638. 

In an AB 638 opinion piece published in The Sacramento Bee last year, attorney Arnold Rosenberg, a member of the coalition opposing the bill, explains why nonattorney specialists provide important lawful services to California’s immigrant population. 

Read The Opinion Piece Here.

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2 Comments

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John

21 Aug 2017

When the best argument is that many immigration consultants are Hispanic small business owners, the argument against AB 638 is rather weak. There are already many unscrupulous "immigration consultants" that are not bonded or background checked, that are Hispanic themselves, and regularly rip off desperate consumers with high fees and promises that don't materialize. I hear stories like this on a regular basis with people coming to me for help. I'm not an immigration consultant and don't provide assistance except to advise them that immigration law is complex, and they should seek out competent legal counsel to assess their individual situation. I haven't heard of any immigration consultant who, after taking the time to listen to an individual's situation, suggested that the proper solution would be to walk out of their office and go see an attorney. If anyone has a story like that, please share it.

Christian

21 Aug 2017

@ John, well sir I am an Immigration Consultant for several years and according to the law a consultant can't provide legal advice. I have seen different people from different races and nationalities and of course most of them do need an attorney, so why I would act as an attorney if I am not. It is very simple if people do ask to see an attorney they have a chose either to look up in the internet or call the CA bar association. At my office I have 2 notices that says WE ARE IMMIGRATION CONSULTANTS NOT ATTORNEYS.. and after they see it I repeat the same thing to them once again. One last thing most of the people who seek consultant are because attorneys either lies to them and charges big amount of money.

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