California Bans the Use of the Word “Notario” and Prohibits Immigration Consultants From Collecting Money for Services Related to Federal Immigration Reform that Has Not Yet Been Passed by Congress

AB 1159 aims to prevent immigration consultant ("notario") fraud

AB 1159 aims to prevent immigration consultant (“notario”) fraud

by Jennifer A. Grady, Esq.

New consumer-protection legislation was signed into law on October 5, 2013 by Governor Jerry Brown in response to reports from law enforcement that the federal debate over immigration reform was prompting scams aimed at undocumented immigrants.  The new law, Assembly Bill 1159, prohibits attorneys and immigration consultants from demanding or accepting money to assist undocumented immigrants with applying for lawful status under alleged federal immigration reform until Congress has actually passed such a law.  One such example is the pending Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act,” or Senate Immigration Bill 744, which was introduced in the Senate on April 16, 2013, but must be sent to the House of Representatives for consideration. Continue reading