Seeking immigration or legal advice sometimes comes with the risk that the person you are talking to is committing fraud.
The most public cases of these frauds are known as “Notario Fraud” or “Immigration Consultants Fraud.” Notarios or immigration consultants use false advertising and fraudulent contracts. They hold themselves as qualified to help immigrants to obtain lawful status or perform other legal functions. (You can read more about Fight Notario Fraud at the ABA).
Now, federal agents were indicted in an immigration fraud scheme led by a L.A. attorney. The indictment alleges two conspiracies against the US involving bribery and fraud, seven counts of bribery, as well as making false statements and misuse of government seals.
The U.S. Attorney stated in a statement,
The conspiracy was allegedly orchestrated by a Los Angeles attorney who paid bribes as high as $10,000 to officials with several agencies in the Department of Homeland Security to help secure immigration benefits for aliens he was representing.
The indictment claims alleged that Kwan Man “John” Lee bribed public officials to get immigration benefits for clients who paid him, at times, more than $50,000. Lee was charged in a previous criminal complaint and is not a defendant in the indictment.
via Courthouse News Service.
I came across this interesting settlement between the U.S. Government and nearly a dozen Latino immigrants. The lawsuit alleged that immigration agents committed widespread 4th Amendment violations when conducting home raids of immigrants.
One plaintiff alleged that ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents pounded on doors before being allowed entry, swept through the homes, and terrorized the children. The immigrants were U.S. citizens. Another plaintiff alleged that when the home raids occurred she was 12-years old and that after busting in the ICE agents falsely told her “someone was dying upstairs.”
The District court approved of the stipulation and ordered the dismissal of the lawsuit.
Pursuant to the stipulation, the government will pay a $1 million settlement. The settlement also provides that pending immigration proceedings will be terminated or delayed against eight (8) of the plaintiffs arrested during the raids.
Further, ICE will adopt policy changes for agents conducting warrantless home operations. ICE agents must:
- “seek consent to enter or search a private residence in a language understood by the resident whenever feasible;
- they must have Spanish-speaking officers available to seek such consent when the target is from a Spanish-speaking country;
- they must seek consent to to enter the outside areas of homes when there is a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as a backyard; and
- they must not conduct protective sweeps through the homes without an articulable suspicion of danger.”
(bullet points added).
via Courthouse News Service.