In the United States, the legal duties of the notary public are restricted to such tasks as witnessing signatures and certifying the validity of documents. But in Latin American countries, notarios publico receive extensive legal training and provide a range of legal services.
The problem is that many immigrants to the US fail to realize that notarios don't have the same standing her that they do in other countries. Andmany notarios, whose signs are common in the business districts of Hispanic neighborhoods, do nothing to dissuade their customers, or they simply overstep their bounds in efforts to be helpful.
But the result is the same: significant damage to an immigrant's efforts to secure a legal status that will permit him or her to remain in the US.
Immigration fraud is not confined to Hispanic Communities. "In the Hispanic community it is a notario. In the Arab-American community, signs just say 'immigration expert' or 'immigration," says Abed A. Ayoub, a legal advisor to the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee in Washington D.C.
Our office has handle numerous cases where an immigrant has run afoul of USCIS because their notario failed to properly file the correct document or mishandled the application.
Tomorrow, we will be filing a Motion to Reopen an in absentia Final Order of Removal in a case in Seattle, Washington where the alien used a Russian Language Immigration Consultant who is now in prison for fraud.
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