Finding new approaches to protect immigrant rights
As an attorney with nearly 30 years of experience in immigration issues, I am very concerned with the unauthorized practice of law by certain ruthless individuals. There have been many situations where individuals seeking competent legal advice have unknowingly hired unscrupulous document preparers. These preparers have limited knowledge of immigration law and often give advice that can and does adversely affect individuals and their families. For instance, an immigration “consultant” from a nearby state convinced a number of families that they were eligible for permanent residence by filing asylum requests. These asylum requests were without factual or legal merit and were subsequently deemed frivolous by the U.S. government, resulting in these families being banned from future legal immigration to the United States. Additionally, employers and other individuals have been encouraged to apply for labor certifications without understanding the consequences of signing government documentation under penalty of perjury.
Damon Brown, a Boise State University graduate student, is currently researching the best way to prevent these individuals and others like them from defrauding vulnerable newcomers in our society. Unsuspecting aliens who fall prey to these unscrupulous individuals can lose thousands of dollars, with little or no prospect of attaining the goal of legal immigration to the United States. Approaches in other states have involved criminal statutes, state bar investigators, consumer protection and the like. Upon completion of Damon’s research, we plan to propose the best possible approach to curtailing the activities of these individuals in Idaho, thus protecting the freedom and rights of all who come here.
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