Yesterday, I traveled to a church in Glendale, where I met with a pastor and a group of congregants who are very interested in immigration issues and in welcoming new immigrants to our community. I gave them a presentation on some of the highlights of President Obama's November 20, 2014, announcement regarding executive action on immigration.
I also talked with them about how important it was to be on the watch for notario fraud. In many parts of Latin America, notarios are actually individuals with legal training (much different than notary publics in the United States). Many immigrants seek their assistance in the United States, not understanding the difference in educational backgrounds between the American and Latin American counterparts. The results are often disastrous, with many individuals subsequently being deported from the United States as a result of a notario's shoddy work. Our neighbors, our friends, our churchmates - these are the people who have waited so long to come out of the shadows, and they will be the targets of unscrupulous individuals seeking to take advantage of them.
I encourage everyone to educate themselves and anyone they know about who benefits from these programs, when the applications will be available, and how to know if someone is trying to victimize you with a scam. The American Immigration Lawyers Association has put together some great materials on administrative relief and notario fraud.
You can read their materials on administrative relief here: http://www.aila.org/content/default.aspx?bc=6755|37861|47963
You can read their materials on notario fraud here: http://www.stopnotariofraud.org/
In addition, if you belong to any group (i.e. a religious congregation, a social club, etc.) in the Los Angeles area that has members who you think could benefit from learning about the administrative relief programs and the dangers of notary fraud, please don't hesitate to contact me. I will be happy to speak with them!