February 6, 2015
By Neal Tepel
Albany, NY – Those that defraud New Yorkers seeking immigration-related assistance will now be subject to felony and/or misdemeanor charges. Previously, there was no law specifically protecting newcomers from fraud, scams and exploitation. With the implementation of this New York State legislation, immigrants will have protections from those providing assistance.
“New York State is taking an important step to protect those who come here in search of a brighter future,” Governor Cuomo said. “These new laws will protect individuals and families from immigration assistance fraud, and allow the State to aggressively crack down on those who would rob others of the opportunity to pursue the American dream.”
Each year, New Yorkers are victimized by con artists posing as immigration attorneys. Phony immigration representatives charge fees for services that are never provided. Immigration scams include: false promises of permanent U.S. residency and citizenship; preparation of applications for immigration benefits by unqualified individuals; sale of immigration forms that are available for free; and unwarranted threats of deportation. Immigration assistance fraud is an under-reported crime throughout the United States and New York State.