AG cracks down on illegal immigration services in Walla Walla and YakimaPosted: Updated:
Attorney General, Rob McKenna announces three settlements with companies accused of illegally providing immigration advice.
McKenna says Latinos across Washington state lose thousands of dollars, jobs and the chance to live legally in the U.S. because of erroneous legal advice and a frequently exploited translation hitch.
The Attorney General said, "The defendants improperly gave legal advise and used titles such as 'notario' and 'notary public' which can confuse immigrants. Worse, our investigation showed some individuals were given inaccurate advice that prevented them from obtaining immigration benefits they might have otherwise qualified for."
The state reached settlements with the following defendants:
A settlement was also made with La Vos De Skagit, of Mount vernon.
The settlements do not require the defendants to admit any wrongdoing, but failure to comply with the terms could result in additional civil penalties. They must display signs in their offices informing potential customers that they aren't attorneys and are prohibited from giving advice about obtaining visas, work permits, citizenship or any other immigration status.
The Consumer Protection Division is investigating more than two dozen other notario cases and expects to bring additional enforcement actions.
If you believe you have been a victim of an immigrant scam, file a complaint with the Washington Attorney General's Office online at http://www.atg.wa.gov or call 1-800-551-4636.