On Thursday, March 12, 2009, United States Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Edward Kennedy (D-MA) introduced the “Immigration Fraud Prevention Act of 2009.” This Act would make it a Federal crime to defraud individuals – citizens and non-citizens alike…in connection with any matter arising under the Immigration Laws. Accordingly, it would make it a felony to falsely misrepresent that one is an attorney or accredited representative in any immigration matter.
As a result of complaints from law enforcement officials regarding the growing amount of fraudulent immigration specialists operating throughout the country, this bill was introduced. Charles H. Kick, President of AILA, stated that the bill is a wonderful first step towards addressing this pervasive problem. Additionally, Larry Drumm, Chair of AILA’s Consumer Protection and Authorized Practice of Law Action Committee chimed in by stating that “immigration law is stunning complex and filing the wrong documents, missing a deadline, or failing to fully disclose all of the facts in a case can mean the difference between legal status, deportation, and in the case of some asylum seekers, even death.”
This is a very serious issue and the need for a strong federal law and a commitment to root out this problem are what is needed.