Immigration

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, States File Amicus Brief Calling on Court to Allow Immigration Executive Action to Move Forward

March 12, 2015
Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

LOS ANGELES– Today, Attorney General Kamala D. Harris and the Attorneys General from 13 other states and the District of Columbia filed a friend-of-the-court brief supporting the U.S. government’s emergency request that President Barack Obama’s immigration executive actions be allowed to move forward, calling on the Court to stay the preliminary injunction entered in the Southern District of Texas blocking the new immigration program.

The brief, signed by California, Washington, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and the District of Columbia, lays out the overwhelming positive economic, public safety, and humanitarian benefits from President Obama’s immigration actions.

“President Obama has proposed common sense actions that will help fix our broken immigration system and enhance California’s economy and public safety. With over one million hard-working Californians eligible for deferred action, our State has a major stake in the successful implementation of the President’s immigration actions,” said Attorney General Harris. “I wholeheartedly join my colleagues in urging the Fifth Circuit to issue a stay so that California families can immediately begin to come out from under the shadows and enjoy the American Dream.”

President Obama’s immigration actions will allow approximately 5 million people, including 1.2 million Californians, to apply for protection from deportation and work authorization. Eligible individuals will be required to submit biometric data, pass criminal and national security background checks, pay taxes, and meet the specific requirements for the deferred action program, including having resided in the U.S. for at least five years. 

The brief calls on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to stay the injunction issued by the Southern District of Texas court, arguing that allowing the immigration program to move forward is overwhelmingly in the public interest.  Further, the brief states that the United States is likely to prevail on the merits of its appeal and by issuing a nationwide injunction, states like California are denied the benefits of deferred action.  These benefits include allowing immigrants to come out of the shadows, work, and contribute to our economy while enhancing public safety by focusing law enforcement resources on true threats to security and building trust between local law enforcement and immigrant communities.  

The brief specifically points out that when undocumented immigrants are able to work legally, “their wages increase, they seek work compatible with their skill level, and they enhance their skills to obtain higher wages, all of which benefits state economies by increasing income and growing the tax base.”  In addition, the brief outlines the substantial economic benefits to California specifically: “California’s tax revenues are estimated to grow by $904 million over the next five years, with an anticipated 1,214,000 people eligible for deferred immigration action.”

If the court does not stay the injunction across the nation, the brief argues for a narrow preliminary injunction that would only affect Texas, as it is the only state that has claimed it is directly harmed by the deferred action program.

A copy of the brief is attached to the electronic version of this release at oag.ca.gov/news.

 

AttachmentSize
PDF icon Wash AC brief.pdf385.49 KB

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Issues Statement on Federal Judge Ruling on President’s Immigration Reform Executive Actions

February 17, 2015
Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

SAN FRANCISCO  Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today issued the following statement on the Federal District Court’s decision to grant an injunction against the implementation of President Barack Obama’s immigration executive actions.

“President Obama has proposed common-sense actions to help address our broken immigration system—using the same executive authority that every president has used in the last five decades. I am disappointed by the District Court’s ruling, which will delay justice and fairness for many immigrant families.  Bringing nearly five million individuals out of the shadows will promote public safety, benefit our economy and extend the American Dream.”  

Procuradora General Kamala D. Harris Presenta Alerta Sobre Posibles Estafas Dirigidas a los Inmigrantes y sus Familias

December 4, 2014
Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov
SAN FRANCISCO – La procuradora general Kamala D. Harris presentó hoy una alerta a los consumidores californianos sobre posibles estafas dirigidas a los inmigrantes y sus familias. 

Según una nueva ley de California, Proyecto de Ley 60 (AB 60), los residentes de California serán considerados elegibles para obtener una licencia de conducir sin importar su condición inmigratoria.  Esta ley entrará en vigor el 1.° de enero de 2015.  En preparación para el AB 60, el Departamento de Vehículos Motorizados (Department of Motor Vehicles, DMV) contrató empleados adicionales, llevó a cabo capacitaciones en todo el departamento, y abrirá nuevas oficinas temporarias para realizar las citas adicionales y obtener la licencia de conducir.

Las personas que soliciten una licencia de conducir de acuerdo con el AB 60 deben presentar una prueba satisfactoria de identidad, una prueba de residencia en California y deben cumplir con los demás requisitos para obtener una licencia de conducir, entre los que se incluyen la aprobación de una prueba de conocimiento, un examen de la visión y una prueba de conducción al volante, la cual se realizará luego de haber obtenido un permiso de conducir temporario.

Cuando se aprueban cambios radicales a las leyes que afectan a los inmigrantes, a menudo surgen estafadores que se aprovechan de los consumidores vulnerables.  Esta alerta a los consumidores le brindará consejos sobre cómo evitar y denunciar fraudes a las licencias de conducir.

No le pague a nadie para que complete su solicitud de licencia de conducir: 

La procuradora le recomienda completar la solicitud de licencia de conducir solo o con la ayuda de un familiar o amigo de confianza.  El proceso es simple y el DMV brinda recursos gratuitos para guiarlo.  No debe pagarle a nadie para que lo ayude a completar la documentación de la licencia de conducir.

A partir del 1.° de enero de 2015, será ilegal aceptar dinero solamente por completar una solicitud de licencia de conducir para un tercero.  Tenga cuidado con las personas que dicen tener "un contacto" en el DMV.  Probablemente están mintiendo. Nadie puede acelerar el proceso para que usted obtenga una licencia de conducir.  

Las pruebas para la licencia de conducir están disponibles en varios idiomas o, mediante solicitud, un empleado del Departamento de Vehículos Motorizados las puede otorgar oralmente.  Si necesita un intérprete, llame al 1-800-777-0133 e indique que necesita asistencia en un idioma extranjero.  No le pague a nadie que se ofrezca a traducirle la documentación. El DMV ofrece servicios de traducción gratuitos.

El costo para completar la solicitud de obtención de licencia clase C (la mayoría de los automóviles) o clase M (motocicletas y scooters) es de $33.  Una licencia de conducir que cumple los requisitos del AB 60 está al mismo costo que otras licencias.  Solo pague esta tarifa directamente al DMV. Los pagos realizados a un tercero probablemente sean una estafa.

RECURSOS ÚTILES:

Para obtener más información sobre cómo obtener una licencia de conducir, visite http://apps.dmv.ca.gov/ab60/ (inglés) o https://apps.dmv.ca.gov/ab60/index_es.html (español). 

Para obtener una lista de pruebas de identificación aceptadas, visite https://apps.dmv.ca.gov/ab60/doc_req_matrix.pdf (inglés) o http://apps.dmv.ca.gov/ab60/docreqmatrix_span.pdf (español). 

Para obtener una solicitud para licencia de conducir de muestra, visite: https://apps.dmv.ca.gov/teenweb/permit_btn1/dl44sample.pdf.  No obstante, la solicitud (Formulario DL 44) debe completarse en el Departamento de Vehículos Motorizados. 

El Manual del conductor de California y las pruebas de licencia de conducir de muestra están disponibles en inglés, español, árabe, armenio, chino, persa, coreano, punyabi, ruso, tagalo y vietnamés.  Para obtener una copia del Manual del conductor de California y las pruebas de licencia de conducir de muestra en cualquiera de estos idiomas, visite: http://apps.dmv.ca.gov/ab60/#handbooks

Para programar una visita al Departamento de Vehículos Motorizados, visite: https://www.dmv.ca.gov/foa/clear.do?goTo=officeVisit.

QUÉ HACER SI ES VÍCTIMA DE UNA ESTAFA:

El Departamento de Justicia de California (California Department of Justice), como organismo encargado de hacer cumplir la ley sobre protección del consumidor, recopila quejas relacionadas con fraudes con el fin de detectar patrones de delitos. Al enviar una queja, contribuye a la capacidad de California de investigar y procesar a los delincuentes conocidos y evitar que los estafadores perjudiquen a otras personas. Para presentar una queja ante nuestra oficina, use uno de los siguientes formularios de queja:

Inglés: http://oag.ca.gov/contact/consumer-complaint-against-business-or-company

Español: http://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/contact/business_corpform_sp.pdf?

Chino :  http://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/contact/business_corpform_chin.pdf?

Vietnamita:  http://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/contact/business_corpform_viet.pdf?

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Issues Consumer Alert on Scams Targeting Immigrants and their Families

November 25, 2014
Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

En Español

SAN FRANCISCO – Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today issued a consumer alert to Californians about possible scams targeting immigrants and their families.  Major changes to United States immigration policy, like those contained in President Barack Obama’s Immigration Accountability Executive Actions announced on November 20, 2014, often lead to con artists emerging to prey on vulnerable consumers seeking help with immigration services.

Using unauthorized immigration consultants can delay your application, cost you unnecessary fees and possibly lead to removal proceedings.  This consumer alert will give you tips on how to avoid and report immigration services scams.   

WHERE TO GO FOR ADVICE:

For general information on President Obama’s announcement go to: http://www.uscis.gov/immigrationaction (English), http://www.uscis.gov/es/accionmigratoria (Español).

For individual advice you should contact a lawyer who specializes in immigration law.  If you need help finding a lawyer you can contact the State Bar of California at (415) 538-2250 or online at: http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Public/LawyerReferralServicesLRS.aspx.  If you cannot afford to hire an attorney you can find information on legal aid organizations near you by going to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) website: http://www.justice.gov/eoir/probono/freelglchtCA.pdf  or http://lawhelpca.org/issues/immigration.

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR:

If you see an ad or someone approaches you offering to help you with your immigration status, be very careful.  Many of these people are immigration consultants, not lawyers, and what they are legally allowed to do is very limited and may not be worth what they want to charge you.  If you decide to hire a non-attorney immigration consultant, here is some information that may help you avoid losing thousands of dollars or damaging your immigration status because of scammers who never deliver on promised services. 

The new immigration rules have not yet been implemented.  Federal immigration authorities are not accepting any requests or applications at this time. Beware of anyone who offers to help you submit an application or a request for any of these actions before they are available.  For updated information on eligibility criteria and availability of these programs, please visit http://www.uscis.gov/immigrationaction or http://www.uscis.gov/es/accionmigratoria. Be on alert if someone tells you about an immigration law that does not exist, or claims to have connections or special influence with any government office or agency, or makes reference to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) with respect to fees and forms. These statements are false.

Walk away from an immigration attorney that is unlicensed or a representative that is not accredited. If you need legal advice on immigration matters, make sure the person you rely on is authorized to give you legal advice. Do not be fooled; many dishonest consultants will claim to be lawyers or accredited representatives. To verify whether an attorney is licensed to practice law, check with the state bar association to verify the individual is a member in good standing of the bar of the highest court of any U.S. state. Lawyers from another country who are not licensed to practice in the U.S. are not authorized to provide immigration services within the U.S. To see if a person is an attorney licensed to practice law in California, enter their name here: http://members.calbar.ca.gov/fal/MemberSearch/QuickSearch.  You can also check to see if an immigration attorney was suspended or expelled from practice before the immigration court, the BIA, or the immigration service (USCIS), here: http://www.justice.gov/eoir/discipline.htm. If you are working with a non-attorney, verify whether the individual is an accredited representative of an organization recognized by the BIA by going to this site:http://www.justice.gov/eoir/ra/raroster_orgs_reps_state_city.htm#CALIFORNIA

It is against the law for immigration consultants, notaries public, and “notarios” to give you legal advice.  Only attorneys can give you legal advice.  Immigration consultants can only provide you with non-legal assistance and advice.  For example, immigration consultants can translate your answers to the questions on immigration forms or get copies of supporting documents.  They cannot suggest your answers on the forms or tell you which forms you need to file with federal immigration authorities. Be very careful before paying money to anyone who is neither an attorney nor a BIA-accredited representative of a recognized organization.

It is against the law for immigration consultants to use terms in another language that suggest that he or she is an attorney.  For example, immigration consultants cannot use the term "notario" to describe themselves in advertisements or other written materials.  In some Latin American countries, a “notario” is an attorney.  Immigrants from those countries might think that the consultant is an attorney when he or she is not. If an immigration consultant suggests that he or she is an attorney when they are not a licensed attorney, you can submit a complaint to stop their dishonest and unlawful practices here:  http://oag.ca.gov/contact/consumer-complaint-against-business-or-company.                                                                                          

It is against the law for immigration consultants to make false or misleading statements, to give a written guarantee unless they have some basis in fact for making the guarantee, or to make statements that he or she has special influence with the federal government. 

It is against the law for immigration consultants to provide you with services if they don't have an immigration consultants bond.  An immigration consultant must give you a copy of the bond and bond number prior to giving you any services.  You may recover the money you paid to an immigration consultant from the bond if you are defrauded by them or if you do not receive the promised services.  To see if an immigration consultant has a bond, contact the California Secretary of State at (916) 653-4984 or go to http://www.sos.ca.gov/cgi-bin/bond_search.cgi.

It is against the law for an immigration consultant to charge you a fee for referring you to an immigration attorney.  Only State Bar certified lawyer referral services can refer you to an attorney for a fee.  Call the California State Bar at (415) 538-2250 for the telephone number of the State Bar certified lawyer referral service nearest you.

Do not pay for services that are likely free; USCIS’ website includes downloadable forms, a list of current filing fees, and processing time information for free. Some immigration consultants sometimes charge you a higher fee to file USCIS forms than USCIS charges, claiming they can file your documents faster. These claims are false; there are few exceptions to the normal USCIS processing times and you can download USCIS forms for free online at: http://www.uscis.gov/forms or order them by calling 1-800-870-3676. Do not pay anyone for copies of USCIS forms; you can download them for free. USCIS publishes its current filing fees online or you can call USCIS’ National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 for fee information.  Make sure to compare USCIS’ filing fees with any filing fees an immigration consultant or attorney tries to charge you before you pay for their services.

You have the right to cancel a contract for immigration consulting services within 72 hours of signing it.  Always keep a copy of the contract for your records. 

Never give an immigration consultant your original documents.  Only give copies of your important documents like birth certificates or passports.  Keep the originals in a safe place.  It is against the law for immigration consultants to keep your original documents.

Beware of telephone scams.  Do not fall victim to telephone scammers posing as federal immigration officials. These scammers typically ask for personal information, payment and will claim there is a problem with your immigration record.  If a scammer calls you, say “No, thank you” and hang up.  Federal immigration officials will not call you to ask for any form of payment over the phone. Do not give payment over the phone to anyone who claims to be a USCIS official.

Beware of dot-com websites.  Some websites offering step-by-step guidance on completing an immigration status application or petition will claim to be affiliated with federal immigration authorities.  For updated information on eligibility criteria and availability of these programs, please visit: http://www.uscis.gov/immigrationaction or http://www.uscis.gov/es/accionmigratoria.

Whether you hire an attorney or an immigration consultant, here are some tips to protect yourself:

 Always get a written contract that is translated into your language.  Do this before giving the immigration consultant or attorney any money.  Always ask for a written contract that is in English and is translated into your language.  Your contract should describe the services the immigration consultant or attorney will provide, the total cost of the services, and the full name, address, and telephone number of the immigration consultant or attorney.

Read all documents carefully.  You may want to take them home to discuss them with a friend or a family member before signing any document.  Make sure you fully understand a document before signing it.

Do not hesitate to get a second opinion.  If you are unsure whether your immigration consultant or attorney is giving trustworthy advice, do not hesitate to seek a second opinion. Call the California State Bar at (415) 538-2250 for the telephone number of the State Bar certified lawyer referral service nearest you.

Get a receipt each time you pay an immigration consultant or attorney.  The receipt should describe what the payment is for and any remaining balance.  Make sure the immigration consultant or attorney signs and dates the receipt.

Never sign any immigration forms that you do not understand.  Make sure you understand what the form says and that the information contained in it is true before signing it. Have someone you trust review the form and any accompanying translation with you for accuracy.  An immigration consultant or attorney should not file any form with the federal government on your behalf until they have clearly clarified the purpose of the form and filing in a way that you understand and comprehend.

Never sign forms that contain false information or are blank.  Most signed forms submitted to the federal government are signed under penalty of perjury.  This means that you know what is in the form and that it is true to the best of your knowledge.  You could be committing a crime if you sign a form knowing that the information in it is not true.  Always keep copies of all forms that you file for your records. 

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE THE VICTIM OF A SCAM:

 The California Department of Justice, in its role as the state’s enforcer of consumer protection, collects complaints on immigration-related services fraud (“notarios”) in order to detect patterns of wrongdoing. By submitting a complaint against an immigration consultant you are contributing to California’s ability to investigate and prosecute known offenders and stop notario fraud from harming others. To file a Complaint with our office, use one of the following complaint forms:

English: http://oag.ca.gov/contact/consumer-complaint-against-business-or-company

En Españolhttp://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/contact/business_corpform_sp.pdf?

中文http://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/contact/business_corpform_chin.pdf?

Tiếng Việthttp://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/contact/business_corpform_viet.pdf?

Procuradora General Kamala D. Harris Presenta Alerta Sobre Posibles Estafas Dirigidas a los Inmigrantes y sus Familias

November 25, 2014
Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

SAN FRANCISCO – La procuradora general Kamala D. Harris presentó hoy una alerta a los consumidores californianos sobre posibles estafas dirigidas a los inmigrantes y sus familias. Los cambios importantes en la política de inmigración de los Estados Unidos, como los que contienen las Acciones Ejecutivas por la Responsabilidad de la Inmigración (Immigration Accountability Executive Actions) del presidente Obama, anunciadas el 20 de noviembre de 2014, con frecuencia llevan a los estafadores a cazar consumidores vulnerables que buscan ayuda con los servicios de inmigración.

Utilizar asesores de inmigración no autorizados puede demorar su solicitud, generarle costos innecesarios y, posiblemente, derivar en procesos de deportación. Esta alerta al consumidor le proporcionará consejos sobre cómo evitar las estafas de servicios de inmigración y dónde puede informar dichas estafas.

DÓNDE OBTENER AYUDA:

Para obtener información general sobre el anuncio del presidente Obama, visite http://www.uscis.gov/immigrationaction (Ingles), http://www.uscis.gov/es/accionmigratoria (Español).

Para obtener asesoramiento individual, debe comunicarse con un abogado que se especialice en leyes migratorias. Si necesita ayuda para encontrar un abogado, puede comunicarse con el Colegio de Abogados Estatal de California al (415) 538-2250 o en línea a través de http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Public/LawyerReferralServicesLRS.aspx. Si no cuenta con recursos para contratar a un abogado, puede encontrar información sobre organizaciones de ayuda legal cerca de su ubicación en el sitio web de la Junta de Apelaciones de Inmigración (Board of Immigration Appeals, BIA) en http://www.justice.gov/eoir/probono/freelglchtCA.pdf o en http://lawhelpca.org/issues/immigration.

A QUÉ ESTAR ATENTO:

Si ve un anuncio o se le acerca alguien que le ofrece ayuda con su situación migratoria, tenga mucho cuidado. Muchas de estas personas son asesoras de inmigración, no abogados, y lo que pueden hacer en materia legal es muy limitado, por lo que posiblemente no valga lo que le quieren cobrar. Si decide contratar un asesor de inmigración que no sea un abogado, a continuación le presentamos alguna información que puede ayudarlo a evitar perder miles de dólares o dañar su situación migratoria por culpa de estafadores que nunca cumplen con los servicios prometidos.

Las nuevas reglas de inmigración aún no se han implementado. Las autoridades federales de inmigración no están aceptando ningún tipo de solicitud en este momento. Tenga cuidado con cualquier persona que le ofrezca ayuda para presentar una solicitud para alguna de estas acciones antes de que estén disponibles. Para obtener información actualizada sobre los criterios de elegibilidad de estos programas y su disponibilidad, visite http://www.uscis.gov/immigrationaction o http://www.uscis.gov/es/accionmigratoria. No le crea a nadie que le informe acerca de una ley de inmigración que no exista, que asegure tener conexiones o influencia especial en cualquier oficina o agencia del gobierno, o que haga referencia al Servicio de Inmigración y Naturalización (Immigration and Naturalization Service, INS) con respecto a las tarifas y los formularios. Estas declaraciones son fraudulentas.

Aléjese de cualquier abogado de inmigración que no tenga licencia o de cualquier asesor de inmigración que no esté acreditado. Si necesita asesoramiento legal sobre asuntos de inmigración, asegúrese de que la persona en la que confíe esté autorizada para ofrecer consejo legal. No se deje engañar, muchos asesores deshonestos afirmarán ser abogados o representantes acreditados. Para verificar si un asesor o abogado de inmigración tiene licencia para ejercer el derecho, consulte con el colegio de abogados estatal para verificar si la persona es un miembro activo del colegio de abogados del tribunal superior de cualquier estado de los Estados Unidos. Los abogados de otro país que no tienen licencia para ejercer en los Estados Unidos tampoco están autorizados a proporcionar servicios de inmigración dentro de los Estados Unidos. Para averiguar si una persona es un abogado licenciado para ejercer el derecho en California, ingrese su nombre aquí: http://members.calbar.ca.gov/fal/MemberSearch/QuickSearch. También puede consultar si un abogado de inmigración fue suspendido o expulsado de la práctica ante el tribunal de inmigración, la BIA o los servicios de inmigración (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, USCIS) aquí: http://www.justice.gov/eoir/discipline.htm. Si trabaja con una persona que no es abogado, verifique si dicha persona es un representante acreditado de alguna organización reconocida por la BIA.

La ley no permite que los asesores de inmigración, notarios públicos y “notarios” le proporcionen asesoramiento legal. Solo los abogados pueden hacerlo. Los asesores de inmigración solo pueden proporcionarle asistencia y asesoramiento no legales. Por ejemplo, los asesores de inmigración pueden traducirle las respuestas a las preguntas en los formularios de inmigración u obtener copias de los documentos de respaldo. No pueden sugerirle las respuestas de los formularios ni decirle qué formularios debe presentar ante las autoridades federales de inmigración. Tenga mucho cuidado antes de pagarle dinero a cualquier persona que no sea un abogado o un representante acreditado de una organización reconocida por la BIA.

La ley no permite que los asesores de inmigración utilicen términos en otro idioma que sugieran que son abogados. Por ejemplo, los asesores de inmigración no pueden utilizar el término “notario” para describirse a sí mismos en anuncios u otro material escrito. En algunos países latinoamericanos, un “notario” es un abogado. Los inmigrantes provenientes de esos países pueden pensar que el asesor es un abogado cuando en realidad no lo es. Si un asesor de inmigración sugiere que es abogado cuando en realidad no es un abogado licenciado, usted puede presentar una queja para poner fin a sus prácticas deshonestas e ilegales aquí: http://oag.ca.gov/contact/consumer-complaint-against-business-or-company.

La ley no permite que los asesores de inmigración realicen declaraciones falsas o engañosas, que proporcionen una garantía por escrito a menos que posean algún fundamento real para hacerlo, ni que realicen declaraciones acerca de contar con influencia especial en el gobierno federal.

La ley no permite que los asesores de inmigración le presten servicios si no cuentan con un contrato de asesores de inmigración. El asesor de inmigración debe proporcionarle una copia del contrato y del número de contrato antes de brindarle cualquier servicio. En el caso de que un asesor de inmigración lo estafe, o si no recibe los servicios prometidos, puede recuperar el dinero que pagó a partir del contrato. Para averiguar si el asesor de inmigración posee un contrato, comuníquese con la Secretaría del Estado de California (California Secretary of State) al (916) 653-4984 o visite http://www.sos.ca.gov/cgi-bin/bond_search.cgi

La ley no permite que un asesor de inmigración le cobre una tarifa por remitirlo a un abogado de inmigración

. Solo los servicios de remisión de abogados certificados por el colegio de abogados del estado pueden remitirlo a un abogado a cambio de una tarifa. Llame al Colegio de Abogados de California al (415) 538-2250 para obtener el número de teléfono del servicio de remisión del abogado certificado más cercano a su ubicación.

El sitio web de los USCIS contiene formularios descargables, una lista de las tarifas de presentación e información sobre los tiempos de procesamiento gratuitos. A veces, algunos asesores de inmigración le cobran una tarifa más alta que la de los USCIS para presentar los formularios de los USCIS y su solicitud de inmigración, asegurando que pueden presentar sus documentos más rápido. Estas declaraciones son falsas. Existen algunas excepciones a los tiempos normales de procesamiento de los USCIS, y puede descargar los formularios en línea de forma gratuita en: http://www.uscis.gov/forms o solicitarlos llamando al 1-800-870-3676. No le pague a nadie para obtener copias de los formularios de los USCIS, ya que puede descargarlos de forma gratuita. Los USCIS publican sus tarifas actuales de presentación en línea, o bien puede llamar al Servicio Nacional de Atención al Cliente de los USCIS al 1-800-375-5283 para obtener información sin cargo. Asegúrese de comparar las tarifas de presentación de los USCIS con las que cualquier asesor o abogado de inmigración intente cobrarle antes de pagar por sus servicios.

Tiene derecho a cancelar un contrato por servicios de asesoramiento de inmigración dentro de las 72 horas de haberlo firmado. Siempre conserve una copia del contrato para sus registros.

Nunca le proporcione sus documentos originales a un asesor de inmigración. Solo proporcione copias de los documentos importantes, como certificados de nacimiento y pasaportes.. Conserve los originales en un lugar seguro. La ley no permite que los asesores de inmigración conserven sus documentos originales.

Tenga cuidado con las estafas telefónicas. No sea víctima de los estafadores telefónicos que aseguran ser oficiales federales de inmigración. Estos estafadores, por lo general, solicitan información personal y un pago, y afirmarán que existe algún problema con su registro de inmigración. Si un estafador lo llama, puede decir: “No, gracias”, y colgar. Los oficiales federales de inmigración no lo llamarán para solicitarle una forma de pago por teléfono. No proporcione un pago mediante el teléfono a ninguna persona que asegure ser un oficial de los USCIS.

Sitios web .com. Algunos sitios web que ofrecen orientación paso a paso para completar una solicitud de situación de inmigración asegurarán estar afiliados con autoridades federales de inmigración. Para obtener información actualizada sobre los criterios de elegibilidad de estos programas y su disponibilidad, visite http://www.uscis.gov/immigrationaction o http://www.uscis.gov/es/accionmigratoria.

Ya sea que contrate a un abogado o a un asesor de inmigración, aquí le presentamos algunos consejos para protegerse:

Siempre obtenga un contrato por escrito que esté traducido a su idioma. Haga esta antes de proporcionarle dinero a un asesor o abogado de inmigración. Siempre solicite un contrato por escrito que esté en inglés y traducido a su idioma. El contrato debe describir los servicios de inmigración que el asesor de inmigración o el abogado le proporcionarán, el costo total de los servicios y el nombre completo, la dirección y el número de teléfono del asesor de inmigración o del abogado.

Lea todos los documentos detenidamente. Le recomendamos que se los lleve a su casa y los analice con un amigo o familiar antes de firmar cualquier documento. Asegúrese de que comprende el documento antes de firmarlo.

No dude en solicitar una segunda opinión. En caso de no estar seguro si su asesor o abogado de inmigración le está proporcionando asesoramiento confiable, no dude en buscar una segunda opinión. Llame al Colegio de Abogados de California al (415) 538-2250 para obtener el número de teléfono del servicio de remisión del abogado certificado más cercano a su ubicación.

Obtenga un recibo cada vez que le pague a un asesor o abogado de inmigración. El recibo debe describir el motivo del pago y cualquier saldo restante. Asegúrese de que el asesor o abogado de inmigración firme el documento e incluya la fecha.

Nunca firme ningún formulario de inmigración que no comprenda. Asegúrese de comprender lo que dice el formulario y que la información que contenga sea verdadera antes de firmarlo. Pídale a alguien en quien confíe que le traduzca el formulario a un idioma que comprenda. El asesor o abogado de inmigración no debe presentar ningún formulario ante el gobierno federal en su nombre si es demasiado complicado para que usted lo comprenda o si no comprende por qué lo presenta.

Nunca firme formularios que contengan información falsa o que estén en blanco. La mayoría de los formularios presentados ante el gobierno federal se sigan bajo pena o perjurio. Esto significa que usted sabe lo que dice el formulario y que es cierto a su leal saber y entender. Puede estar cometiendo un crimen si firma un formulario a sabiendas de que la información no es verdadera. Siempre conserve copias de todos los formularios que presenta para sus registros.

QUÉ HACER SI ES VÍCTIMA DE UNA ESTAFA:

El Departamento de Justicia de California (California Department of Justice), como organismo encargado de hacer cumplir la ley sobre protección del consumidor, recopila quejas relacionadas con fraudes por servicios de inmigración (“notarios”) con el fin de detectar patrones de delitos. Al presentar una queja contra un asesor de inmigración, contribuye a la capacidad de California de investigar y procesar a los delincuentes conocidos y evitar que el fraude de los notarios perjudique a otras personas. Para presentar una queja ante nuestra oficina, use uno de los siguientes formularios de queja:

English: http://oag.ca.gov/contact/consumer-complaint-against-business-or-company

En Español: http://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/contact/business_corpform_sp.pdf

中文: http://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/contact/business_corpform_chin.pdf

Tiếng Việt: http://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/contact/business_corpform_viet.pdf

 

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Issues Statement on President Obama’s Immigration Action

November 20, 2014
Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

SAN FRANCISCO – Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today issued the following statement on President Barack Obama’s Immigration Accountability Executive Actions: 

"I applaud President Obama for taking steps to fix our broken immigration system. These executive actions prioritize deporting felons not families, and will help restore trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve. This action will extend the American Dream to millions of individuals who want to come out of the shadows.”

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Issues Bulletin to Law Enforcement on Federal Immigration Detainers

June 25, 2014
Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

SAN FRANCISCO – Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today issued an information bulletin to California law enforcement agencies that provides updated information on their responsibilities and potential liability for complying with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) federal detainer requests for undocumented immigrants. The updated bulletin informs state and local law enforcement agencies of new requirements they face since enactment of the Transparency and Responsibility Using State Tool Act (TRUST Act) and new federal case law that creates legal risk for local law enforcement agencies that voluntarily comply with federal detainer requests.

“When local law enforcement officials are seen as de facto immigration enforcers, it erodes the trust between our peace officers and the communities they serve,” Attorney General Harris said. “Federal immigration detainers are voluntary and this bulletin supports the TRUST Act and law enforcement leaders’ discretion to utilize resources in the manner that best serves their communities.”

In December 2012, Attorney General Harris issued an information bulleting titled, “Responsibility of Local Law Enforcement Agencies under Secure Communities”, which clarified that federal immigration detainers issued under the Secure Communities program are not mandatory, but are merely requests enforceable at the discretion of the state and local agency. Since enactment of the TRUST Act and issuance of new federal case law, law enforcement agencies face additional limits in their discretion and possible liability when complying with federal immigration holds. Attorney General Harris issued the updated bulletin to clarify the factors that local law enforcement agencies should consider when they receive detainer requests.

The TRUST Act requires that continued detention under Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) agency detainers must meet conditions laid out in state law. First, continued detention by state and local law enforcement agencies must “not violate any federal, state, or local law, or any local policy,” and second, the detainee’s criminal history must include serious or violent crimes, federal charges, or inclusion in  the California Sex and Arson Registry among other conviction criteria. Only if both of these conditions are met, then local law enforcement may continue to detain the individual.

Additionally, the bulletin confirms that ICE immigration detainer requests are not mandatory as stated by recent court rulings and correspondence from ICE’s Acting Director.

The information bulletin also informs state and local law enforcement agencies of potential legal liabilities that they may face when voluntarily complying with federal detainer requests. Citing a recent federal district court ruling in the District of Oregon in Miranda-Olivares v. Clackamas Co., the bulletin informs California law enforcement agencies “that because compliance with an ICE detainer is voluntary, a local agency could violate the Fourth Amendment by detaining an individual solely based on the request of ICE, without some other probable cause for arrest.”  The bulletin notes that if a California court adopts the reasoning of the district court in Miranda-Olivares, local jurisdictions could be held liable for damages for such an unlawful detention.

The bulletin also clarifies that the TRUST Act and new federal case law only address discretion to detain individuals and not a law enforcement agency’s discretion to otherwise cooperate with federal immigration officials.

To view Attorney General Harris’s information bulletin click here: http://bit.ly/1lcDrz9

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces Arrest of Two Individuals Selling Counterfeit IDs

October 26, 2012
Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

SACRAMENTO -- Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced the arrest of two individuals each charged with 14 counts of forgery or counterfeiting of government identification cards and conspiracy. The two individuals operated in a counterfeit identification ring that sold federal immigration documents (green cards), California identification cards and driver’s licenses, social security cards and passports.

Laurel Velasquez, 30, and Pedro Izehuatl, 45, of Sacramento were arrested on Wednesday after a four-month investigation by the California Department of Justice eCrime Unit and Special Crimes Unit. During the undercover operation, Velasquez and Izehuatl sold California Department of Justice Special Agents counterfeit driver’s licenses, green cards and a social security card.

In July 2012, the California Department of Justice received information about a potential counterfeit identification document ring and initiated an investigation which resulted in the identification of Laurel Velasquez as a seller of counterfeit items. Special agents subsequently conducted undercover operations from July to October 2012, during which they purchased dozens of counterfeit federal green cards, California driver’s licenses and a social security card from Velasquez for $100 each. The counterfeit green cards purchased were for individuals purported to be from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, Russia and China.

Special agents were able to determine that the counterfeit items were being manufactured by another individual and on several occasions special agents observed this other individual meeting with the seller just prior to the counterfeit items being sold.

On October 24, DOJ agents served search warrants on the seller’s residence and the suspected manufacturer’s residence. During the service of these search warrants, sophisticated equipment used to create counterfeit identity documents was seized and Velasquez and Izehuatl were arrested. Both were booked into the Sacramento County Jail. Arraignment of both individuals is scheduled for Monday in Sacramento County Superior Court.

During this investigation, the California Department of Justice worked with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The eCrime Unit investigates and prosecutes identity theft crimes, cyber crimes and other crimes involving the use of technology.

The complaint is attached to the electronic version of this release at http://oag.ca.gov/news.

AttachmentSize
PDF icon Velasquez Complaint Redacted.pdf272.28 KB

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Issues Warning on Potential Scams Targeting Young Immigrants

August 15, 2012
Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

SAN FRANCISCO --- Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today warned Californians about potential scams targeting young immigrants seeking to participate in the federal government’s recently launched Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Beginning today, certain young immigrants who were brought to United States as children and meet several key guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and, as a result, may be eligible for work authorization. To learn more about the Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, please visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ website: http://www.uscis.gov.

While the California Attorney General’s Office has not yet received any citizen complaints of scams directly related to this new program, immigrants are often the target of consumer scams and should be vigilant in seeking assistance related to the Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

To combat the threat of scams, Attorney General Harris has provided the following information and tips as eligible immigrants begin to apply for consideration:

If you are seeking help from an attorney:

  • Is the person offering legal services a lawyer licensed by the State Bar of California? You can check out an attorney online at http://www.calbar.ca.gov/ or by calling 1-800-843-9053.
  • If you cannot afford a private attorney, the Board of Immigration Appeals provides a list of attorneys who provide immigration services either for free or for very little cost. This list is available online at http://www.justice.gov/eoir/probono/states.htm. You can also contact your local legal aid office. For a referral, visit www.lsc.gov and click on the Find Legal Assistance tab.

If you are seeking help from an immigration consultant:

  • Immigration consultants are required to register with the California Secretary of State’s Office, and to post a $50,000 bond. You can check out an Immigration Consultant online at http://www.sos.ca.gov/business/sf/bond_search/ or by calling 1-916-653-3984.
  • It is against the law for an immigration consultant to give legal advice. An immigration consultant can only give you non-legal help, such as translating your answers to questions on U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services forms.
  • Get a written contract signed and dated by the immigration consultant. Make sure the contract lists the full name and contact information for the immigration consultant, the services you were promised and how much you have agreed to pay. The contract must be written in both English and your language. You have the right to cancel the contract within 72 hours of signing the contract. You must cancel the contract in writing. Give only copies of original documents to the immigration consultant; keep your originals in a safe place.

If you have a complaint against an Immigration Consultant, please contact the California Attorney General’s Office. You can file a complaint online at https://oag.ca.gov/contact/consumer-complaint-against-business-or-company or by mailing your complaint to Office of the Attorney General, Public Inquiry Unit, P.O. Box 944255, Sacramento, CA 94244-2550.

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Issues Statement on Supreme Court’s Ruling on Arizona Immigration Law

June 25, 2012
Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

SAN FRANCISCO -- Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Arizona’s illegal immigration legislation:

“I am pleased with the Court’s decision, which strikes down some of the most egregious components of Arizona’s misguided law. It also signals potentially significant constitutional concerns with the law’s mandate on local police officers to act as enforcers of immigration law. As a career prosecutor and California’s chief law enforcement officer, my belief has always been that public safety requires trust and cooperation between law enforcement and the communities we serve. I believe today’s decision is an important step forward in setting aside policies that divide law enforcement from the communities we serve.”