Thursday, August 20, 2009

Scam artists prey on illegal immigrants

Illegal Immigrants continue to fall prey to scam artists posing as lawyers pledging to make their clients legal. And sometimes the scammers are actual lawyers charging desperate illegal immigrants thousands of dollars to help them apply for asylum or other avenues of residency that the attorneys know aren't likely to be granted.

Since 2000, the Executive Office for Immigration Review, a division of Justice Department that oversees immigration courts, has suspended or expelled more than 300 lawyers who have run afoul of the law, according to a recent story in the New York Times.

We reported in 2006 that hundreds of immigrants across North Carolina were getting cheated by people posing as attorneys and legal experts, according to immigration lawyers and Latino advocates.

Not wanting to alert authorities that they're in the country illegally, many victims often don't report the crimes.

North Carolina has one of the nation's fastest-growing Hispanic populations. More than half of the state’s Latinos are believed to be in the country illegally. Many are desperate to become legal, yet few realize the odds against them.

Between 2004 and 2006, the number of court cases deciding whether someone could stay in the country has almost doubled, according to the U.S. Justice Department. Yet only 12 percent of the 264,723 cases heard in 2005 were successful. Eighty-four percent were sent to deportation proceedings.

Maria, a Mexican native who asked that her last name not be used because of her immigration status, said she met a man posing as an attorney through her church. She said she paid the man thousands of dollars to file a residency application on her family's behalf.

"We were so excited," she said. "We thought we were getting close. He promised to help us. Instead, he caused us problems."

Philip Turtletaub, an immigration attorney who later took on Maria's case, said the application never had a chance. Turtletaub said the family needed to be in the country 10 years, but has been here only eight.

"People are desperate," Turtletaub said. "No one likes to hear `no.' So, when someone says `Yes, just give me this amount of money,’ they do."

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

what a fantastic paradox


"Not wanting to alert authorities that they're in the country illegally, many victims often don't report the crimes."


Don't which of these lawbreakers are worse though, both are willing participants in their illegal endeavors as though above the law

Kconrad84 said...

Hmmmm, not 100% sure how to feel about this. Both parties are parasites...

Anonymous said...

Good maybe this way we can recoup money that is wasted on illegals..Let them feel a little hurt ..boo hoo

Anonymous said...

This is too rich -

Illegal Immigrants continue to fall prey to scam artists like Democrat Politicians who actually try and make our unwelcomed Mexican friends feel like they care for them but in reality as they want is thier vote.

minus3 said...

awesome, almost makes me want to become a fake lawyer....

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

When criminals prey on other criminals I could care less.(yes being an illegal immigrant makes you a criminal)

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Charlotte Deist said...

It never ceases to amaze me how the bitter racists that frequent these comments will take joy from the suffering of others.

I'm sure these are the same bible-thumping hypocrites who believe that the teachings of Christ only apply to white evangelicals.

Since we're in the heart of the Bible Belt, remember the great Sermon on the Mount when you find yourself hating that brown-skinned person for trying to improve his lot and life and creating a better life for his family: "Love your neighbor as yourself."

Anonymous said...

Too bad that law enforcement doesn't "prey on illegal immigrants". If current laws were enforced, illegal immigrants would be promptly deported. If the borders were secure and protected, there would be less entry into this country. Illegals continue to drain the resources of our country. It's time US citizens demand that government take off the blindfold and start enforcing current laws.

Anonymous said...

Franco -

you can only see illegals as victims - they are like any free-will human being.

This column of yours is a disgrace on how you spin this whole illegal scenario..

Observer, pull this garbage and have Franco get his own website and blog page.

Anonymous said...

HERE IN PHOENIX AZ. THE NEWSPAPERS NEVER USE THE TERM "ILLEGAL", THEY CALL THEM "UNDOCUMENTED ECONOMIC REFUGEES". OUR MAYOR SUCKS AS WELL AS THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, AND THEY DO EVERYTHING THEY CAN TO KEEP THE IMMIGRATION LAWS FROM BEING ENFORCED. IF AN ILLEGAL IS CAUGHT AND HAS NO CRIMINAL RECORD, THEY ARE SIMPLY LET GO. OUR NEWSPAPER IS WORST THEN YOURS WHEN IT COMES TO TWISTING WORDS AND PROMOTING ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION.

Anonymous said...

Franco is all about supporting the poor pitiful illegal immigrants. He is always on their side it seems.

Peregrino said...

This comes down to to Matthew 25:43--"I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in..." and the question of how we define "these, the least of My brothers...". Personally, I define as "the least" those easiest to attack. Once we have labeled any of God's children as "illegal" beings, they become so easy to brutalize that some people are willing to fantasize about doing so. I pray I am never silent in the face of such obscenity.

Anonymous said...

FRANCO IS ALL ABOUT TURNING AMERICA BROWN! LA RAZA HAS PEOPLE LIKE HIM PUSHING THE AMNESTY CARD TO THE MAX! DON;T FEEL FOR THE ILLEGAL INVADERS, THEY BROUGHT US "DROP HOUSES", I.D. THEFT, DRIVE-BYES", CARJACKING, HOME INVASIONS,GANGS,ANCHOR BABIES, CROWDED CLASSROOMS, CROWDED EMERGENCY ROOMS,AND THE "MEXICAN FLU"!

melissa said...

FREEDOM...THAT IS WHAT ITS ALL ABOUT. ILLEGALS ARE NOT TAKING ANYTHING FROM AMERICANS..NOT JOBS, MONEY OR ANYTHING ELSE. UNFORTUNATELY WE HAVE GROWN TO BE LAZY..NOT LIKE OUR ANCESTORS WHOM WORKED AS HARD AS THE ILLEGALS DO HERE IN THE U.S. TODAY..

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many of those scam artists are illegals (or descendants of illegals) who were granted "amnesty" last time around?

That's the pattern I've seen, since it is so easy to "prey" upon others like themselves...