A joint-agency task force promised Wednesday to vigorously pursue Los Angeles-area rip-off artists who may try to exploit hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens expected to seek amnesty under the new federal immigration law.
Members of the Immigration and Amnesty Task Force, composed of representatives of city, county, state and federal agencies, met for the first time in an organizing session, then discussed the group's anticipated role.
"We feel that there is a great need for this type of watchdog unit," City Atty. James K. Hahn told a press conference. "We are organizing now to protect those vulnerable people from rip-off artists out to exploit them." An estimated 400,000 to a million people in Los Angeles County are expected to begin registering for amnesty May 5, he said.
The task force, Hahn said, will take a "close, hard look" at individuals and firms in three areas: attorneys; immigration and nationality law specialists and notaries public, and INS-certified immigration consultants. He said officials will look for false and misleading advertising; illegal and exorbitant fees; improper splitting of attorney fees; practicing law without a license; grand theft, and unfair business practices.