Advertisement

Van de Kamp Targets Immigration Fraud Schemes

May 14, 1987

California Atty. Gen. John K. Van de Kamp said Tuesday that his investigators have been looking into at least 20 cases of fraudulent exploitation of illegal aliens who are seeking legalization under the new federal immigration law.

Van de Kamp said the cases, most of which would involve misdemeanor charges, have been referred to district attorneys in several California cities, including Los Angeles. The attorney general added that he expects many more cases to surface as the legalization process continues. "We're only at the beginning of the cycle," he said.

Van de Kamp said that in the fraud cases being investigated, illegal aliens paid $500 or more for useless information or were given false guarantees that they would be given amnesty.

In a press conference, Van de Kamp urged local prosecutors to crack down on lawyers, public notaries and immigration consultants who prey on immigrants by charging them exorbitant fees, failing to deliver on promises and selling fraudulent documents.

"We need to assure (immigrants) that they do not have to place themselves at risk by coming forward to seek protection under the law from persons or agencies trying to take advantage of their desire to become legal residents," he said.

Representatives of several immigrant service groups said they have been receiving a steady number of complaints from illegal aliens about incidents of fraud and deception. Yolanda Arias, an attorney with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said her group has been receiving at least three complaints a week since January.

"The typical scenario is that an attorney or a consultant is paid a substantial amount of money after promising to help on an immigration case and then the client never hears from them again," Arias said.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|