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February 3, 2017

ATTORNEY GENERAL MADIGAN WARNS IMMIGRANT COMMUNITIES OF FRAUD IN WAKE OF EXECUTIVE ORDER

Attorney General Offers Advice to Avoid Immigration Service Fraud & Find Legitimate Help

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today issued an alert to warn immigrant communities to potential fraud in the wake of the Executive Orders on immigration.

Madigan warned immigrants that they may be targets of scam artists and unscrupulous immigration services providers who illegally pose as lawyers or demand excessive upfront fees for assistance. Madigan also warned immigrants to be cautious of people claiming to be a government or law enforcement official who demands payment and threatens deportation. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services will never ask for payment over the phone.

In Illinois, the law requires immigration services providers to register with the Attorney General’s Office, unless they are licensed attorneys or a nonprofit organization recognized by the Board of Immigration Appeals. In addition to these regulatory requirements, immigration services providers must:

  • Provide consumers with a written contract in English and their native language;
  • Provide consumers with a three-day right to cancel the contract; and
  • Return all documents to the consumer upon the demand.

“Unfortunately there is a lot of fear and confusion about the recently issued Executive Orders and how they change our country’s immigration policies. Many people are seeking assistance with their immigration status and travel plans,” Madigan said. “It is critical to find honest and legitimate assistance and know the warning signs of immigration fraud. I encourage people to contact my office if you encounter a solicitation that seems questionable or if you have already been the victim of fraud. My office does not ask for immigration status.”

If immigrants have concerns about traveling to their country of origin, they should seek reputable and legitimate assistance, including contacting their local consulate office.

For more information regarding the Immigration Executive Order, your rights and what to do, visit the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, the National Immigration Justice Center or the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois.

To file a complaint against an immigration services provider, visit Attorney General Madigan’s website, contact her office at 1-800-386-5438 or call her Spanish hotline at 1-866-310-8398. To learn more about immigration services provider fraud, visit Madigan’s website.

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