New York will crack down on crooked immigration services through a new task force Mayor Bill de Blasio and state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Thursday.
The elected officials said President Barack Obama's executive actions to spare young immigrants and parents of legal residents from deportation are an opportunity to defraud people seeking legal help. Those deportation actions are on hold for now, pending a court case.
The task force aims to investigate immigrant service providers that falsely represent themselves, charge unnecessary fees and hold up the application process. There will also be a public outreach campaign to immigrant communities about "notario," or legal adviser, fraud.
"As New Yorkers prepare for the administrative relief that President Obama announced last November, it's critical that New York steps up its enforcement of unscrupulous notarios who take advantage of our communities," said Javier H. Valdés, co-Executive Director of Make the Road New York, a community organizing group.