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City Cracks Down On Immigration Service Providers

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CHICAGO (STMW) – A recent sting operation that targeted 31 immigration service providers found that all but one of them were in violation of the law.

Chicago’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection announced the results Wednesday, according to a statement from Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office.

The investigations looked at immigration service providers, which are often called “notarios,” the statement said.

BACP uncovered unlawful business practices such as incomplete or incorrect contracts, overcharging, providing legal advice and falsely advertising as licensed attorneys. The investigation resulted in 56 administrative violations or tickets, which may come with fines, ranging from $14,000 to $42,500, the statement said.

In May 2012, City Council passed an ordinance that requires immigration assistance providers to display specific disclosures regarding cost and legal issues in multiple languages as well as a customer’s rights to file a complaint, the statement added. ​

BACP said people should avoid any immigration consultant who claims to have special influence with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security or other government agencies, the statement said.

Promises that immigration status can be “arranged” for additional money, is also a red flag, according to BACP.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2014. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)