Today, the Protecting Immigrant New Yorkers Task Force released its Resource Guide for Law Enforcement, Government & Advocates to Address Immigration Services Fraud. The Guide, a comprehensive initiative to combat immigration services fraud, has been a long time in the making, and I’m very proud to have served as co-editor. While focusing on New York State, it is intended to serve as a tool for use by law enforcement and governmental agencies, as well as community based organizations across the country. Rather than say more, please view the resource guide here, and read about the Task Force here.
Over a year and-a-half ago a handful of us gave a presentation at the New York Immigration Coalition to start the conversation that, after a great deal of effort by many people, resulted in the law that goes into effect today. The Immigrant Assistance Service Enforcement Act: makes the Office for New Americans a permanent state agency; builds capacity for the New Americans hotline for reporting immigration fraud; clarifies that notarios cannot advise someone on what their immigration status is and how to answer questions on forms; adds to new sections to the penal law for immigration fraud, including a class E felony with substantial penal and civil fines; creates a private right of action so that immigrants can themselves take the scammers to court, among many other new provisions.
We didn’t get everything we wanted, and we’ll continue to fight for better protections, but today, we can take a victory lap.
February 7th in Sunset Park, at the invitation of New York City Council Member Carlos Menchaca, I will be presenting on the topic of Deferred Action, along with colleagues from Atlas DIY, the Immigrant Justice Corps, and Juan Nuemann Center.