New Law Bans Advanced Fees for Immigration Reform Work

Background:  The Comprehensive Immigration Reform (“CIR”) that has been discussed and analyzed in this past year was passed in the Senate Judiciary committee on June 27, 2013 (S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act).  The House of Representative has been delaying in going to conference on it, and per John Boehner, in a recent comment to the press on November 13, 2013, “[the GOP has] no intention of ever going to conference on the Senate bill.”  There will be no immigration reform this year, or ever, if Boehner has his ways, and especially not one that includes the legalization or citizenship of the 11 million undocumented individuals currently in the United States.  However, GOP is interested in passing piecemeal provisions, such as on border security, and perhaps the DREAM Act (which gives citizenship to kids, under specific circumstances), but they likely cannot pass such proposals without the Democrats.  The Democrats would vote if there is assurance immigration reform will go to conference.  So this is politics.

Bottom Line:  The bottom line regarding CIR is this: there is no CIR. Any attorney, or immigration consultant, or “notarios” (which they are not supposed to be called so), telling you they can help you gain legalization or citizenship through the “the new immigration laws” or “new immigration reform” is not telling you the truth.  Furthermore, the new law recently passed in California by Governor Brown prohibits ANYONE (including attorneys, immigration consultants, or “notarios”) from taking your money in advance so they can allegedly “help” you with your status “when” CIR passes.  There is no CIR, it is not passing any time soon, and current laws prohibit advanced fees for supposed immigration reform work.  The new law also requires that those  attorneys, immigration consultants, or “notarios” who have taken your money in advance account for CIR work, return the money to you, or somehow account for how the money was used for legitimate purpose(s) and put the remainder in a client-trust account.   See the State Bar website for info on this new law.