The Immigrants Journal

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					                                                                  SPECIAL FRAUD ALERT EDITION

     The Immigrant’s Journal
 Our leaders
who stood for
Unity & Justice

      FREE                                       Protecting God’s Children From Distant Lands                                                                        JANUARY 2010                         Vol. V. 59

                         26 Court Street, Suite 701, Brooklyn, NY 11242 Tel: 718-243-9431 Fax: 718-222-3153 Email: immjournal

DA Hynes Leads The Charge                                                                                                                                                                A New Year’s
Against Immigration Fraud                                                                                                                                                                That Millions
                                                                                                                                                                                         Will Support
       he Kings County District Attorney                                                                                            Under state and federal law, only lawyers
       Charles J. Hynes has been a leader                                                                                           or accredited representatives can represent
       in the fight to protect the citizens of                                                                                      individuals before immigration authorities.
Brooklyn against Immigration Fraud.                                                                                                 Further, under New York State law, it is
Hynes created the first Civil Rights Bureau                                                                                         unlawful to mislead or defraud any person
within a District Attorney's Office in the                                                                                          in providing immigration-related services.
State of New York shortly after he took                                                                                             New York law also requires anyone pro-
Office in 1990. Immigration fraud is prose-                                                                                         viding immigration services to comply
cuted by the Civil Rights Bureau of the                                                                                             with advertising guidelines, signature and
Kings County District Attorney's Rackets                                                                                            surety requirements, as well as to provide
Division. The Chief of the Rackets                                                                                                  the clients with written contracts in both
Division is Michael F. Vecchione and the                                                                                            the clients' native language and English,
Chief of the Civil Rights Bureau is Charles                                                                                         detailing the services they will be provid-
M. Guria.                                                                                                                           ing.
  Immigrants and their families are the tar-                                                                                             Many undocumented immigrants are
get of individuals who offer unauthorized                                                                                           afraid to come forward and report that they
immigration-related services. In some                                                                                               have been the victim of immigration fraud.

instances, these unscrupulous individuals                                                                                           They believe that if they come forward
                                                                                                                                                                                                os Angeles— The White House
make false promises of United States legal                                                                                          they will be deported. Those individuals
                                                                                                                                                                                                has made it public: President
permanent residency and/or citizenship.                                                                                                                    continued on page 6                  Obama will push to overhaul the
                                                                                                                                                                                         nation's broken immigration system in

 Beware of Immigration Fraud                                                                                                                                                             2010. The effort will include a two-path
                                                                                                                                                                                         approach of beefing up border security
                                                                                                                                                                                         and a practical and humane path to citi-

        raud directed at legal and undocu-       fails to provide you with a written contract.                                                                                           zenship for the millions of families cur-
        mented immigrants is a serious             If an immigration service provider fails to                                                                                           rently living in the shadows. The New
        problem New York. While immi-            inform you that you have the right to cancel a                                                                                          Year's resolution was featured in a front-
 gration fraud can take many forms, it           written contract within three business days of its                                                                                      page Los Angeles Times article on
 most often occurs as false promises for         execution without fee or penalty.                                                                                                       December 30, 2009. The following is a
 immigration services that sound too               If an immigration service provider fails to pro-                                                                                      statement by Angelica Salas, Executive
 good to be true. By making false prom-          vide you with copies of all documents filed with                                                                                        Director at the Coalition for Humane
 ises, con artists attempt to justify exces-     the BCIS.                                                                                                                               Immigrant Rights in Los Angeles
 sive "service" fees they demand. Once a           If an immigration service provider fails to                                                                                           (CHIRLA), a regional human and immi-
 victim pays the large sum of money, the         inform you that he is not an attorney licensed to                                                                                       grant rights organization based in Los
 con artist refuses to help the individual       practice law or that he is not accredited by the                                                                                        Angeles.
 and often reports the person to the INS         Board of Immigration Appeals, including his fail-                                                                                         "We are delighted the White House has
 as undocumented.                                ure to post signs stating this lack of legal recog-                                                                                     once again expressed its commitment to
                                                 nition.                                                                                                                                 work on fixing the ailing immigration
 How to spot a fraudulent immigration              If an immigration service provider fails to                                                City Councilmember Dr Mathieu              system in 2010. Americans have been
 service provider                                provide a fifty thousand dollar bond or con-                                                     Eugene warns: beware of
                                                                                                                                                     immigration fraud
   If an immigration service provider                                                                              continued on page 3                                                                            continued on page 6

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       FOR YOUR
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     26 COURT STREET, SUITE 701, BROOKLYN, NY 11242                                                          OTHER FAMILY COURT MATTERS                             BROOKLYN, NY 11242                           FOR A
  Website                Email:
                                                                                                             ABUSE SPOUSE PETITIONS
                                                                                                                                                        TAKE 2, 3, 4, 5 trains to Court Street/Borough Hall   CONSULTATION
How to Handle An                                                                                               New York City Family
                                                                                                                  Justice Center
NTA Before                                                                                                           350 Jay Street, 15th Floor
                                                                                                                    Brooklyn, New York 11201
Immigration Court                                                                                 The following is a list of services available at the New York City Family

                                                                                                 Justice Center in Brooklyn (BKFJC). All information is kept confidential,
        he issuance of                                                   Notice advising
        Notice to Appear                                                                         however those services marked with an asterisk (*) are mandated reporters
                                                                         you of the date to
        (NTA) to immi-                                                   appear in court.         of child abuse and/or neglect, and are required to report suspected child
grants after a botched                                                      It is important to   abuse and/or neglect to the proper authorities. The BKFJC is an initiative
interview seems to have                                                  note that moving         of the Mayor's Office to Combat Domestic Violence in partnership with
hit an all-time high. The                                                from your address                     the King's County District Attorney's Office.
notice to appear is the let-                                             will not solve the
ter asking an immigrant to                                               problem. Please                      Case Managers*
appear before the immi-                                                  do not move. The
gration court for removal                                                ICE Agents will                          Police *
proceedings. The rate at                        not come looking for you because you are
                                                                                                                Probation *
which this notice is being issued by the        not ordered deported yet. Many street
U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services         advisers will misdirect you by telling you         The District Attorney's Office (DA) *
(USCIS) to immigrants in the United             that you will be arrested in court. No one
States is unprecedented in the history of       will arrest you in court as long as your                 Therapeutic Counseling *
this country.                                   case is still pending. All you must do is to              Elder Abuse Services *
  An immigrant who has overstayed his or        attend all court hearings and get to court
her authorized stay in the United States        on time.                                              Legal Information on Family Matters, Immigration & Divorce
could be issued a notice to appear before          If you failed to attend the court hear-                             Self-Sufficiency Services
an immigration court for deportation pro-       ings, you simply made it easy for immi-
ceedings. Usually, those who are caught         gration to order you deported in absentia.                            Interfaith Spiritual Caregivers
inside Greyhound Buses, Amtrak Trains           There are consequences for an in-absen-
or at any Immigration and Customs               tia deportation order. It is also not easy to                                Children's Services *
Enforcement (ICE) raids are quickly             get the case reopened without an excep-
issued the notice to appear before the          tional reason for failure to appear in             In an emergency call 911; for general questions about domestic
court so that necessary order to deport         court. You must attend to have a chance           violence services, please call the NYC 24-hour domestic violence
them could be obtained for their removal        to beat deportation. It appears that reloca-                       hotline 1-800-621-HOPE or 311
from the United States.                         tion will not solve the problem, it will
   Similarly, an immigrant who applied to       simply turn you into a fugitive and you
the USCIS for permanent resident status         will be surprised how easy it is for ICE
who was denied or failed to appear for an       to find you.
interview is quickly issued a notice to             During your consultation with your
appear before the immigration court for         attorney, both of you must agree on how
overstaying his or her authorized stay. In      to handle the matter and the possible end
some Immigration Districts, the issuance        game. You need to ask your attorney
of a Notice to Appear after a failed inter-     about the worse case scenarios. The rea-
view or failure to attend adjustment of         son for this is that the options that are
status interview is almost automatic.           available to you once you are before the
  In New York, the trend is currently pick-     immigration court are limited.
ing up some steam, but New York is still           When it comes to court, time changes
a better place for immigrants when com-         things. The longer you keep the case
pared to the Baltimore and Atlanta              open, the better your chances of beating
Districts. There are other locations with       the charges. It is possible for the law to
worse records. The District Office in           change while you are waiting to be heard.
Newark, NJ has also followed suit after a       Also the government’s case against you
failed stokes interview.                        might become weaker with time. The
  It is our advice to all immigrants to take    aggressive District Counsel might be
adequate preparation for their interview        changed.
very seriously as the issuance of the              Be warned. Do not let anyone deceive
notice to appear may spell your removal         you and give you false hope when you
from the United States. It is more impor-       have no case. It will be false hope for any
tant than ever before that the services of      attorney to take your money and assure of
qualified attorneys be used in processing       you of winning when you have a prior
an application for adjustment of status. It     conviction for an aggravated felony. By
is cheaper to retain an attorney to work        law anyone convicted of aggravated
with you for your filing and attend the         felony is deportable. You are deemed
interview with you than to retain an attor-     inadmissible and ineligible to receive any
ney to represent you in court. In fact,         relief. The end game is that you will be
many of the victims of the Notice to            deported, but you might as well buy time
Appear notices will end up being deport-        to save some money. Anyone with any
ed after spending so much in retaining          form of criminal convictions will have a
legal representation.                           hard time before the court, but not all
    If you receive the notice to appear,        criminal convictions will earn you depor-
please do not panic. All you need to do is      tation. If the convictions involve crime
to quickly consult with an attorney. Some       involving moral turpitude, you could
of the notices will give you a date to          apply for waiver. If the crime is a petty
appear in court while others because of         offense, it will not count against you.
the court's congestion will have a date "to        The best thing to do is to consult with
be set". If your letter has a date to be set,   an attorney regarding this matter.
consult with a lawyer in preparation for
your case, you will receive another

                                                                                                                                  THE IMMIGRANT’S JOURNAL JAN 2010 IMJ 2
continued from page 1                           Common immigration scams                       Whether you are using an attorney or a         Licenses. Always check to see
Beware of                                       Some ways that dishonest immigration           legal advocate, you have the right to        whether your attorney is licensed to
                                                consultants take advantage of people:          receive a written contract outlining the     practice law in New York State. You can
Immigration Fraud...                               Charging excessive fees for immigra-        agreement you have settled on. Read it       contact:
tract of indemnity for the benefit of any       tion services and then failing to file any     carefully and make sure you get a copy       -Your local district attorney
person who does not receive a refund of         documents.                                     of the contract and any other documents.     -The New York Bar Association
fees or is otherwise injured by the                Promising to get Green Cards, work          If you cannot read English, bring some-      -Office Court of Administration (OCA)
provider.                                       visas, religious visas or other benefits for   one with you who can translate for you.      -The New York State Unified Court
                                                immigrants who are not eligible.                 Being informed. Ask about the con-         System Attorney Registration Unit:
Spotting a fraudulent immigration                  Claiming special connections to the         sultant’s educational background and         212-428-2800.
attorney                                        United       States    Citizenship      and    work experience.                   
  If an attorney fails to file those peti-      Immigration Services (USCIS) which               Checks or money orders. Try to pay
tions or apply for those benefits for           was formerly the Immigration and               with checks and money orders. If you           Confidentiality. Remember that the
which you are clearly eligible.                 Naturalization Services (INS) that will        pay cash, make sure you get a receipt.       Kings’ County District Attorney’s office
  If an attorney files petitions for illegit-   result in special treatment for clients.       Make sure the receipt has the agency’s or    has a strict confidentiality policy. As a
imate programs that do not exist or for            Filing false asylum claims on behalf of     consultant’s name and address printed        victim of immigration fraud you will not
legitimate programs for which you are           immigrants who do not qualify and/or do        on it.                                       be reported to the USCIS under any cir-
clearly ineligible.                             not speak or read English.                       Blank forms or applications. Do not        cumstances—guaranteed. Be sure to
  If an attorney fails to file a notice of         Encouraging fake marriages without          sign any blank forms or applications.        look into the policies of your local DA.
appeal or a motion to reopen within the         explaining to clients that the USCIS will      Make sure you know and understand            Criminals cannot and will not be caught
applicable statute of limitations               question them about all the habits of          what you are signing.                        if people do not report their crimes.
                                                their “spouse” and all the details of their      Pressure. Stay away from consultants         If it sounds too good to be true, then
What to do if your immigration serv-            life together.                                 who pressure you about payment.              it probably is!
ice provider or your attorney induces              Notary publics or notarios who claim          Original documents. Do not leave             Be aware. Be wary even of those serv-
you to:                                         they can handle USCIS matters.                 original documents, such as passports or     ice providers who are from your country
a. Enter into a business marriage                                                              other identity documents, with a consult-    of origin. A national connection is an
b. File a fraudulent asylum petition            Important guidelines to remember               ant. The USCIS does not require original     integral part of many scams.
c. File a fraudulent religious worker           when dealing with immigrant                    documents for any transaction.
petition                                        consultants                                    Photocopies are accepted.
d. File a fraudulent amnesty petition              Eligibility. Don’t let a consultant           Second opinions. Get a second opin-
e. Obtain a fraudulent immigration              apply for an immigration benefit for you       ion before you agree to costly proce-
  document                                      if you know you are not eligible for it or     dures.                                          THE LAWYER YOU HIRE
                                                even have reason to question your eligi-         Attorneys. Determine whether you                   DOES MAKE
  If your immigration service provider is       bility.                                        need an attorney. If a form or legal docu-         A DIFFERENCE!
in     violation     of    the      city’s         Bribes. Bribing government officials        ment is lengthy or too complicated to
Administrative Code, call the                   is illegal. Don’t give extra money to any-     understand, try to find an immigration
Department of Consumer Affairs at 212-
                                                                                                                                                    Call 718-834-0190/
                                                one who claims he/she can get special          attorney. You may find that some attor-
487-4110.                                       immigration benefits for you if you give       neys charge less than immigration con-           718-363-7788 (Brooklyn)
  If you are a victim of attorney mis-          him/her extra money.                           sultants. You should also be careful when       to schedule an appointment.
conduct, call the Departmental                     Proof. Get everything in writing.           looking for an attorney.
Disciplinary Committee in the borough

                                                         Family Law Practice
where the attorney’s office is located:
-Manhattan, the Bronx: 212-401-0800.
-Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island:

  If you are trying to obtain the reim-
bursement for attorney fees in the case
of malpractice, call Lawyer’s Fund for
Client Protection at 800-442-FUND.
  On a local level, your first move as a

                                                     DIVORCE SEPARATION SUPPORT CUSTODY
victim of immigration service fraud
should be to contact the District
Attorney’s office of the borough in
which the fraud was committed. For
Brooklyn, that number is 718-250-2000.
                                                      The lawyer you hire does make a difference!
                                                    Contested &
  On a city level, you must complete a
General Complaint form issued by the                 Uncontested Divorces                          Has your spouse disappeared?
New York City Consumer Affairs                      Separation & Prenuptial                          We can find your spouse!
Consumer Complaints Division. This                   Agreements
department is responsible for investigat-
                                                     Business & Degree
ing reports of immigration fraud and                                                               *Uncontested on consent and cost. All
providing immigrants with tips on how                Evaluations
                                                                                                     five boroughs. No property, no kids.               Investigations
to avoid becoming victims. DIAL 311:                 Spousal Maintenance
For access to help in 170 languages, 24              Custody/Visitation                                                                                Bank & Asset Searches
hours a day. Reach them on the web at                                                                                                                  Wire Transfers
                                                    Relocation                                                                                         Alimony Reduction
  On a state level, you must contact the
State Attorney General’s Office and fill            Child Support                                                                                      Co-habitation
out a complaint form.                               Abuse/Neglect                                                                                       Investigation
-New York State Attorney General’s                                                                                                                     Divorce/Dating/Fraud
                                                    Restraining &
Office Consumer Helpline:
                                                    Protective Orders                                                                                  Internet Dating/Fraud
                                                                                         We can process your divorce even if your                      Video Surveillance
-New York State Attorney General’s                  Modification of Previous
Office Consumer Frauds Bureau NYC                                                        spouse is uncooperative or lives overseas.
                                                    Orders & Awards
Office: 212-416-8300; 212-416-8346
(Spanish); 212-416-8893 (TTY/TDD)
                                                                                           LAW OFFICES OF FIGEROUX & ASSOCIATES
-Albany Office: 518-474-5481
                                                                                 BROOKLYN: Tel: 718-834-0190(26 Court Street)
-Consumer Helpline: 800-771-7755                                                                 Tel: 718-363-7788 (1105 Nostrand Avenue)

                                                                                                                                     THE IMMIGRANT’S JOURNAL         JAN 2010 IMJ 3

Relative Status,
                                                                                          and the circumstances under which they
                                                                                          met. They will be asked to provide pho-           PUBLISHER & PRESIDENT
                                                                                          tographs of their wedding and a copy of               Laverne B. Henry

                                                                                          the guest list or to produce evidence of
                                                                                          leases, joint bank accounts or mail sent to               VICE PRESIDENT
                                                                                          them at the same address. Questions can                    Debra Mondezie
                                                                                          be as technical as descriptions of the

Marriages &
                                                                                          rooms in their home and the colors of
                                                                                                                                                     Colin A. Moore
                                                                                          carpets, drapes or walls. If the USCIS
                                                                                          doubts the legitimacy of their claims, the                LEGAL ADVISOR

                                                                                          immigrant will first be given an opportu-                 Brian Figeroux, Esq.
                                                                                          nity to declare in writing the validity of
                                                                                          what he/she has told them, but if the             SUPPORT/PARTNERSHIPS
                                                                                          BCIS ultimately denies his case, his/her         Brian Figeroux: Tel:718-243-9431

                                                                                          name can then be submitted for removal
                                                                                          (deportation), and possible indefinite
                                                                                          prohibition from entrance to the U.S.                      WEB DESIGNER
                                                                                          Also, those couples married for less than                  Mario V. Figeroux
                                                                                          two years at the time of application will

    n seeking consultation to
    help navigate the com-                                                                remain under surveillance by the USCIS                   Volunteering at
    plex U.S. immigration                                                                 for the two years following the attain-         THE IMMIGRANT'S JOURNAL LEGAL
laws, immigrants find them-                                                               ment of “conditional” resident status.             & EDUCATIONAL FUND, INC.
selves victimized by an even                                                                  Despite one’s immense desire as an
                                                                                          immigrant to become legal, one must            Internship positions available throughout the
greater predator: crooked
                                                                                          always remember that there are very few        year.
immigration            service
providers. Not only do many                                                               legal remedies and those that exist have a
                                                                                          lot of very fine print. Therefore, if you      The Immigrant's Journal Legal & Educational
immigration laws apply only
                                                                                          fear you may not qualify, you probably         Fund, Inc. is an organization dedicated to the
to select people or groups,
                                                                                          don’t. Remember, employee sponsorship          educational and economic empowerment of all
but many also have a number
                                                                                          is easiest to attain for those who are of      immigrants and immigrant organizations here
of exceptions that only the
                                                                                          “extraordinary ability in business, sci-       in the United States. We at the Journal recog-
most highly qualified immi-
                                                                                          ences, arts, education, or athletics, pro-     nize the enormous contribution of immigrants
gration consultants and attor-
                                                                                          fessors, researchers, international execu-     to this country economically, socially and polit-
neys truly have a grasp of.
                                                                                          tives or managers, have a “National            ically. Since September 11, 2001, however,
Thus, it becomes all too easy
                                                                                          Interest Waiver” or are registered physi-      immigrants have increasingly been discriminat-
for con-artists to prey on
                                                                                          cal therapists or nurses. Any alien in         ed against and Congress has passed legisla-
immigrants—many of whom
                                                                                          search of sponsorship without these qual-      tion curtailing the rights of immigrants here in
do not read or speak English,
                                                                                          ifications is subject to “labor certifica-     the US., broadly claiming that immigrants are a
but all of whom have legal-
                                                                                          tion” or proof that his/her field is under-    threat to ''National Security.'' We at the Journal
ized status in the United
                                                                                          served and that there are no legal citizens    believe that these charges are unfounded,
States as a top priority—by
                                                                                          at the time of his/her application for the     unsubstantiated and exaggerated.
convincing them that they
qualify for paths to legaliza-                                                            visa who are available, willing and able
                                                                                          to take the position.                          The Immigrant's Journal Volunteer Intern
tion for which they are clear-
                                                                                             Aliens convicted of felonies also have      Program was introduced to give our volunteers
ly ineligible or by merely
                                                                                          very little relief available to them.          the opportunity to work in an immigrant friend-
taking their money without
                                             spouses of longstanding divorce to make      Beware of any attorney who encourages          ly environment while developing the necessary
ever attempting to file documents on
                                             bogus marriages possible (applicants for     you to make a guilty plea in a criminal        skills for college or law school. They assist our
their behalf.
                                             Green Cards must provide proof that all      case because criminal status is grounds        staff in resolving immigration and other legal
   Consultants often deceive their clients
                                             prior marriages were legally terminat-       for deportation. If an attorney advises        concerns through personal interviews, radio,
by highlighting “immediate relative sta-
                                             ed), but consultants often fail to inform    you to make such a plea without first          email and telephone contact. They also assist
tus” as the most preferred immigrant cat-
                                             their clients how strict the authorities     warning you about the consequences,            the public with citizenship applications and in
egory under current laws, exempting rel-
                                             can be with regard to such marriages.        you may be able to bring a case against        researching whether or not children of natural-
atives and spouses of U.S. citizens from
                                             Part of the application process for a        him/her for professional negligence by         ized US citizens have derived citizenship from
numerical limitations. Since the benefici-
                                             Green Card requires an interview with        filing a complaint with the appropriate        their parents. Some of our volunteers assist
aries of this category can obtain immedi-
                                             the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration           Bar Association. If the Bar finds that the     our legal staff by engaging in legal research
ate work authorization, a social security
                                             Services (USCIS) that includes an exam-      lawyer is guilty of professional negli-        and writing letters on other legal issues.
number, and the chance for a Visa within
                                             ination of your marriage.                    gence, the immigration judge can grant         Volunteer interns are also assigned various
one year, consultants encourage their
                                                The Green Card applicant and his or       you a stay of deportation so that your         other jobs in our Youth Programs.
clients to engage in phony marriages.
Not only does this lead to serious frag-     her new spouse will be asked to describe     new attorney can reapply for the original
                                             at length the nature of their relationship   remedy to which you were entitled.             Hours are flexible. Email your cover letter and
mentation in immigrant families when
                                                                                                                                         resume       or      any     questions       to

  The Global View Radio Show                                                                                                             Tel: 718-243-9431            Fax: 718-222-3153

            People, Power & Politics presents:
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                                             Call 718-771-0988 to voice your concerns and                                                   and takes little of your time.
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             Charles J.Hynes                                                                                                        

                                                                                                                                   THE IMMIGRANT’S JOURNAL              JAN 2010 IMJ 4

Bad Samaritans:                                                                                                                          Resources For
                                                                                                                                           Victims Of
True story of consultant fraud in NYC                                                                                                     Immigration
    n the case of Pamela Brown*, her                                                      her that all she needed to do to receive a
    desperation for citizenship led her to    Immigrants lose their life                  work permit and a Green Card from the
    follow advice based on claims whose        savings and dreams in                      USCIS was to sign the forms. She paid
                                                                                                                                         New York City Bar Association
validity she doubted even before she had      immigration fraud. Don’t                    him $1500 in cash and gave him a
                                                                                                                                           212-382-6600; 800-788-9898
given the consultant any money.                   be one of them.                         money order for $485, which Hussein
  Brown immigrated to New York from                                                                                                    (TTY/TDD)
                                                                                          took and then submitted with the forms
Jamaica in the late 1990s. Following a                                                    to the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration
flyer she saw on the street one day, she                                                  Services (USCIS).                             King’s County District Attorney
went to the BABA CAR organization to                                                                                                   Citizen Action Center
                                                                                             A couple of months later Brown
find out how she could obtain legal resi-                                                                                                   718-250-2340
                                                                                          received a letter in the mail from the
dency. There, a Mr. Hussein told her that                                                 USCIS. Instead of a work permit and a
she qualified for amnesty and that for                                                    Green Card, the envelope contained only       New York Immigration Coalition
$1,985 he would complete all the forms                                                    a denial of her application. Even though        212-627-2227
she needed to apply for permanent resi-                                                   she had known that her date of arrival did
dent status. Yet when he gave her the                                                     not match the one necessary for qualifi-      New York Citizenship Unit
papers describing the amnesty to look                                                     cation, she had wanted so badly to obtain       718-923-4396
over, Brown noticed that only those                                                       permanent status that she listened to
immigrants who had arrived before                                                         Hussein when he told her the discrepan-       New York Immigration Hotline
January 1, 1982 were eligible. She had                                                    cy did not matter.                              800-566-7636 and 212-419-3737
come over a decade and a half too late.                                                       Immigration consultants know that
Hussein was probably referring to the                                                     immigrants are new to the States and that     Governor’s Citizenship Unit
one-year period which began on May 24,       them eight years earlier. Though thou-       they do not know who to trust or what to        212-961-8261
2004, during which only those immi-          sands of undocumented immigrants             believe. For this reason, immigrants
grants who should have been granted          qualified, Brown was not one of them.        must be on the defensive and constantly       State Consumer Protection Board
amnesty by President Reagan’s                When she voiced her concern to Hussein       on guard against the rampant threat of           800-697-1220
Immigration Control and Reform Act in        regarding the time of her arrival in the     fraudulent businesses whose only servic-
1986, but were illegally turned away by      United States he assured her that the date   es to offer are schemes to take away          National Fraud Information Center
the BCIS in 1987-88, were able to final-     was irrelevant and proceeded to fill out     immigrants’ money, and hopes of attain-         800-876-7060
ly obtain the amnesty rightfully granted     all the forms. When he finished, he told     ing legal permanent residence.

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                        PROBLEM WITH THE IRS?
               It’s not the end of the world. Call us for a consultation.
  26 Court Street, Suite 701                                                                                                       1105 Nostrand Avenue
  Brooklyn, NY                                                                                                                     Brooklyn, NY
  Tel: 718-596-3234                                                                                                                Tel: 718-363-7788
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                                                                                                                               THE IMMIGRANT’S JOURNAL     JAN 2010      IMJ 5
continued from page 1                        continued from page 1                                                                        ralization procedures
Call for Immigration                         DA Hynes Leads                                                                               How to Protect Yourself
Reform                                       Charge...                                                                                      Do not sign blank applications, peti-
clamoring for serious solutions for near-    who perpetrate fraud against the immi-                                                       tions or other papers
ly two decades and today's announce-         grant community count on this fact and                                                         Do not sign documents that you cannot
ment is the strongest sign yet that          often reinforce the belief in order to                                                       read or do not understand
President Obama is ready to lead on this     remain at large and to continue their                                                          Do not sign documents that contain
very urgent issue.                           fraudulent practices. Many of the immi-                                                      false statements or inaccurate informa-
   In 2009, more than 650 organizations      gration fraud defendants prosecuted                                                          tion
have been diligently working with the        adversely affected the lives of dozens                                                         Do not let anyone keep your original
White House, Congress, and the               and sometimes hundreds of immigrants                                                         documents
American public to facilitate a process      before they were caught due to victims'                                                        Do not make payments without getting
that can help us reach a national con-       fears about coming forward. The Kings        to leave the victims without an ability to      a receipt
sensus that inaction on the human crisis     County District Attorney's office does       seek legitimate sources of help for their         Do not make payments over the inter-
facing immigrants is no longer accept-       not inquire into the immigration status of   immigration issues. However, the greater        net
able. As the President himself stated        witnesses and victims to the Immigration     the delay in reporting such crimes, the           Do not pay more than a nominal fee to
early in his Administration, immigration     and Naturalization authorities.              more difficult it is in trying to recover the   non-attorneys (notarizing, etc)
reform is a national priority, especially      Victims may be eligible for a "U" Visa.    victim's property and to obtain justice.          Make sure you obtain copies of all
now when the American worker deserves        A "U Visa is an immigration status avail-                                                    documents prepared or submitted for
a level playing field in the workplace if    able to crime victims who are helpful in     Things to Avoid                                 you
we are to emerge as a nation from this       the investigation and prosecution of a       Notary      Publics,     Notarios    and          Make sure you verify an attorney's or
elongated economic downturn.                 crime (does not only have to be immi-        Immigration Consultants may not repre-          accredited representative's eligibility to
  2010 is about getting immigration          gration fraud). U Visas also create a path   sent you before the immigration authori-        represent you
reform done. Congress must act boldly        to lawful permanent residence, which is      ties. While in other countries the word           Report any representative's unlawful
and in good conscience.        Immigrant     commonly known as the Green Card.            "notario" means that the individual is an       activity to the District Attorney's Office,
communities everywhere will be joining       This Visa will allow undocumented            attorney, this is not true in the United        the Police, New York State Attorney
faith leaders, small businesses, labor,      immigrants to feel safer in coming for-      States and they may not provide the same        General's Office, the United States
students, and grassroots organizations       ward and reporting and testifying about      services that an attorney or accredited         Customs and Immigration Services, or
visiting each member of Congress. In         crimes because they will no longer fear      representative does.                            the State Bar Associations.
California, CHIRLA and more than 40          deportation. The U Visa is an important
organizations will lead an effort to visit   tool to improve the effectiveness of law     A Notary Public may not
each one of the 53 congressional repre-      enforcement in investigating and prose-        Give legal advice on what immigration         To report allegations of immigration
sentatives and the state's two senators      cuting crimes where immigrants are wit-      benefits you may or may not apply for;          fraud to the Kings County District
during the month of January. We believe      nesses and victims. The Kings County           Give legal advice on what to say in an        Attorney's Office, contact the Citizens
Americans are ready to make the hard         District Attorney's Office has prosecuted    immigration interview;                          Action Center (718-250-2340).
choices and they expect their representa-    defendants for the victims. Often the          Hold themselves out as qualified in
tives to do so as well."                     defendants take the original documents       legal matters or in immigration and natu-

                  GET THE FACTS              BE SMART             MAKE THE RIGHT DECISION                         BEWARE OF IMMIGRATION FRAUD

                         Health Care (RN/OT/PT/TSHH/SLP’S
                         & IT Cases)
                         Extension of Status & Visa Renewals
                         Work Authorization
                         H-IB Professional Workers
                         F-1 Students
                         J-1 Exchange Visitor Trainees
                         O-1 Extraordinary Ability
                         R-1 Religious Workers
                         U.S. Citizenship
    Family-sponsored Permanent Residence                                                                                                   CALL 718-834-0190
    Green Cards/Labor Certification (RIR)                                                                                                   26 Court Street, Suite 701
    Immigration Visa Petitions:Employment Based                                                                                                   Brooklyn, NY
    Temporary Work Visas                                                                                                                    PERSONAL INJURY
    Naturalization Derivative Petitions                                                                                                     ACCIDENTS
    Labor Certifications                                                                                                                    FAMILY LAW
                                                                                                                                            POLICE BRUTALITY
    Application for Asylum                                                                                                                  CRIMINAL LAW
    Petitions for Writ of Habeas Corpus                                                                                                     CIVIL LITIGATION
    Appeals to the Board of Immigration Appeals                                                                                             REAL ESTATE
    Lawsuits involving Eligibility and Processing for
                                                                                                                                              Visit our website at:

                                                      LAW OFFICES OF FIGEROUX & ASSOCIATES
             BROOKLYN: 26 Court Street, Suite 701. Tel: 718-834-0190                                 1105 Nostrand Avenue. Tel: 718-363-7788

                                                                                                                                     THE IMMIGRANT’S JOURNAL JAN 2010 IMJ 6
Attorney Disciplinary
                                                                                                                                                         1935, 800/442-FUND.
                                                                                                                                                           There is no application fee, and clients are
                                                                                                                                                         not required to be represented by counsel.

Procedures In New York State
                                                                                                                                                         Lawyers in New York State who help clients
                                                                                                                                                         process applications with the fund do not
                                                                                                                                                         charge a fee for those services.
                                                                                                                                                              In order for a claim filed with the

         ll attorneys are subject to a code of   him or her of the impropriety of the conduct.     not be represented by a lawyer in order to            Lawyers’ Fund to be considered for
         conduct, the Code of Professional       These letters are not made public, but are        submit a claim to the Fund. For more infor-           reimbursement, a law client who accuses a
         Responsibility, as adopted by the       retained as part of the attorney’s record and     mation on the operations of the Fund and the          lawyer of misusing money and property
Appellate Division of State Supreme Court.       the complainant is advised if such action is      filing of a claim with the Fund, you may              must report the loss to an Attorney
Attorneys who violate the law or fail to         taken. In cases of serious misconduct, the        write to the Fund at 119 Washington Avenue,           Disciplinary (Grievance) Committee and to
abide by this code of conduct are subject to     committee may refer the matter to court for       Albany, New York 11210, or call the Fund’s            the District Attorney in which the lawyer
discipline, which may include admonish-          action. If the court, after a hearing by a dis-   Toll-free number, 1-800-442-FUND or 1-                maintained law offices.
ment, reprimand, censure, suspension or loss     ciplinary panel or referee, decides to take       518-434-1935.        Their      website      is          Each application is screened to see if the
of his or her license to practice law.           disciplinary action against that attorney, the                             loss is eligible for reimbursement. Ineligible
  In New York State, the Court appoints dis-     decision customarily is made public.                The Trustees may reimburse losses caused            claims are dismissed promptly with an
cipline and grievance committees made up                                                           by the dishonest conduct of lawyers admit-            explanation why the loss cannot be reim-
of both attorneys and non-attorneys, work-       A Process to Protect the Public                   ted to the practice of law in New York State,         bursed. Eligible claims are investigated and
ing with a court-appointed, state- financed,        By bringing a complaint to a committee’s       up to a maximum of $300,000 for each                  reports prepared for the Trustees. The
full-time professional staff. Committee          attention, the public helps the legal profes-     client loss. “Dishonest conduct” means the            Trustees meet four times each year to evalu-
panel members are not paid for their work,       sion achieve its goal of protecting the public.   wrongful taking of clients’ money or other            ate claims and to determine the amounts of
but volunteer to do this work in order to        The committees act to resolve a complaint in      property, in the practice of law, after June 1,       reimbursement that will be allowed. The
maintain the standards of the legal profes-      a manner that is fair to both the complainant     1981.                                                 typical award is approved within seven
sion. They either investigate the complaints     and the attorney. However, the only matters                                                             months.
received by their committee or, in some          that will be addressed by the committees are      Clients must apply for reimbursement                    Losses are not generally reimbursed by the
cases, refer complaints to a county bar asso-    questions of the ethical conduct of attorneys;    within two years after they discover their            Trustees until a lawyer is disbarred by the
ciation for resolution.                          they cannot represent you or give you legal       loss.                                                 New York court system. It’s important that
                                                 advice. They cannot sue an attorney on your         Typical losses covered include the theft of         clients cooperate fully in all official investi-
Submitting a Complaint                           behalf, or seek the return of money or prop-      money from estates of dead clients; escrow            gations involving dishonesty in the practice
   When submitting a complaint to a griev-       erty from the attorney. For such reimburse-       funds in real property closing; settlements in        of law.
ance committee, remember that it must be in      ment of funds or property as a result of          personal injury actions; and money embez-
writing. If the complaint describes conduct      lawyers’ dishonest conduct in the practice of     zled from clients in investment transactions.         Kings, Queens and Richmond Counties
which would be considered improper and is        law, the State Legislature created the                                                                  Grievance Committee for the Second and
proven to be improper then the attorney          Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection in                                                                  Eleventh Judicial Districts
against whom the complaint is made must          1981.                                             How to File a Claim with the Lawyers’                 Renaissance Plaza
respond to the complaint, also in writing. If                                                      Fund                                                  335 Adams Street, Suite 2400
the committee maintains, after investigation     The Lawyers’ Fund                                   A client must complete and return an appli-         Brooklyn, NY 11201-3745
and with consideration of the attorney’s            Funded by attorneys practicing in New          cation for reimbursement. Application forms           (718) 923-6300
response, that the attorney’s conduct was        York, who are required to pay a biennial reg-     and other information are available from the
improper, it can send the attorney a letter of   istration fee in order to practice, the Fund      fund’s offices at 119 Washington Avenue,
caution, admonition or reprimand, advising       receives 20% of the fee. An individual need       Albany, N.Y. 12210. Telephone 518/434-

  ACCIDENT VICTIMS                                                                                            FREE IMMIGRATION
     FREE CONSULTATION AT HOME OR HOSPITAL                                                                        SEMINAR
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                                                                                                                    NY’s #1 Immigration Attorney &
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                                                                                                                                                         Seminar is held on
                           26 Court Street, Suite 701                                                                                                    Thursday, Jan 28, 2010
                              Brooklyn, NY 11242                                                                                                         from 6pm
                                                                                                                                                         at 26 Court Street, Suite 701,
                         1105 Nostrand Ave.                                                                                                              downtown Brooklyn
                         Brooklyn, NY 11225
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                                                                                                                                                     THE IMMIGRANT’S JOURNAL JAN 2010 IMJ 7
                     SATURDAYS - 6pm to 7pm
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     TO MEET BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR                                                            YOU MUST BRING:
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       Have your Green Card for 5 years or be married to a                                      Green Card
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       Read, write and speak English                                                           $675 payable to the USCIS
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                            comprehensive Immigration Reform.                                                                     Brooklyn. Tel: 718-243-9431

       Annual Membership Benefits                                                                                                   By train: Take the 2, 3, 4
                                                                                                                               or 5 to Borough Hall/Court Street
      Free legal consultations for one year on immigration issues such as spousal abuse, spousal & relative                        or the A or F to Jay Street.
                                                                                                                                  By bus: Take the downtown-
      petition, deportation, green card replacement, citizenship with arrest OR other legal issues such as                      bound B25, B26, B37, B41, B45
      divorce, real estate, bankruptcy, personal injury, medical malpractice, wills and estate planning, etc.                       OR B52 to Court Street.
      Free seminar, the 4th Thursday of every month
      Free assistance with your citizenship application                                                                             1105 Nostrand Avenue
                                                                                                                                      Tel: 718-363-7788
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      Assistance to open a bank account                     Annual membership fee is $150.00                                          to Sterling Street
                                                                                                                                   By bus: B44 to Nostrand

                  BROOKLYN: 718-243-9431 (26 Court Street)
                                                                                                                                    Avenue/Sterling Street

                   OR 718-363-7788 (1105 Nostrand Avenue)

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