Apparently, some immigration consulants aren't working out too well in Maryland. People are reporting to the Maryland Hispanic Bar Association that their immigration applications are not being filled out correctly. And, as a result, some people are even being deported. So much for lending a helping hand.
And I'm sure the immigrants can't pay for lawyers so they give the immigration consultants money (probably the only money they have) to help them out. And in Spanish the word "notario" means that the person is like a lawyer. So that adds to the confusion.
According to today's Washington Post, the Maryland General Assembly passed legislation this month that would give people who use immigration consultants more protection. A few other states already have these kind of laws that protect immigrants. Under the law, immigrant consultants are limited in the services they can provide, and victims have the right to sue to get their money back and to collect damages. This Maryland legislation, called the Immigration Consulting Services Act, is waiting for Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s signature. It passed the House 121 to 5 and the Senate unanimously.
It's about time someone's looking out for the little people.
For Immigrants, Help Can Be Risky
By Krissah Williams, Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, April 23, 2005; Page E01