You should know that effective February 2, 2015, the Immigrant Assistance Service Enforcement Act has become law in New York State.
I sponsored this strong piece of legislation in the Senate to help protect families and individuals in New York from immigration assistance fraud, and Assemblyman Marcos Crespo sponsored it in the Assembly. The bill was signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Assemblyman Crespo and I initiated the Immigrant Assistance Service Enforcement Act because of the growing number of New Yorkers who are in pursuit of the American dream, and who are victimized by organizations and scam artists that claim to offer immigration assistance, but instead, take people’s money and fail to help with their cases.
You should know that for many years, I have been fighting to protect immigrant families from being taken advantage of by organizations and individuals who engage in the unlicenced practice of law, making false promises for those in need of permanent residency and citizenship, selling immigration forms that are available for free, and falsely impersonating immigration officials.
Now that this new law is in effect to protect New Yorkers from immigration assistance fraud, we need to be sure that those seeking immigration assistance are aware of this law so they will not feel trapped and further victimized. All New Yorkers need to know that people and groups who defraud and exploit New Yorkers who seeking immigration-related assistance will be subject to felony and/or misdemeanor charges.
You should know that we need to encourage New Yorkers to step forward and report anyone they believe is involved in any form of immigration-related scams. Immigration fraud has been an under-reported crime, but now, New York State’s Penal Law has been changed to include consequences for and penalties against those who defraud New York’s immigrants.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am grateful for the support of my colleagues in the Senate for passing my legislation, and to Assemblyman Marcos Crespo for carrying this legislation in the Assembly. And finally, I am grateful to Governor Andrew Cuomo for signing our bill into law so we can fight immigration assistance fraud.
Another one of my bills to be added to my record of achievements in Albany!
This is State Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz, and this is what you should know.