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Policy: Immigration

AP: Congress considers bills targeting notarios

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There is no federal statute that specifically addresses the unauthorized practice of immigration law, though the U.S. Department of Justice said federal authorities are able to prosecute using other statutes. "Every time we have (debates) on immigration reform we have those individuals who try to prey on the disadvantaged," said Doug Stump, president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. [...] many of these people are non-lawyers � or notaries � who just kind of come out of the woodwork at a time when it seems convenient. Since 2002, the Texas attorney general's office has used state consumer laws to shut down more than 75 businesses that unlawfully provided immigration services. [...] do you think the community is against saving money? Besides criminalizing notario fraud, Foster's bill would allow immigrants who were deported because of unscrupulous lawyers to re-file their immigration cases. Congress also faces looming deadlines on the debt ceiling and spending bills to keep the government running. "Sometimes they don't like what they hear from (immigration lawyers) so they turn to someone who tells them what they want to hear," said Manuel Robles, a coordinator with Catholic Charities of Dallas, which has immigration attorneys who help with social services.

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