No secrets to US immigration consultants
Atty. Michael J. Gurfinkel, Esq., Mar 12, 2005
Many people come to me, after having their case messed up by an immigration consultant. They tell me that some of these immigration consultants claimed that they know shortcuts, or “secret immigration laws” that only they have access to. They lure people into believing they can obtain green cards, even if the person is not qualified.
The Los Angeles Times recently reported that two such consultants, John Choe and Daniel Lee, made hundreds of thousands of dollars in the early ‘90s by collecting as much as $30,000 from each client to “expedite” the processing of the person’s green card application.
The two immigration consultants were indeed able to get quick “green cards” for hundreds of their clients.” What the clients did not know was that half of the amounts they paid went to bribes for an unscrupulous immigration supervisor, who later turned state witness and helped prosecute Choe and Lee when investigators closed in on them in 1998.
The poor, trusting clients had no idea their green cards were fraudulently obtained, and were thus “fake” green cards. One of the clients, a truck driver with a high school diploma, received a green card as a research professor. For more than 20 years, he led a normal life, thinking he was legal, until immigration officials discovered the fraud.
At least 24 of Choe and Lee’s clients have been either deported or have voluntarily left the U.S. The others are facing an uncertain future, hoping that a special legislation would be passed in congress that would grant them permanent residence.
These aliens were clearly victims of immigration fraud committed by unscrupulous immigration consultants and a corrupt immigration employee. However, they should have known better than to trust immigration consultants promising “fast and sure” green cards, that somehow bypass normal processing and waiting times.
Immigration consultants do not have access to, nor do they have knowledge of, any “secret laws” that would expedite anybody’s immigration applications. There are no “secret laws” in the first place. Nor do immigration consultants have a “secret” way to obtain fast and legitimate visas or green cards. Such “secrets” or shortcuts are often illegal and invalid.
In any of these cases, the unsuspecting clients lose their hard-earned money, their precious time, and worse, may end up being deported.
Immigration attorneys spend years studying immigration laws, attending seminars and special courses, researching, and reading the latest newsletters and daily journals to update their knowledge of the immigration law. There simply are no “special laws” or “special ways” to obtain fast immigration benefits, known or utilized only by immigration consultants.
There is only one way to legally obtain immigration benefits – by meeting and following all the requirements of the law.
There are no “shortcuts” or quick fixes to legalizing status in the United States. “Fast” green cards or “sure thing” processing are the first clues to disastrous and costly scams. Just follow the traditional norm to avoid a scam: “When it’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t true.”
If you want to legalize your status in the United States, I suggest you go to a reputable attorney, who can help you evaluate your situation and find legitimate ways to obtain the immigration benefits available to you. Remember, the only way to legalize your status is to do it legally.
From the article: THERE ARE NO “SECRET LAWS” KNOWN ONLY TO IMMIGRATION CONSULTANTS
Michael J. Gurfinkel has been an attorney for over 24 years, and is an active member of the State Bar of California and New York, as well as the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the Immigration Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. He has always excelled in school: Valedictorian in High School; Cum Laude at UCLA; and Law Degree Honors and academic scholar at Loyola Law School, which is one of the top law schools in California. WEBSITE: www.gurfinkel.com
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