fbpx

Save Essential News!

Donate Today!

Donor Supporters

Jessie Ong

Alhambra Source provides objective and important news reporting for our community.

Efren Moreno, Former Alhambra Mayor

Thank you Alhambra Source for truly informing the residents of Alhambra.

Jeff Maloney, Alhambra City Council Member

The Source has become an important source for news, public interest, and serious journalism in our community. Keep it up!

Sara Harris

As a career journalist and EJ advocate, I see community-based media like the Alhambra Source as crucial to democracy and equality.

Chris Olson

I support Alhambra Source as often as I can because I believe a free and independent press is vital to the democratic process. No other news outlet with high journalistic standards consistently covers the stories and issues that matter to our community.

Adele Andrade Stadler, Alhambra City Council Member

The Source is a great independent newspaper that celebrates the communities and is not afraid to ask the tough questions!

Cliff Bender, Vice President, Alhambra Education Foundation

I want to know what's going on in my community- News, events, and human interest stories. The Alhambra Source gives me the information I need.

Joyce & Oscar Amaro, Alhambra Preservation Group

We support Alhambra Source because this online news source is vitally important in engaging, informing and educating the residents of Alhambra.

Laura Vasquez

Alhambrans need to know the truth about our area!

Michael Lawrence, Alhambra Arts Commissioner

Keep bringing on the stories. The Source has given us so much and I am happy to donate to such an important part of our community.

Karsen Luthi

Thank you for creating Alhambra Source and providing timely reporting of important local news. Fight on!

Mr. Konnyaku

I support news reporting that is unbiased and informative. Really enjoy the excellent coverage on local city council and planning commission meetings.

Guadulesa Rivera

Alhambra Source unifies the community and keeps us involved.

Erwin Lee

Such a valuable source of what’s happening in city where we live. Objective reporting that informs us and allows us to come to our own conclusions.

Ask An Alhambra Immigration Lawyer: Am I being exploited?

On June 10, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) rolled out a nationwide campaign branded "The Wrong Help Can Hurt," as part of its "Unauthorized Practice of Immigration Law Initiative." The USCIS's campaign seeks to educate immigrants about the immigration process and warn them about potential scams. You can find more information at the department website, including educational tools and form filing tips.

How do I know if I'm being taken advantage of?

There are many different types of scams and, unfortunately, more sophisticated ones are invented each day. Most scams involve either an unauthorized representative pretending to be an authorized representative (for instance, a notary pretending to be a lawyer), or someone overcharging for documents and forms that are otherwise available for free.

One type of name confusion scam takes advantage of the Spanish term "notario," which usually refers to an attorney in Spanish speaking countries, and the English term "notary public." A notary public is not an attorney. This type of scam is fairly rare in Alhambra.  However, there have been instances where some notary publics have tried selling immigration forms that are free.

Photos by Nathan SolisAmongst Alhambra's Asian population, one common scam is that a paralegal will attempt to act as an attorney. Or, a paralegal may partner with an attorney who signs all of the proper paperwork, like the USCIS's G-28 form, while the paralegal does all the work. This type of scam is much harder to detect, but can be avoided by researching the background of the individual that is assisting you.

Online, some websites may claim to have expedited processing channels with the USCIS. This is inaccurate. In addition, beware of any sites that are selling immigration forms. All authorized forms are available for free at the USCIS's website. These official forms are constantly being updated. In addition to overcharging, non-official websites may have out-of-date documents as well.

I have a complaint, but I'm afraid that I will be deported if I come forward.

This is a common concern. Many undocumented (and documented) immigrants are hesitant to report any crime, not just immigration scams, because they are afraid that they will have to give fingerprints and personal information, or be subjected to deportation proceedings. Local law officers are not responsible for enforcing national immigration policy. As US Attorney Ben Wagner stated, "We have an interest in defeating the bad guy and that is our biggest issue interest here, not deporting the people who are going to be our victims and our witnesses in the course of the prosecution." In addition, there are many ways to file a complaint that do not require an in-person appearance.

How do I lodge a complaint about a scam?

Complaints of scams should be filed with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).  To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC website or call (877) FTC-HELP or (877)-382-4357. For California residents, the USCIS also recommends that you report scams to The Office of Immigrant Assistance in the Civil Rights Section of the California Department of Justice by going to its website, or calling (888) 587-0557.

The article is not legal advice or opinion and should not be construed as such. Franklin Tzeng, Esq. is a practicing attorney, specializing in business development and immigration law in Alhambra. For more information, visit franklintzeng.com or facebook.com/franklintzengesq. To ask Tzeng a question, send him an email at [email protected]

Thank you for reading our story! Alhambra Source is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Our newsroom reports fact-based quality journalism that educates, informs and engages our diverse communities - with no paywall. Support our mission and donate today!

The Alhambra Source encourages comment on our stories. However, we do not vet comments for accuracy or endorse links to posts in the comment section. The thoughts and opinions expressed belong solely to the author of the comment.

Leave a Reply

1 thought on “Ask An Alhambra Immigration Lawyer: Am I being exploited?”

  1. Pasadena immigration lawyer

    I just came onto your post and found it quite interesting. I am also associated with family law attorney Pasadena, Divorce lawyer in Los Angeles,Los Angeles Divorce attorneys and love to enjoy the stuff on the same as its rarely found on internet. Thanks again for writing such a good post.

Do you have a question you would like to ask Alhambra candidates?

Ask your Alhambra City Council OR your Alhambra Unified School Board Candidates a question ahead of the 2020 elections!