Congress is considering stricter laws to go after con artists who promise status in the United States. These con artists prey upon those who come to the United States with the hope of achieving the American Dream. Once immigration reform is accomplished, there may be even a greater number of con artists than before who will take advantage of those applying for a change in status.
There are two primary types of so called 'immigration professionals' that undocumented immigrants must avoid. First, avoid 'notarios.' The Spanish word 'notario' means notary public, not attorney. However, because 'notario' implies the authorization to practice law for Spanish speakers, many immigrants are misled. Second, there are also some attorneys who take advantage of immigrants by over-promising or downright lying to immigrants. For example, some lawyers mislead clients by asking for payment of filing fees when no filing fees are required, and the attorneys pocket the money. Many undocumented immigrants fall prey to these attorneys because they promise that immigrants will obtain status, as opposed to attorneys who carefully review a potential client's circumstances during a thorough consultation, and then inform the immigrant of the issues surrounding his or her case.
However, it is important not to give up on your case because some attorneys advise that your case is a difficult one. It is always advisable to contact multiple attorneys and listen carefully to what they say regarding your case. Find an attorney who will fight for you instead of simply giving up, but beware of those who over promise. And in the near future, hopefully Congress will deter con artists by punishing those who take advantage of immigrants who come to this country for a better life for themselves and their families.