Johnny Martin, a former supervisor in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, was convicted in October for his involvement in a green card fraud scheme that bilked immigrants out of millions of dollars, using criminals who posed as DHS agents.
Chicago immigration attorney Mario Godoy says a recent Chicago immigration telephone scam involving fake ICE agents demonstrates how vulnerable and desperate immigrants are:
US immigration laws are complex and confusing and are constantly changing. Many people wait years – or even decades – to get a Green Card to live and work in the United States. It’s important to consult an experienced, reputable immigration attorney for legal advice on your case, so you don’t waste time and money – and risk delays, or even getting denied.
The National Immigrant Justice Center has guidelines to prevent being cheated by an immigration scam:
• Only go to an attorney or accredited representative if you have immigration questions
• Lawyers must have a license to practice law – ask to see their law license
• Accredited representatives have to be accredited and work for an agency recognized by the Board of Immigration Appeals – ask to see their accreditation documents
• Never sign an application with false information
• Never sign a blank form
• Ask for copies of everything you sign
• Get a second opinion before filing any immigration application, especially if the advice sounds too good to be true
Don’t become a victim of immigration scams! If you need legal advice on immigration matters, make sure the person helping you is authorized to give legal advice. Only an attorney or an accredited representative working for a Department of Justice (DOJ) recognized organization can give you legal advice.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has an on-going program to bring attention to and report green card and immigration fraud.
The attorneys at Chicago’s Godoy Law Office fight for immigrant rights and help immigrants navigate the complex and numerous immigration policies, procedures, and regulations. If you need help with an immigration issue, please contact our office at 855-554-6369.