Three Texas Notaries Posing as Immigration Attorneys Shut Down
Three businesses posing as law firms along the Texas-Mexico border have been shut down for falsely claiming they could provide immigration services. The firms were taking advantage of Spanish speakers' understanding of the word “notario.”
The original complaint from the Texas Attorney General’s Office says four businesses in Hidalgo County were fraudulently acting as immigration attorneys when they were actually just notary publics.
Three were shut down and face civil penalties and the fourth is awaiting judgment.
In the United States, a notary can only bear witness and attest that formal documents have been signed. In Mexico, a "notario publico" is a high-level attorney.
Teresa Farfan, a spokeswoman with the Texas AG’s Office, says it’s not uncommon for scam artists to play on the word “notario” to those seeking citizenship.
“They are being promised that they’ll get their green cards, that they’ll get their residency status, that those people are so well connected that they guarantee they’ll get that legal residency to them," Farfan said.
Farfan adds the time lost in false applications can often lead to deportation. About 80 false immigration services have been shut down in Texas to date.