It would surprise many immigrants from Central and South American countries to learn that a “notary public”, or a “notario publico”, performs a completely different role in the United States than in their country of origin. Throughout Latin America the word “notario” describes someone trained as an attorney who has the right to represent clients and draft contracts. In home countries for many immigrants in the United States a notario would be qualified to play a legitimate and powerful role in immigration proceedings -- but not here in the United States.
In the U.S., the term “notary public” describes a different profession and set of responsibilities. Notary publics, while able bear official witness to the signing of legal documents, have no authority to draft or even select those documents. Becoming a notary in the U.S. can involve no more than a few hours of training, passing a background check and paying a licensing fee to a state agency.
This linguistic a...more.
On June 27, 2013, the U.S. Senate passed the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (S.744). This legislation includes a path to legalization for an estimated...more.
Awareness of notario fraud was heightened in the wake of the passage of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. That legislation was meant to stop the flow of undocumented immigrants into the ...more.
Texas has been a leader in combatting notario fraud. In 2003, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott took a stand against notario fraud in the Travis county area. Barbara Seigert, a notary public, was fou...more.
Attorney James R. Valinoti was accused of botching the cases of several immigrant clients. Valinoti would charge high fees without delivering adequate services. On some occasions, he would fail to s...more.
A civil case was brought again Luis Ramirez for pretending to be an immigration attorney to many immigrants in Virginia who did not understand the rules and regulations of the United States court and ...more.