This week, Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22) and Congressman Bill Foster (IL-11) introduced two bills to protect the rights of immigrants. The legislation would protect immigrants from fraud schemes and ensure immigrants are informed of their legal rights. The Protecting Immigrants from Legal Exploitation Act (H.R. 912) would impose a fine and possible jail sentence for offering fraudulent immigration legal services. The Immigrant Detainee Legal Rights Act (H.R. 913) would require immigration detention centers to inform immigrant detainees of their legal rights of their arrival at the facilities.
“Immigrant communities are extremely vulnerable to fraudulent legal services schemes,” said Congressman Deutch. “These scams are financially costly, can derail complex cases, and can result in people being deported. Also, many immigrants are unaware of their rights as they are processed through high stakes deportation proceedings. These bills will help crack down on fraudulent legal services schemes and ensure that people know their rights as they navigate complex deportation proceedings.”
“It may be easy for anyone to fall prey to deceptive practices. Even worse, many immigrants are unable to stay in this country or legally return due to fraudulent or negligent legal services,” Congressman Foster said. “We need to make sure these individuals are aware of their legal rights in this country and are not defrauded when they seek to enter this country legally. I am proud to work with Congressman Deutch so that everyone is aware of their rights in this country.”
The legislation has been endorsed by the National Immigration Forum and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service.