Feds targeting fake immigration lawyers

By SUZANNE GAMBOA, Associated Press

WASHINGTON – A top federal immigration official is asking states' attorneys general to help him crack down on fake immigration lawyers and educate immigrants on how to spot them.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services director Alejandro Mayorkas told a group of attorneys general in Washington for a spring meeting that the federal government is eager to work with them to protect vulnerable immigrants and prosecute those who prey on them.

His agency and other federal and state agencies are launching an effort to warn people about the fake immigration lawyers known as "notarios" who charge exorbitant fees and give fraudulent advice to people seeking citizenship, green cards or other immigration benefits.

Seven cities — Atlanta, Baltimore, Detroit, Fresno, Calif., Los Angeles, New York and San Antonio — will serve as test sites.