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Fake Lawyers and U.S. Immigration Correspondence

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are basically discussing fake lawyers; that is the issue in this video. 

Why are we bringing this up? Well we are bringing it up because we had a case that was basically somebody had thought they were going to a real Immigration Attorney, someone who is licensed in the United States, in order to provide immigration-related legal services and it turns out that that person that they were using was not at all what they were claiming to be. In fact they were a total fraud and they were simply lying and saying that they were an Attorney when in fact they were not.

Unfortunately, it is not as common as it once was out here in Thailand for a variety of reasons, but there are still fake lawyers here in Thailand and they continue to be an issue. This video specifically is discussing that and this can be taken in more general context. We see these kinds of people in Cambodia, Laos Myanmar, Vietnam; they are around. The fake immigration lawyer business seems to be something that just attracts a certain kind of person and there seems to be not a particular deficiency of those kinds of people; they are just out there.

The reason I was making this video is one of the big telltale signs If you are dealing with what you believe to be is a real lawyer, one of the tell-tale signs is, your attorney will be cc'd into correspondence, should you so desire, would be cc'd in a correspondence from the US Government directly and a real telltale sign is when that is not happening with whatever service provider you are using. We see this a lot when we pick up cases, usually that have been utterly bungled or been put into a position wherein the applicant has been severely disadvantaged. I have seen this in the context of lying in Visa applications or applications for Immigration benefits, because the person that they thought had their interest, the person that they thought was an attorney was not, was a fraud and was telling them to basically lie to the Immigration apparatus be it the embassy here or the Immigration apparatus under the Department of Homeland Security.  This has led to real problems and in this case it was no different.  It looks like a situation that can be rectified but the thing to take away from this video is fake lawyers are around at least especially here in Thailand although again not to the level they once were. It is a good idea to just ascertain the credentials of the individual that you are looking to use, ascertain where they were licensed to practice law and how much experience they have dealing with the Immigration apparatus. A reputable attorney that is duly qualified will have no problem providing this information whereas a fake lawyer will tell you something like "Oh, well you don't need to have a license in order to do this." I have seen it in prior correspondence with folks that later became our clients. "You don't need a license to do this kind of work." "We don't have to have that type of qualification to do that kind of work." That is utter nonsense. The fact is the law is relatively clear. 8 CFR 292.1 lays out the rules regarding this and it is very clear on the fact that only an American Attorney is able to charge fees for providing immigration services to clients. That is basically where it's at and unfortunately we do have a lot of bad actors out there. One thing you can do to forestall this issue is check credentials before signing up with anyone and ascertain whether or not they are a genuine attorney before making monetary transactions, before getting too embroiled in something that can cause problems down the road and especially always remember it is never a good idea to lie to Immigration Officials in any way.