Pro Bono Newsletter
Pro Bono Is a Part of Professionalism n AILA Practice and Professionalism Center
American Immigration Lawyers Association www.aila.org
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Tackling Immigration Scams in Baltimore
AILA Lawyers Provide Free Consultations to Scam Victims
by Travis Olsen I
n a monumental movement to combat notario fraud/ UPL, the Federal Trade
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Commission, Department of Justice, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Executive Office for Immigration Review and several state and local enforcement agencies have joined forces. As part of this collaborative effort, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a complaint against LOMA International Business Group, Servicios Latinoamericanos de Maryland Inc., the proprietor Manuel Albán and his wife, Lola Albán, neither of whom are licensed attorneys or BIA accredited representatives. The
"As attorneys we have the skills and capability necessary to support law enforcement's efforts to combat the unlawful practice of immigration law and help the victims correct the wrongs perpetrated through fraudulent acts."
complaint alleges that "since at least February 2001, defendants have advertised, marketed, sold and provided immigration services to consumers" in the Baltimore, Maryland area. Over the past ten years the defendants have allegedly filed at least 600 immigration applications. "Over half were denied or were rejected by USCIS."
Shortly aſter this complaint was filed an injunction was granted, the defendants' assets were frozen, a monitor was appointed and the FTC was granted access to the defendant's business premises. With this action the agencies have sent a clear sign that this type of abuse will no longer be tolerated. The FTC is able to obtain financial restitution for the Albáns' victims, but providing adequate legal advice and representation fell to the local community of immigration attorneys.
This is when AILA National and the AILA DC Chapter became involved in this restitution process by providing free consultations to the Albáns' victims and low-cost representation when potential relief was available. The AILA DC Chapter along with the AILA National, the Maryland Immigrant Rights Coalition and
CONTINUED on pg. 2 >> u ISSUE HIGHLIGHTS: Spotlight on Maggio + Kattar 3 AILA Sponsors Training in New York 4 Chapters Happenings 5 AIC Takes Stand Against DHS 6 www.aila.org 1