BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                      AB 60


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          Date of Hearing:  March 17, 2015


                           ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY


                                  Mark Stone, Chair


          AB  
                       60 (Gonzalez) - As Amended  March 9, 2015


                              As Proposed to be Amended


          SUBJECT:  IMMIGRATION SERVICES: ATTORNEYS


          KEY ISSUE:  SHOULD IMPORTANT CONSUMER PROTECTIONS, ENACTED LAST  
          YEAR TO PREVENT FRAUD UPON VULNERABLE IMMIGRANT CLIENTS WHO SEEK  
          IMMIGRATION SERVICES IN ANTICIPATION OF PROSPECTIVE  
          CONGRESSIONAL REFORM, ALSO EXTEND TO IMMIGRATION SERVICES  
          OFFERED IN ANTICIPATION OF EXECUTIVE ACTION BY THE PRESIDENT?


                                      SYNOPSIS


          According to the author, this bill is an important consumer  
          protection measure that will protect the vulnerable community  
          seeking assistance under new immigration rules proposed by  
          President Obama in a series of executive actions announced on  
          November 20, 2014 (hereafter "November 20 executive actions").   
          Like its predecessor, AB 1159 (Ch. 574, Stats. 2013), this bill  
          seeks to protect immigrants who seek relief under prospective  
          immigration reform from being charged fees for certain services  
          before the relief can possibly be obtained.  This follow-up  
          legislation is needed, however, because AB 1159 only applied to  
          an immigration reform act that is "enacted" by Congress and  
          signed by the President; thus it does not apply where  
          prospective immigration reform arises through executive action.   








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          The bill closes this unanticipated loophole from AB 1159 by  
          revising the definition of an immigration reform act to also  
          mean an executive action or order on immigration, as specified,  
          including the November 20 executive actions.


          In light of reported evidence that new scams have surfaced since  
          the recent executive actions were announced, the author seeks to  
          ensure that the protections established by AB 1159 also apply to  
          immigrants who may seek potential relief pursuant to the  
          executive actions by the President.  Among the protections that  
          would specifically apply in such cases, this bill would prohibit  
          an attorney or an immigration consultant from demanding, or  
          accepting the advance payment of, any funds for immigration  
          reform act services before the enactment or implementation of an  
          immigration reform act, as defined, and would require any funds  
          received after the effective date of this bill, but before the  
          enactment or implementation of an immigration reform act, to be  
          refunded to the client.  The bill would require any funds  
          received before the effective date of the bill for services not  
          yet rendered to be either refunded to the client, or deposited  
          in a client trust account, as specified. 


          The bill is strongly backed by a wide range of supporters,  
          including immigrant advocates, Los Angeles city officials, civil  
          rights organizations, and labor groups.  They believe this bill,  
          like its predecessor, will help reduce fraud and provide  
          appropriate enforcement tools to curtail fraudulent behavior.   
          The bill is opposed by a chapter of the American Immigration  
          Lawyers Association (AILA), who contend that the definition of  
          immigration reform services is overly broad and that it  
          unnecessarily ties the hands of immigration attorneys who are  
          trying to assist immigrants.  Proposed amendments seek to  
          address this concern by narrowing and clarifying that  
          definition, making technical amendments to clarify the time  
          frame for certain requirements, and adding an urgency clause.


          SUMMARY:  Clarifies that existing protections against fraud  
          related to immigration reform services apply when that  
          immigration reform arises from executive action, in addition to  








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          Congressional action.  Specifically, this bill:   


          1)Revises the definition of an "immigration reform act" to  
            include the President's executive actions on immigration  
            announced on November 20, 2014, or any future executive action  
            or order that authorizes an undocumented immigrant who either  
            entered the United States without inspection or who did not  
            depart after the expiration of a nonimmigrant visa, to attain  
            a lawful status under federal law.  Further requires the State  
            Bar to announce and post on its Internet Web site when such an  
            executive action or order has been issued.


          2)Clarifies that "immigration reform act services" do not  
            include legal services that have an independent value apart  
            from the preparation of an immigration reform act and other  
            related initial processes, such as assisting a client in  
            preventing removal from the United States.  


          3)Prohibits attorneys and immigration consultants from demanding  
            or accepting advance payment of any funds from a person for  
            immigration reform act services in connection with any of the  
            following:


             a)   Requests for expanded Deferred Action for Childhood  
               Arrivals (DACA) pursuant to an immigration reform act, as  
               defined, before the date the United States Citizenship and  
               Immigration Services begins accepting those requests.


             b)   Requests for Deferred Action for Parents of Americans  
               and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) pursuant to an  
               immigration reform act, as defined, before the date the  
               United States Citizenship and Immigration Services begins  
               accepting those requests.


             c)   Expanded Provisional Waivers of Unlawful Presence  
               pursuant to an immigration reform act, as defined, before  








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               the issuance and effective date of new guidelines and  
               regulation for those provisional waivers.


             d)   Any relief offered under any executive action announced  
               or executive order issued, on or after the effective date  
               of this bill, that authorizes an undocumented immigrant who  
               either entered the United States without inspection or who  
               did not depart after the expiration of a nonimmigrant visa  
               to attain a lawful status under federal law, before the  
               executive action or order has been implemented and the  
               relief is available.


          4)Clarifies that any advance payment of funds for immigration  
            reform act services that was received after October 5, 2013,  
            but before the enactment or implementation of the immigration  
            reform act for which the services were sought, shall be  
            refunded to the client promptly, but no later than 30 days  
            after the receipt of the funds.


          5)Makes technical and clarifying changes to ensure that existing  
            provisions for handling advance payments apply to funds that  
            were received prior to the effective date of the amendments  
            made by this bill, rather than October 5, 2013 (the date that  
            AB 1159 became effective.)


          6)Adds an urgency clause to have this bill take effect  
            immediately upon being signed into law.


          EXISTING LAW:   


          With respect to both attorneys and immigration consultants:


          1)Defines "immigration reform act" as any pending or future act  
            of Congress that is enacted after [October 5, 2013] but before  
            January 1, 2017, including but not limited to the "Border  








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            Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization  
            Act" (S. 744, 2013), as specified.  Further requires the State  
            Bar to announce and post on its Internet Web site when an  
            immigration reform act has been enacted.  (Business and  
            Professions Code Sections 6240(a) and 22442.5(b)(1).  All  
            further references are to this code unless otherwise stated.)
          2)Defines "immigration reform act services" as services offered  
            in connection with an immigration reform act that are  
            necessary in the preparation of an application and other  
            related initial processes in order for an undocumented  
            immigrant, as specified, to attain lawful status under the  
            immigration reform act.  (Sections 6240(b); Section  
            22442.5(b)(2).)


          3)Provides that it is unlawful for an attorney or immigration  
            consultant to demand, or accept advance payment of, any funds  
            from a person for immigration reform act services before the  
            enactment of an immigration reform act.  Further provides that  
            any funds received after [October 5, 2013] but before the  
            enactment of an immigration reform act must be promptly  
            refunded to the client, as specified.  (Section 6242(a) and  
            (b); Section 22442.6(a) and (b).)


          4)Provides that if an attorney or immigration consultant  
            providing immigration reform act services accepted funds prior  
            to the effective date of this section, and the services  
            provided in connection with payment of those funds were  
            rendered, the client shall promptly be provided with a  
            statement of accounting describing services rendered.  Further  
            provides that any funds received before [October 5, 2013], for  
            which immigration reform act services were not rendered prior  
            to the effective date, shall be either refunded to the client  
            or shall be deposited in a client trust account.  (Section  
            6242(c); Section 22442.6(c).)


          With respect to immigration consultants only:


          5)Makes it unlawful for any person, for compensation, other than  








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            persons authorized to practice law or authorized by federal  
            law to represent persons before the Board of Immigration  
            Appeals or the United States Citizenship and Immigration  
            Services, to engage in the business or act in the capacity of  
            an immigration consultant within this state except as  
            provided.  (Section 22440.)
          6)Prohibits an immigration consultant to literally translate  
            from English into another language, in any document, any words  
            or titles, including "notary public," "notary," "licensed,"  
            "attorney," or "lawyer" that imply the person is an attorney,  
            as specified, and provides that a person who violates the  
            translation prohibition is liable for a civil penalty not to  
            exceed $1,000, as specified.  (Section 22442.3.)


          7)Requires an immigration consultant, as defined, who provides  
            immigration reform act services to establish and deposit into  
            a client trust account any funds received from a client prior  
            to performing those services.  Funds may be withdrawn only  
            after certain services or documents have been completed, as  
            specified by the written contract between the consultant and  
            client.  (Section 22442.5.)


          FISCAL EFFECT:  As currently in print this bill is keyed fiscal.


          COMMENTS:  According to the author:


               In 2013, AB 1159 (Gonzalez) was signed into law as a  
               safeguard for immigrant families seeking immigration  
               services in anticipation of Congress passing  
               immigration reform. Families were protected from  
               practices that have led to immigration fraud, such as  
               "advance fees," in which a client provides payment to  
               an attorney or consultant for immigration services  
               prior to the enactment of the law by which the  
               services would be executed.  


               The statute does not, however, prevent an attorney  








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               from demanding or accepting the advance payment of  
               immigration services relevant to the President's  
               executive action because of the existing definition of  
               an "immigration reform act."  AB 60 aims to extend  
               existing protection against advance fees to immigrant  
               families seeking relief under President Obama's  
               executive action relating to immigration (in order to)  
               close this unexpected loophole under AB 1159.  This  
               bill will ensure that Californians do not fall prey to  
               any ongoing immigration services fraud.


          Like AB 1159, This Bill Seeks to Prevent Immigration Fraud  
          Associated with Services Offered to Obtain Relief Under  
          Prospective Federal Immigration Reform.  For several years, the  
          Obama administration and Congressional Democrats and Republicans  
          have been engaged in challenging political discussions over  
          potentially sweeping changes to federal immigration law.  While  
          the outcome of that debate in Washington is far from certain,  
          some individuals in California have apparently sought to charge  
          immigrants for various legal and paralegal or quasi-legal  
          services ("immigration reform act services") that cannot  
          appropriately be performed prior to such reform taking place and  
          some kind of relief actually being available.  As evidenced by  
          numerous examples of advertisements provided by the author to  
          this Committee, various services in anticipation of prospective  
          but uncertain immigration reform are being targeted to  
          Spanish-speaking immigrants. 


          According to the author and supporters, a large number of people  
          are at risk of exploitation given the potential size of the  
          immigrant pool that may be affected.  Undocumented immigrants  
          may be particularly vulnerable to abuse by unscrupulous  
          businesses and individuals because of the risks they face in  
          asserting their rights as consumers and victims of fraud or  
          other wrongdoing.  Like its predecessor, AB 1159 (Ch. 574,  
          Stats. 2013), this bill seeks to protect immigrants seeking  
          potential relief under prospective immigration reform from being  
          charged fees for certain services before such relief can  
          possibly be obtained pursuant to the relevant immigration reform  
          act.  This bill is specifically needed because AB 1159 was  








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          worded in a way that its protections only apply with respect to  
          an "immigration reform act" that is "enacted," or in other  
          words, the result of legislation passed by Congress and signed  
          into law by the President.  


          In light of the recent immigration executive actions announced  
          by President Obama on November 20, 2014, the author subsequently  
          introduced this legislation to ensure that the same protections  
          established by AB 1159 in 2013 shall apply to protect immigrants  
          who may be targeted by those now offering services to obtain  
          potential relief pursuant to the executive actions set forth by  
          the President.  To mitigate the need for continual follow-up  
          legislation every time new federal immigration reform is  
          proposed and corresponding immigration reform services are  
          offered in anticipation, the bill also seeks to apply these  
          protections to future immigration reform efforts, whether they  
          arise from either legislation enacted by Congress, or executive  
          action ordered by the President.


          Background on Recent Immigration Reform Efforts.  On June 27,  
          2013, the United States Senate passed S. 744, known as the  
          Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration  
          Modernization Act of 2013.  Approved by a bipartisan 68-32 vote  
          in the Senate, this historic legislation proposed to make broad  
          changes to federal immigration law.  Among other things, the  
          bill would have created a pathway to citizenship for many  
          immigrants who do not now have legal immigration status.  These  
          immigrants would have been able to apply for a special  
          registered provisional immigrant (RPI) status if they had been  
          physically present in the U.S. on or before December 31, 2011,  
          and met various other criteria.  


          On July 10, 2013, AB 1159 (which previously had a different  
          author and addressed an unrelated subject) was amended to guard  
          against immigration services fraud upon those seeking potential  
          relief under S.744, should it have ultimately become federal  
          law.  AB 1159 was signed by Governor Brown as an urgency measure  
          and its protections took effect on October 5, 2013.  However, S.  
          744 was never passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and  








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          died later in the 113th Congress without reaching the  
          President's desk.  During that time, the protections established  
          under AB 1159 were in effect under California law.


          On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced a series of  
          executive actions on immigration.  According to the United  
          States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the primary  
          agency responsible for implementing them, these initiatives  
          include:


          1)Expanding the population eligible for the Deferred Action for  
            Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to people of any current age  
            who entered the United States before the age of 16 and lived  
            in the United States continuously since January 1, 2010, and  
            extending the period of DACA and work authorization from two  
            years to three years.
          2)Allowing parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent  
            residents to request deferred action and employment  
            authorization for three years, in a new Deferred Action for  
            Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA)  
            program, provided they have lived in the United States  
            continuously since January 1, 2010, and pass required  
            background checks.
          3)Expanding the use of provisional waivers of unlawful presence  
            to include the spouses and sons and daughters of lawful  
            permanent residents and the sons and daughters of U.S.  
            citizens.


          (See  http://www.uscis.gov/immigrationaction  )
          On December 10, 2014, this bill was introduced to further the  
          objectives of AB 1159 and protect consumers seeking services in  
          connection with the President's executive actions announced  
          three weeks earlier.  On February 16, 2015, however, a federal  
          court in Texas issued a preliminary injunction to temporarily  
          prevent the federal government from implementing the DAPA and  
          expanded DACA programs pursuant to the November 20 executive  
          actions executive actions.  USCIS had planned to begin accepting  
          applications for the expanded DACA program on February 18, 2015,  
          while the DAPA program was expected to begin taking applications  








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          sometime in May 2015.  At the time of this analysis, the  
          Department of Homeland Security was not accepting requests for  
          either DAPA, or the expanded DACA programs, pending an appeal of  
          the case.  (See "Federal Court Halts DAPA and Expanded DACA  
          Programs", Center for Migration Studies, 2/17/15, located at  
           http://cmsny.org/federal-court-halts-dapa-and-expanded-daca-progr 
          ams  .)


          Revised Definition of "Immigration Reform Act" and "Immigration  
          Reform Act Services."  Under existing law, an "immigration  
          reform act" is defined as an act of Congress that is enacted  
          after October 5, 2013 (the effective date of AB 1159) but before  
          January 1, 2017 that authorizes an undocumented immigrant who  
          either entered the United States without inspection or who did  
          not depart after the expiration of a nonimmigrant visa, to  
          attain lawful status under federal law.  "Immigration reform act  
          services" are defined as services offered in connection with an  
          immigration reform act that are necessary in the preparation of  
          an application and other related initial processes in order for  
          an undocumented immigrant to attain lawful status under the  
          immigration reform act.  In order to extend existing protections  
          to immigration reform established by executive action, this bill  
          redefines "immigration reform act" to explicitly include the  
          President's November 20 executive actions on immigration as well  
          as any future executive action or order that similarly  
          authorizes a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.


          In opposition to the bill, the American Immigration Lawyers  
          Association (AILA) contends that the definition of immigration  
          reform act services (which includes the phrase "services offered  
          in connection with an immigration reform act . . . and other  
          related initial processes") is overly broad, particularly when  
          applied to restrict fees for services related to the November 20  
          executive actions on immigration, as this bill seeks to do.   
          AILA contends that this broad language unnecessarily restricts  
          immigration attorneys from gathering even basic background  
          information to assess a client's potential options (including,  
          e.g. criminal background checks, USCIS client files, past court  
          filings) regardless of whether immigration reform actually  
          occurs.  Furthermore, according to AILA, "Refusing to allow  








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          immigration attorneys to do their jobs and obtain the  
          documentation necessary to determine a client's options places  
          immigrants at a huge disadvantage legally and points them in the  
          direction of the very people who take advantage of them -  
          notarios, unlicensed document preparers and immigration  
          consultants."


          The Committee notes, however, that an acknowledged purpose of  
          the bill is to specifically regulate attorneys who are engaged  
          for the purpose of serving clients regarding an immigration  
          reform act, rather than any lawyer whose services in another  
          type of matter might tangentially or incidentally touch on a  
          client's potential eligibility for legalization or adjustment of  
          immigration status.  Such peripheral issues might arise, for  
          example, in the course of representation in a criminal matter,  
          employment dispute, domestic violence case or retaliatory  
          eviction challenge where the purpose of the representation is  
          not immigration status.  Moreover, with respect to engagement  
          for the purpose of immigration law, the Committee notes that the  
          definition relates only to services regarding an immigration  
          reform act and would not be implicated in the provision of  
          lawful and appropriate preliminary or preparatory work for  
          clients, such as obtaining records and documentation, for use in  
          applications or filings under any other immigration or other  
          law, or for lawful and appropriate procedures or processes for  
                                                                 determining or obtaining legal relief under other immigration or  
          other laws.  Nevertheless, to address opponents' concerns that  
          the definition is overly broad, the author proposes to amend the  
          bill to clarify that immigration reform act services do not  
          include legal services that have an independent value apart from  
          the preparation of an immigration reform act and other related  
          initial processes, such as assisting a client in preventing  
          removal from the United States.


          Restrictions on Advance Fees Before Any Immigration Reform Takes  
          Effect.  Under existing law enacted by AB 1159, attorneys and  
          immigration consultants are prohibited from demanding any funds,  
          or from accepting advance payment of any funds, for immigration  
          reform act services prior to the enactment of an immigration  
          reform act.  It should be noted that the prohibition is directed  








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          at services for a fee; if no fee is charged, this law is not  
          triggered.  Under AB 1159, the reason for this prohibition  
          appears to be plain: before proposed legislation has been signed  
          into law, it is impossible to know who might be eligible and  
          what steps would be needed to submit an application.  The  
          prohibition therefore targeted attorneys and immigration  
          consultants who were advertising and collecting fees for highly  
          questionable services in connection with immigration reform that  
          had not been enacted and may never have been enacted.  At the  
          time AB 1159 was approved by the Legislature, S. 744 awaited an  
          uncertain fate in the U.S. House of Representatives.  The fact  
          that S. 744 was ultimately never enacted into law highlights the  
          value of the kinds of protections that were established by AB  
          1159 during that interim period when it appeared that  
          immigration reform might soon be enacted.


          This bill seeks to ensure that restrictions on advance fees  
          established by AB 1159 apply to services offered in connection  
          with prospective immigration reform arising either from  
          legislation enacted by Congress (as is the case under existing  
          law) or from executive action.  In response to the November 20  
          executive actions 20, 2014 executive actions, the bill  
          specifically prohibits advance fees for services related to  
          requests for relief under the expanded DACA program and the DAPA  
          program before the date the USCIS begins accepting those  
          requests, as well as for services related to expanded  
          Provisional Waivers of Unlawful Presence before the issuance and  
          effective date of new guidelines and regulations for those  
          waivers.  In addition, for any future executive action or order  
          that similarly authorizes an undocumented immigrant to attain a  
          lawful status, as specified, the bill would prohibit advance  
          fees for such services before the executive action or order has  
          been implemented and the relief is available.


          In opposition to the bill, AILA contends that restrictions on  
          advance fees for immigration reform services that currently only  
          apply to prospective Congressional reform are less appropriate  
          when imposed on immigration reform services related to the  
          President's November 20 executive actions, as this bill seeks to  
          do.  The reason for this is that while it may be impossible to  








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          render services related to prospective Congressional action  
          until the legislation is enacted and the parameters of such  
          reform are known, in the case of the November 20 executive  
          actions, they contend, the parameters of potential relief are  
          already known and able to be acted upon right now,  
          notwithstanding current litigation that led to the February 16,  
          2015 injunction.  The author contends, however, that it is  
          precisely because the potential relief proposed by the executive  
          actions may never be available (i.e. if invalidated by a court)  
          that this bill is necessary to protect vulnerable immigrants  
          from being charged for services to prepare for relief that may  
          never be made available.


          In order to reflect that the bill is not limited only to  
          legislative immigration reform that is "enacted" by Congress,  
          the author proposes to amend various provisions of the bill to  
          apply to "enactment or implementation" of an immigration reform  
          act to include reform established by executive action or order.


          Provisions on Handling Advance Fees Collected Before This Bill  
          Takes Effect.  AB 1159 became effective on October 5, 2013,  
          immediately upon being signed by Governor Brown.  It provides  
          that if fees were collected before AB 1159 was in effect and the  
          services were rendered, the attorney must provide the client  
          with a statement of accounting for those services.  For fees  
          that were collected after AB 1159 took effect but before  
          enactment of an immigration reform act, and where the services  
          had not been rendered, the law requires those fees to be  
          refunded or placed in a client trust account, presumably within  
          30 days of AB 1159 taking effect.  If placed in a trust account,  
          the attorney or immigration consultant must provide a specified  
          notice in English and the client's native language.  Any advance  
          fees received after the effective date of the bill, but before  
          the enactment of an immigration reform act, must be returned to  
          the client.  


          As proposed to be amended, the bill makes a series of technical  
          amendments to ensure that these provisions for handling advance  
          payments apply to funds that were received prior to the  








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          effective date of the amendments made by this bill, rather than  
          October 5, 2013, the date that AB 1159 became effective.  These  
          proposed amendments are intended to ensure that the consumer  
          protections established by AB 1159 and this bill seamlessly  
          apply to fee agreements made since AB 1159 but also those made  
          subsequent to the November 20 executive actions on immigration.


          Reform of Immigration Consultants Act.  The Immigration  
          Consultants Act (ICA) was enacted in 1986 to regulate activities  
          of immigration consultants who perform a variety of services for  
          persons who seek adjustment of their immigrant status at minimal  
          cost.  The explosion of immigration applications, a result of  
          the 1986 federal amnesty law revisions, necessitated the  
          regulation of these persons.  Existing law imposes various  
          requirements on those who act in the capacity of an immigration  
          consultant.  Consultants must pass a background check, provide  
          clients with a written contract in English and the client's  
          native language, conspicuously display a statutory notice with  
          specified information (including that the consultant is not an  
          attorney), and file a $100,000 surety bond with the Secretary of  
          State.  Existing law also prohibits consultants from making  
          false or misleading statements, making guarantees or promises  
          unless it is in writing and there is a basis in fact for the  
          promise or guarantee, and making any statement that the  
          consultant can obtain special favors.  


          As described previously, AB 1159 prohibited not only lawyers but  
          immigration consultants from demanding or accepting advance  
          payment of any funds from a person for immigration reform act  
          services before the reform is enacted.  It also required  
          consultants who provide immigration reform act services to  
          deposit any funds received into a client trust account and only  
          withdraw funds upon completing an itemized service or document.   
          This bill revises the ICA to require immigration consultants to  
          follow the same restrictions placed upon attorneys with respect  
          to advance fee payments and required practices for depositing or  
          refunding advance fees already collected.  The bill revises the  
          definitions of "immigration reform act" and "immigration reform  
          act services" under the ICA to mirror those applied to  
          immigration attorneys.  The proposed technical amendments  








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          discussed above with respect to attorneys would also be made to  
          appropriate corresponding sections of the ICA.


          ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT:  The bill is strongly supported by  
          immigrant advocates, Los Angeles city officials, civil rights  
          organizations, and labor, among others.  For example, Asian  
          Americans Advancing Justice (AAAJ) writes in support:


               There are approximately 1.6 million people in  
               California that could potentially benefit from  
               President Obama's executive action. As a result of the  
               President's announcement, there has been an increase  
               of eligible immigrants seeking immigration related  
               services from attorneys and consultants. These  
               services are being wrongly advertised as promises that  
               they can get their documents via an expedited process,  
               despite the fact that the United States Citizenship  
               and Immigration Services (USCIS) has not even started  
               to release and process applications.


               This bill will address the serious concerns that have  
               been raised by law enforcement and the community as it  
               pertains to potential immigration fraud. The newly  
               created safeguards will prevent fraud from occurring  
               within vulnerable immigrant communities in California.  
               As an organization that provides immigration services,  
               we have seen community members who have been taken  
               advantage of by unscrupulous attorneys and immigration  
               preparers, and notary services, more commonly known as  
               "notarios". We understand the importance of laws that  
               protect individuals and immigrant families from  
               unscrupulous immigration services.


          As an official with practical experience in combatting  
          immigration-related scams, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer  
          writes in support:










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               In the wake of President Obama's executive action on  
               immigration my office is concerned that immigrants  
               will be targeted and victimized by an increasing  
               number of scams attempting to take advantage of the  
               evolving immigration rules and regulations.  In fact,  
               this has become such a concern in Los Angeles that my  
               office has initiated a comprehensive enforcement and  
               education campaign. . . This legislation would close a  
               loophole by applying safeguards and consumer  
               protections to immigrants seeking services under the  
               current executive action (and) is a much needed  
               effort.


          ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION:  In addition to the specific concerns  
          cited above, AILA opposes this bill because of the purported  
          negative impact the bill will have upon immigration attorneys  
          and their clients.  They state:  


               This bill will further deter future immigration  
               attorneys from entering into this field to begin with,  
               directly reducing the amount of competent immigration  
               attorneys willing and available to help serve this  
               population. The majority of clients in immigrant  
               communities will not be able to find or afford "good  
               attorneys" who are in compliance, increasing the  
               likelihood that those clients seek out less expensive  
               services by notarios or unlicensed and unregistered  
               attorneys.


               New legislation aimed at licensed attorneys that is so  
               restrictive and overly broad and unnecessarily binds  
               the help we can provide is not the solution to address  
               this area of consumer fraud. The AILA Southern  
               California chapter calls upon the California State  
               Legislature to act responsibly by considering the  
               significant concerns and negative ramifications such  
               an overly broad bill will have on the practice of  
               immigration law and vulnerable consumers in the State  
               of California.








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          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION:


          Support




          Asian Americans Advancing Justice- Los Angeles
          California Catholic Conference
          California Communities United Institute
          California Labor Federation
          Community Coalition
          Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer
          Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
          Mujeres Unidas y Activas
          United Farm Workers (UFW)
          Over 20 individuals


          Opposition


          American Immigration Lawyers Association- Southern California  
          Chapter (AILA)


          Analysis Prepared  
          by:              Anthony Lew/JUD./(916) 319-2334



















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