Project END (Eradicating Notario Deceit) is a direct legal services project aimed at remedying the harm caused by notario or immigration consultant fraud. Project END provides advice, counsel, and representation to victims in civil, criminal, and immigration proceedings.
A notario, notario público, or immigration consultant in the U.S. is not an attorney nor an accredited representative of the Board of Immigration Appeals in the U.S., and consequently, is not licensed to provide paid immigration legal advice or legal services. Unscrupulous notarios or consultants routinely prey on immigrants who, because of linguistic, cultural, and financial obstacles, believe a notario or consultant can assist them with their legal issues. The fraudulent work of notarios or immigration consultants can have life-devastating consequences on its victims, including financial ruin, damage to a legal case, deportation, and permanent family separation.
Ayuda’s Project END encourages consumers to submit complaints to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Complaints are viewed by local and national law enforcement and government agencies to identify and take action against businesses or individuals who defraud immigrant consumers.
To submit a complaint, please visit: FTC Complaint Assistant and click “Other” then “Immigration or Tax Services.” Complaints may be submitted anonymously.
Ayuda Project END has created a guide to show how to submit notario/legal services fraud complaints in DC, MD, VA, and nationally, with a summary of the potentially relevant civil and criminal statutes in each jurisdiction.
View Ayuda’s immigration services fraud prevention materials here.
Ayuda partnered with Georgetown University Law Center’s Community Justice Project to develop resources on the options for accessing justice afforded to victims of notario fraud in the Washington, DC, area.
Protect and Serve: Access to Justice for Victims of Notario Fraud in the Nation’s Capital, provides a legal assessment of the problem of notario fraud, explains the adverse impacts, outlines various remedies available to victims, and offers recommendations for how to effectively bring justice against perpetrators.
Notario Fraud Remedies: A Practical Manual for Immigration Practitioners offers tools to identify notario fraud, to interview victims, and to advocate for immigration remedies, including Prosecutorial Discretion, U Nonimmigrant Status (for crime victims), and Motions to Reopen due to Ineffective Assistance of Counsel.
If you have any questions or would like to refer a case to Ayuda’s Project END, please contact Anne Schaufele, Project END staff attorney, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (202) 552-3604.
Project END is funded by the D.C. Bar Foundation.