Third Circuit: Bad Advice from Notario Not Enough to Reopen Removal Order

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Third Circuit: Bad Advice from Notario Not Enough to Reopen Removal Order

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Last week in Jean Louis v. Attorney General, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals declined to reopen an immigration case. Mr. Jean Louis had been told by an “immigration expert” who Mr. Jean Louis believed as an attorney that he did not have to go to his asylum hearing because he was going to apply for residence through a marriage. After failing to go to the hearing relying on the “expert” advice, Mr. Jean Louis was ordered deported. The Third Circuit held that because the “immigration expert” had never held himself out to be an attorney, there are no exceptional circumstances that would allow Mr. Jean Louis to reopen his case and allowed the order of removal to Haiti to stand. Unfortunately, Mr. Jean Louis’s case is just one of many where people who refer to themselves as immigration consultants or notarios often inflict irreversible damage on cases.

To avoid fraud, consulted with licensed attorneys who are dedicated to the practice of immigration law.  In addition, follow these tips available at http://www.stopnotariofraud.org:

  • Don’t believe it if someone tells you about a secret new immigration law or claims to have connections or special influence with any government office or agency;
  • Don’t pay money to someone to refer you to an immigration lawyer;
  • Walk away if an immigration lawyer doesn’t have a license;
  • Never sign an application that contains false information, and try not to sign blank forms. If you must sign a blank form, make sure you get a copy of the completed form and check to make sure all the information is correct before it is filed;
  • Always get proof that your papers have been filed–ask for a copy or government filing receipt whenever anything is submitted in your case;
  • Insist on a written contract that spells out all fees and expenses and make sure you receive a receipt, especially if you pay cash. If terms change, get a written explanation;
  • Don’t let anyone “find’ you a sponsor or spouse to get you a green card–it’s illegal.

If you think your case has been compromised by bad advice from a notario or if you just want to make sure to get good advice in the first place, schedule an appointment to come into our offices for a consultation with one of our attorneys.

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