During these uncertain times in our country, many families are living in fear. As a mom, I can’t even imagine the horror of going to the grocery store, and being detained leaving my daughter alone. I understand why so many of our immigrant families are turning to anyone who offers to help protect them. That’s why, as a City, we must protect our most vulnerable residents from being victims of predatory “notarios.”
Far too often people who have no legal training will represent themselves as qualified to provide immigration help – and take large sums of money from vulnerable immigrants, but leave these folks no better protected.
California has laws against this type of behavior, and our City Attorney, Mike Feuer, and his team are aggressively enforcing those laws in cooperation with the County. I support his efforts to protect these families. That’s why I introduced a motion recently, seconded by Councilmember Gil Cedillo,that would set up a registration process for legitimate immigration services. This new process will allow immigrants to have a list of legitimate services they can turn to for assistance in the City, but the registration fee will provide the City with funding to better investigate illegitimate service providers and shut down those that are victimizing our neighbors.
Los Angeles is a great city for many reasons, but one of the most important is that we have such a vibrant immigrant community. We have an obligation to keep families together, regardless of what awful policies might be handed down from Washington, D.C.