“I’ve Been Ripped Off. What Can I Do?”
I often hear nightmarish accounts about former immigration attorneys or those pretending to be immigration attorneys (report these to your state Attorney General); some are true, some are false and some are exaggerated. Be that as it may, immigration attorneys, like immigration clients, must not lie, misrepresent themselves or their cases, or engage in otherwise restricted or forbidden behavior.
There are serious consequences for such actions. This is why it is crucially important to hire a licensed attorney to handle your case- not a consultant and most definitely not a Notario. Clients have reported stories about Notarios threatening them with a call to ICE should they ask for a refund or otherwise complain about their services or the fact that they have engaged in the unalwful practice of law.
If you have been the victim of misrepresentation or other forbidden behavior by a licensed immigration attorney, you may have recourse at the state level (with the attorney’s state bar association) or at the federal level with the Executive Office for Immigration Review of the Department of Justice (EOIR). The EOIR investigates allegations of misconduct on the part of immigration attorneys. Such investigations have led to the suspension or disbarment of immigration attorneys.
Take note of the Instructions for Filing a Complaint Against an Attorney or Representative, “Filing a complaint against an immigration practitioner is a serious matter. Your decision to file a complaint should only be made after careful consideration and after all efforts to work out the problem with the practitioner have failed.” You can bet that if you file what turns out to be a borderline or even frivolous complaint, you will scare off a great many good immigration attorneys from helping you in the future and the attorney you complained about may even have a cause of action against you for libel, slander, or interference with a business relationship. Also, filing a patently false complaint is a violation of federal law and one that may render you subject to negative immigration consequences.
USCIS Publication Don’t Be a Victim of Immigration Fraud