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L.A. City Attorney’s office investigates immigration scams following Obama executive order

The Los Angeles City Attorney’s office is helping to investigate more than 30  cases of possible scams related to President Barack Obama’s executive orders aimed at enabling some undocumented immigrants to avoid deportation and get work permits, city officials announced today.

City Attorney Mike Feuer’s office is working with the County Department of Consumer Affairs on the investigations. Feuer’s office is starting a campaign to warn immigrants of the scams.

“There are those that will use the president’s executive actions as a vehicle to victimize immigrants,” Feuer said. “If scam artists perpetrate their schemes, we will prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.”

Feuer’s office will hold educational town halls Jan. 31 at Mount St Mary’s College in South Los Angeles and Feb. 28 at the Van Nuys Civic Center to help eligible immigrants fill out the necessary forms.

Tips for avoid immigration-related fraud are posted at http://atty.lacity.org/.

“The citizenship process is complex and can be intimidating for most,” said Brian J. Stiger, director of the County Department of Consumer Affairs, said, adding that circumstance are “ripe for fraud as scam artists look for opportunities to take advantage of those in need of help.”

Last month, Obama issued executive orders to let parents of U.S. citizens or green card holders to apply for three-year work permits if they entered the country before Jan. 1, 2010. The program, known as Deferred Action for Parental Accountability, or DAPA, will enable them to avoid deportation and to legally re-enter the United States after leaving the country.

About 155,000 people in Los Angeles could qualify for the program, based on figures from the USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, and another 66,000 Los Angeles residents could qualify under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, which is being expanded to include people of any age who were brought into the country as children under the age of 16 prior to Jan. 1, 2010. The previous version of DACA capped the age of applicants at 30.

The federal government is developing a formal application process that could be announced over the next six months.

in Crime, News
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