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File #: Res 2059-2013    Version: * Name: Increase the criminal penalties for unscrupulous immigration service providers who violate state law.
Type: Resolution Status: Filed
Committee: Committee on Immigration
On agenda: 12/10/2013
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: Resolution calling on the New York State Legislature to increase the criminal penalties for unscrupulous immigration service providers who violate state law.
Sponsors: James Vacca, Ruben Wills, Margaret S. Chin, Inez E. Dickens, Lewis A. Fidler, Andy L. King, Peter A. Koo, G. Oliver Koppell, Michael C. Nelson, Deborah L. Rose, Jumaane D. Williams, Ydanis A. Rodriguez
Council Member Sponsors: 12
Attachments: 1. Committee Report, 2. Hearing Testimony, 3. Hearing Transcript
Date Ver.Prime SponsorAction ByActionResultAction DetailsMeeting DetailsMultimedia
12/31/2013*James Vacca City Council Filed (End of Session)  Action details Meeting details Not available
12/17/2013*James Vacca Committee on Immigration Hearing Held by Committee  Action details Meeting details Not available
12/17/2013*James Vacca Committee on Immigration Laid Over by Committee  Action details Meeting details Not available
12/10/2013*James Vacca City Council Referred to Comm by Council  Action details Meeting details Not available
12/10/2013*James Vacca City Council Introduced by Council  Action details Meeting details Not available
Res. No. 2059
 
 
Resolution calling on the New York State Legislature to increase the criminal penalties for unscrupulous immigration service providers who violate state law.
 
 
By Council Members Vacca, Wills, Chin, Dickens, Fidler, King, Koo, Koppell, Nelson, Rose, Williams and Rodriguez
Whereas, According to the most recent census, New York City is home to over three million immigrants, many of whom are currently seeking citizenship; and
Whereas, The pathway to citizenship in the United States can be complex and confusing; and
Whereas, For many immigrants it can take up to ten years to obtain citizenship and cost
thousands of dollars in legal fees and application costs; and
Whereas, Therefore many immigrants turn to immigration service providers who are not attorneys for assistance; and
Whereas, Many immigrants fall victim to  unscrupulous immigration service providers who misrepresent themselves as attorneys, fail to follow state law and  take advantage of an individual's lack of status; and
Whereas,  Immigrants applying for citizenship, petitioning for permanent residency for loved ones, and pursuing employment-based visas rely on immigration service providers to guide them through a myriad of complicated issues; and
Whereas, Improperly filing immigration documents can have a negative impact on a person's future status, for example, it may lead to detention or deportation; and
Whereas, More needs to be done to curb the abusive practices visited upon  the immigrant community by unscrupulous service providers and to ensure that they are properly represented and those who are victimized receive justice; and
Whereas, The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrives ("DACA") program was implemented in 2012; and
Whereas, DACA  permits immigrant children who meet certain criteria to apply for deferred action, a temporary form of immigration relief, and apply for employment authorization; and  
Whereas, Under DACA, approximately 90,000 immigrant children in New York State could benefit from this program; and
Whereas, Due to the large number of immigrants who will need  assistance to navigate the DACA application process it is more important than ever that criminal penalties are enhanced for those who fail to follow State law in providing immigration services in New York City and State; and
Whereas, The provision of immigration services is governed by New York State General Business Law ("GBL") Article 28-C, Section 460; and
Whereas, GBL Section 460-h allows an appropriate court to impose a civil penalty of not more than seven thousand five hundred dollars for each violation of Article 28-C; and
Whereas GBL Section 460-I classifies violations of Article 28-C as  Class A misdemeanors punishable by up to a year in prison and a fine not to exceed $1,000; and
Whereas, Section 460-I also allows the court to impose restitution or reparations paid to the victim of the crime in an amount not to exceed ten thousand dollars; and
Whereas, However, the imposition of these criminal and civil penalties has not had the desired deterrent effect; and
Whereas, Individuals who fail to provide immigration services in accordance with the law take advantage of immigrants and jeopardize their status and future should be punished accordingly; and
Whereas, Therefore the criminal penalty for unscrupulous immigration service providers should be increased from a Class A misdemeanor to a felony to better deter and punish these bad actors and safeguard the immigrant community; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York urges the New York State Legislature to increase the criminal penalties for unscrupulous immigration service providers who violate state law.
LS#4384
JSM
12/3/13