Thursday, March 1, 2007

Legal bureaucracies and lawyer impersonators trap ordinary expatriates

The Tennessean reported here on the practice of notaries impersonating lawyers and preying on Hispanic consumers, ruining their victim's legal and financial lives. The lure of using notaries for legal work stems from the use of the term "notario" in Spanish-speaking countries to describe a kind of super-lawyer, whereas in the U.S. a notary has no legal function, training, or license to practice law - a distinction unknown to many.

The Nashville City Paper ran this story on a Mexican-born man who is and has been legally present in the U.S. since he was 2 years old, but who was nonetheless processed for deportation, highlighting the bear-trap effect of the U.S. immigration bureaucracy.

The City Paper also reported here about concerns that the bear-trap effect will be exacerbated in Nashville now that the "287(g)" federal/local cooperation program is bringing the immigration bureaucracy into the Davidson County Sheriff's office (interviews with Sheriff and advisory council member here; news of the program's approval here and here).

Photo by Colodio

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