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Fighting Notario Fraud in Santa Clara County

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When people migrate to the US, they have to deal with lots and lots of paperwork, to be able to live and work in the country. When you’re here and you’re petitioning for your spouse or children to join you from another country, it’s even more paperwork. It can get confusing and overwhelming, especially if you don’t know English.

Many people put their trust in immigration consultants to navigate the system and file the papers. But people are getting scammed by notary publics falsely claiming they’re authorized to offer legal advice. They charge high fees, leave the clients out of money, and without status. It’s called Notario fraud, and there’s a special unit at the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department dedicated to fighting it.

"There's a lot of mistakes on the paperwork, oftentimes people get deported."

KALW's Hana Baba visited and spoke with the two officers on that beat, Sugey Jaimez and Jose Zuniga.


Hana Baba is host of Crosscurrents, KALW's weeknight newsmagazine that broadcasts on KALW Public Radio in the San Francisco Bay Area.