Immigrants are being urged by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman not to be fooled by scammers who are threatening to deport them.
Since President Donald Trump signed the seven-country travel ban in majority Muslim areas, fears have heightened in the immigrant community. In tandem with the nervous environment, people have been posing as Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers to defraud immigrants with empty threats.
“It is unconscionable for scam artists to prey on heightened fear in our immigrant communities by pretending to be ICE officers and demanding that families pay up in order to avoid deportation,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “I urge communities to protect themselves by learning about these potential scams – and contacting my office if they suspect fraud. We will continue to use all of the tools at our disposal and bring to justice those who commit fraud against our immigrant communities.”
As noted in an official statement, the Attorney General’s office has received a number of reports of unsolicited calls or in-person inquiries from fake immigration officials. For example, one immigrant living in Queens was approached by four men dressed as ICE agents. The purported ICE “agents” told the man that he was going to be detained unless he gave them all of his money.
On Wednesday, Texas became the first state to back Trump’s Jan. 27 travel ban. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton told a federal court that he believes the problematic immigrant executive order was well within Trump’s authority. As of today, 15 states and the District of Columbia have filed paperwork to appeal the legislation.
To report potential fraud or other issues regarding immigration services in New York, contact the Attorney General’s Immigration Services Fraud Unit Hotline at (866) 390-2992 or email Civil.Rights@ag.NY.gov.