A local group that helps immigrants with their citizenship status and other issues is sounding the alarm tonight. It says if you need advice on immigration matters... you should think twice about where you go for help.
Jennifer Clerici is an accredited immigration supervisor with the Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Allentown. "We meet with foreign nationals every day to assess their eligibility to file for family petitions, citizenship, consular processing, adjustment of status..."
As a community based organization, Catholic Charities charges minimal fees for consultation.But not everyone claiming to be an expert has a client's best interest at heart... like unlicensed attorneys.
"There are a lot of times where we meet with individuals who say they went to x,y,z location and they were promised that for five thousand dollars they would be able to obtain their status. For some people that's their life savings."
Clerici says it's best to always ask for people's accreditation before taking any advice and when in doubt... you should check them out... online.
"Immigration law is very complex and you really have to know what you're doing and keep up with training non stop in order to assist somebody because the wrong advice can hurt"