Proposed law in Colorado seeks to regulate the illegal practice of notaries in immigration procedures

Representative Dan Pabon has proposed a law to regulate the illegal practice of “notaries” not authorized to legally represent clients in immigration procedures. If approved, the legal measure would require every person dedicated to preparing and providing legal representation in immigration procedures to the government of the United States to be an attorney, or otherwise authorized by the federal government prior to offering his or her services in exchange for any type of compensation.

Among other requirements, the legislation requires persons not legally authorized to provide these services to display in a clear, evident and easily visible place the following message, in English as well as other languages:

“I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY LICENSED TO PRACTICE LAW IN THE STATE OF COLORADO AND I MAY NOT GIVE LEGAL ADVICE OR ACCEPT FEES FOR LEGAL ADVICE. I AM NOT AN IMMIGRATION CONSULTANT, NOR AM I AN EXPERT ON IMMIGRATION MATTERS. IF YOU SUSPECT FRAUD, YOU MAY CONTACT THE COLORADO ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE OR THE COLORADO SUPREME COURT.”

Additionally, all notaries in the state of Colorado not qualified to practice law are forbidden to:

  • Request or accept compensation from any government employee.
  • Use the phrase “notario” or “notario público” in the announcement of their services.

This measure responds to the vulnerability of the people of the state of Colorado, and offers measures to protect immigrants from rampant fraud by unscrupulous “notaries” who deceive thousands because they are lawyers in countries with Latin legal traditions. In English-speaking countries such as the United States, a license to practice law is not a prerequisite to offer notary services.

You can access the full proposed legislation here.

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