senate Bill S709

Provides for the regulation of the licensure and practice of immigration providers by the department of state

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 09 / Jan / 2013
    • REFERRED TO CONSUMER PROTECTION
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO CONSUMER PROTECTION

Summary

Provides for the regulation of the licensure and practice of immigration providers by the department of state in order to protect immigrants from exploitation.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A78
Versions:
S709
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Consumer Protection
Law Section:
General Business Law
Laws Affected:
Add §460-k, amd §460-h, Gen Bus L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2011-2012: S1479, A10420
2009-2010: S2283A, A4430A
2007-2008: S2473, A3235

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S709

TITLE OF BILL:

An act
to amend the general business law, in relation to
immigration providers

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:

To establish a licensing requirement of immigration consultants by the
state and to protect immigrants from fraudulent immigration
consultants.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

The bill amends General Business Article 28-C (Chapter 463).

This legislation would grant New York State Department the power to
issue licenses to immigration providers and require those who act as
such to be so licensed. Licensees would be required to disclose all
relevant information to the Department, including any prior
convictions, to determine their eligibility for a license. At the
time of licensing, they must file with secretary of state a surety
bond.

In addition, licensees would be required to display the license
certificate and to pay a filing fee. The state also has to make
public the list of licensees on its website and upon the re-lest of
any party.

The State should also establish a procedure for filing complaints and
investigating the complaint within 30 days of such a complaint. The
Department of State has the power to revoke or suspend such licenses
upon proof of wrongdoing on the part of the immigration provider.

Any persons aggrieved by the immigration consultants would be
entitled to relief in the form of a civil action as well as a
criminal action.
The injured party would be eligible for reasonable attorney fees and
costs, including a minimal recovery of five thousand dollars.

JUSTIFICATION:

Currently, there are laws that prohibit immigration providers to
conduct themselves and advertise themselves as lawyers. However,
there is no state regulation of these providers. As the growth of
immigrants increase, there is a great need for legislation to prevent
immigration providers from taking advantage of these immigrants. Such
legislation would act as a safeguard against those who practice
fraudulent activities against immigrants for mere economic gains.
Furthermore, the business
of immigration consultants is virtually unregulated by the state.

The state legislation should take active measures to protect against
corrupt practices by immigration consultants. These consultants try


to deprive immigrants of the fundamental liberties which they seek to
achieve as citizens of our country. Also, corrupt immigration
consultants create a negative first impression of the democratic
process by using the immigrants for their own selfish profits at the
expense of unwary immigrants. This legislation seeks to regulate the
business of immigration consultants and to protect immigrants from
those who do not have the requisite expertise in or commitment to
that business.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

2011-12: S.1479/A.10420 - Died in Consumer Protection
2009-10: S.2283A/A.4430A - CONSUMER PROTECTION/Reported to Codes
2008: S.2473
2006: S.8133

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

Licensing fees will cover the cost of setting up licensing and
enforcement.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

The first of January next succeeding the date on which it shall have
become a law, with provisions.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                   709

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  PARKER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Consumer Protection

AN ACT to amend the general business law,  in  relation  to  immigration
  providers

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. The general business law is amended by adding a new section
460-k to read as follows:
  S 460-K. LICENSES. 1. THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE SHALL ISSUE LICENSES  TO
IMMIGRATION  PROVIDERS  AND, UPON APPLICATION, TO ISSUE RENEWAL LICENSES
EVERY TWO YEARS. THE SECRETARY OF STATE SHALL ENFORCE THE PROVISIONS  OF
THIS  ARTICLE  GOVERNING  THE FILING AND MAINTENANCE OF SURETY BONDS AND
THE APPLICATION FOR LICENSURE AND/OR RENEWAL.
  2. NO PERSON SHALL ENGAGE IN  THE  BUSINESS  OF  IMMIGRANT  ASSISTANCE
SERVICE  AS  DEFINED IN SECTION FOUR HUNDRED SIXTY-A OF THIS ARTICLE, OR
ADVERTISE HIS OR HER BUSINESS TO BE THAT OF IMMIGRATION PROVIDER WITHOUT
HAVING FIRST OBTAINED FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE A LICENSE TO  DO  SO,
PURSUANT TO THIS ARTICLE.
  3.  NO  PERSON SHALL DISSEMINATE BY ANY MEANS ANY STATEMENT INDICATING
DIRECTLY OR BY IMPLICATION THAT THE PERSON ENGAGES IN  THE  BUSINESS  OF
IMMIGRANT  ASSISTANCE SERVICE AS DEFINED IN SECTION FOUR HUNDRED SIXTY-A
OF THIS ARTICLE OR ACTS IN THE CAPACITY OF AN IMMIGRATION  PROVIDER,  OR
PROPOSES  TO  ENGAGE  IN THE BUSINESS OR ACT IN THE CAPACITY OF AN IMMI-
GRATION PROVIDER, UNLESS THE PERSON HAS ON FILE WITH  THE  SECRETARY  OF
STATE  A  BOND  AND  LICENSE,  IN  THE  AMOUNT  AND SUBJECT TO THE TERMS
DESCRIBED IN SECTION FOUR HUNDRED SIXTY-G OF THIS ARTICLE.
  4. ANY PERSON INTENDING TO ENGAGE, AS AN IMMIGRATION PROVIDER, IN  ANY
ONE  OR MORE OF THE ACTIVITIES SET FORTH IN THIS ARTICLE SHALL FILE WITH
THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE A WRITTEN APPLICATION AND DISCLOSURE,  ON  FORMS
PROVIDED  BY  THE  DEPARTMENT  OF STATE, CONTAINING SUCH INFORMATION AND

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD02768-01-3

S. 709                              2

DOCUMENTATION TO BE RETAINED BY THE SECRETARY OF STATE AS THE  SECRETARY
OF  STATE  MAY REQUIRE BY RULE AND REGULATION, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED
TO: (A) NAME, DATE OF BIRTH, RESIDENCE ADDRESS, BUSINESS ADDRESS,  RESI-
DENCE  TELEPHONE  NUMBER,  AND BUSINESS TELEPHONE NUMBER; (B) EXPERIENCE
THE PROVIDER HAS HAD  WITH  IMMIGRATION;  (C)  PLACES  OF  BUSINESS  AND
EMPLOYEES,  IF  ANY;  (D)  NAME  AND ADDRESS OF THE PROVIDER'S AGENT FOR
SERVICE OF PROCESS IF ONE IS REQUIRED OR  HAS  BEEN  APPOINTED  AND,  IF
APPLICABLE, THE NAME, BUSINESS ADDRESS, BUSINESS TELEPHONE AND AGENT FOR
SERVICE OF PROCESS OF THE CORPORATION OR PARTNERSHIP EMPLOYING THE IMMI-
GRATION PROVIDER; (E) A RECORD OF ANY PRIOR CONVICTIONS UNDER THIS ARTI-
CLE.   THE SECRETARY OF STATE SHALL DEVELOP THE DISCLOSURE FORM REQUIRED
TO FILE AN APPLICATION AND BOND PURSUANT TO  THIS  SECTION  AND  SECTION
FOUR HUNDRED SIXTY-G OF THIS ARTICLE.
  5. THE SECRETARY OF STATE SHALL CHARGE AND COLLECT A FILING FEE AT THE
TIME  OF APPLICATION AND/OR RENEWAL TO COVER THE COST OF FILING THE BOND
REQUIRED BY SECTION FOUR HUNDRED SIXTY-G OF THIS ARTICLE.
  S 2. Section 460-h of the general business law, as  added  by  chapter
463 of the laws of 2004, is amended to read as follows:
  S 460-h. Enforcement. 1. Upon any violation of this article, an appli-
cation  may be made by the attorney general in the name of the people of
the state to a court having jurisdiction to  issue  an  injunction,  and
upon notice to the respondent of not fewer than five days, to enjoin and
restrain  the  continuance  of  the violation. If it shall appear to the
satisfaction of the court or justice that the defendant  has,  in  fact,
violated  this  article,  an  injunction  may be issued by such court or
justice,  enjoining  and  restraining  any  further  violation,  without
requiring  proof  that  any person has, in fact, been injured or damaged
thereby. In any such proceeding, the court may make  allowances  to  the
attorney  general  as  provided  in  paragraph six of subdivision (a) of
section eighty-three hundred three of the civil practice law and  rules,
and  direct  restitution.  Whenever  the  court  shall  determine that a
violation of this article has occurred, the court  may  impose  a  civil
penalty  of  not  more than seven thousand five hundred dollars for each
violation.
  2. A PERSON CLAIMING TO BE AGGRIEVED BY ANY VIOLATION OF THIS  ARTICLE
BY  AN  IMMIGRATION  PROVIDER  MAY  BRING  A CIVIL ACTION FOR INJUNCTIVE
RELIEF, DAMAGES OR BOTH. THE COURT SHALL GRANT  A  PREVAILING  PLAINTIFF
REASONABLE  ATTORNEYS'  FEES  AND COSTS. ANY RECOVERY OR PROCEEDING IN A
CIVIL ACTION SHALL NOT PRECLUDE AN ACTION BY  THE  ATTORNEY  GENERAL  OR
DISTRICT  ATTORNEY  TO  PURSUE  CRIMINAL  CHARGES AGAINST AN IMMIGRATION
PROVIDER. MINIMAL RECOVERY FOR THE  PLAINTIFF  SHALL  BE  FIVE  THOUSAND
DOLLARS.
  S  3. This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeed-
ing the date on which it shall have become a law; provided, however that
effective immediately, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule
or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effec-
tive date are authorized and directed to be made  and  completed  on  or
before such effective date.

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