senate Bill S786A

Relates to implementing the immigrant assistance service enforcement act

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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
  • 13 / Jun / 2013
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO CONSUMER PROTECTION
  • 13 / Jun / 2013
    • PRINT NUMBER 786A
  • 21 / Jun / 2013
    • COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO RULES
  • 21 / Jun / 2013
    • ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.1636
  • 21 / Jun / 2013
    • SUBSTITUTED BY A158A

Summary

Implements the immigrant assistance service enforcement act; increases fines imposed upon those who violate laws regarding immigrant assistance services; requires certain immigrant assistance service providers to be registered with the department of state.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A158A
Versions:
S786
S786A
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Law Section:
General Business Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §§460-h & 460-b, add §§460-k & 460-l, Gen Bus L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2011-2012: A4887A, S94A, A4887A
2009-2010: A10162B, S7218A, A10162B

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S786A

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the general business law, in relation
to implementing the immigrant assistance service enforcement act

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To provide stricter enforcement
provisions and strengthen transparency within New York State's network
of immigration service providers.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

Section 1. Short title "Immigrant Assistance Service Enforcement Act".

Section 2. Amends the General Business Law, Section 460-h. Increases
the fine imposed upon those who violate laws regarding immigrant
assistance services to $10,000 for each violation.

Section 3. Amends the General Business Law by adding two new sections,
460-k and 460-1. Section 460-k provides for an additional civil
penalty that may be assessed against a provider of immigration
assistance services in certain circumstances. Section 460-1 provides
for the new registration requirements for providers of immigration
assistance services.

Section 4. Amends the General Business Law, Section 460-b, the opening
paragraph and subdivision 8. Prohibits the provision of immigrant
services unless the provider has registered with the Department of
State.

Section 5. Effective Date

EXISTING LAW: General Business Law, Article 28-C, Sections 460A-460J,
Immigrant Assistance Services. The current civil penalty is not more
than 67,500. There is no provision for additional civil penalties for
consumer fraud, for example, false advertising and deceptive
practices. Additionally, current law does not require providers of
immigration assistance to register with the Department of State.

JUSTIFICATION: Immigration assistance service providers can be a great
resource for individuals on the path to citizenship. However, due to
the vulnerable nature of some of these individuals as well as the
serious consequences that could result if certain laws, rules and
procedures are not followed, these providers should have the requisite
qualifications to be performing such services. This act would ensure
that individuals engaged in this practice are certified to do so and
are also registered with the Department of State so that those seeking
a provider can be assured that the one they are choosing is qualified
to perform these services.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2012: S.94-A- Amended and Recommitted to
Rules/A.4887-A - Passed Assembly 2011: S.94 - Reported and Committed
to Finance/A.4887 - Reported, Referred to Codes 2010 S.7218A -
Referred to Codes/A.10162B Reported to Ways and Means; Reported,
Referred to Rules

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Increased fines for violations of this statute
could result in additional funds for the state.


EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the one hundred
eightieth day after it shall have become a law. Effective immediately,
the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation
necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective date is
authorized to be made and completed on or before such effective date.

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

    S. 786--A                                              A. 158--A
                                                        Cal. No. 341

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                      S E N A T E - A S S E M B L Y

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

IN  SENATE  -- Introduced by Sens. DIAZ, AVELLA, PARKER, SAMPSON -- read
  twice and ordered printed, and when printed to  be  committed  to  the
  Committee   on  Consumer  Protection  --  committee  discharged,  bill
  amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said  commit-
  tee

IN  ASSEMBLY  --  Introduced by M. of A. CRESPO, STEVENSON, SCARBOROUGH,
  WEPRIN, RODRIGUEZ, BARRON, MARKEY, PERRY,  GUNTHER,  RAMOS  --  Multi-
  Sponsored  by  -- M. of A. ARROYO, ESPINAL, GOTTFRIED, HOOPER, JACOBS,
  MILLER, MONTESANO, MOYA, RIVERA, SEPULVEDA, TITONE, WEINSTEIN --  read
  once  and  referred  to  the  Committee  on Governmental Operations --
  reported and referred to  the  Committee  on  Codes  --  reported  and
  referred  to the Committee on Ways and Means -- passed by Assembly and
  delivered to the Senate, recalled from the Senate, vote  reconsidered,
  bill  amended,  ordered reprinted, retaining its place on the order of
  third reading

AN ACT to amend the general business law, in  relation  to  implementing
  the immigrant assistance service enforcement act

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

  Section 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the  "immigrant
assistance service enforcement act".
  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. Upon any violation of this article, an  applica-
tion  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,

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD00337-04-3

S. 786--A                           2                          A. 158--A

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] TEN THOU-
SAND DOLLARS for each violation.
  S 3. The general business law is amended by adding  two  new  sections
460-k and 460-l to read as follows:
  S 460-K. ADDITIONAL CIVIL PENALTY FOR CONSUMER FRAUDS AGAINST USERS OF
IMMIGRANT  ASSISTANCE SERVICES. 1.  (A) IN ADDITION TO ANY LIABILITY FOR
DAMAGES OR A CIVIL PENALTY IMPOSED PURSUANT TO  SECTIONS  THREE  HUNDRED
FORTY-NINE,  THREE  HUNDRED  FIFTY-C  AND  THREE HUNDRED FIFTY-D OF THIS
CHAPTER, REGARDING DECEPTIVE PRACTICES AND FALSE ADVERTISING, AND SUBDI-
VISION TWELVE OF SECTION SIXTY-THREE OF  THE  EXECUTIVE  LAW,  REGARDING
PROCEEDINGS BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR EQUITABLE RELIEF AGAINST FRAUDU-
LENT  OR  ILLEGAL  CONSUMER FRAUD, A PERSON OR ENTITY WHO ENGAGES IN ANY
CONDUCT PROHIBITED BY SAID PROVISIONS  OF  LAW,  AND  WHOSE  CONDUCT  IS
PERPETRATED  AGAINST  ONE  OR  MORE  PERSONS  SEEKING OR USING IMMIGRANT
ASSISTANCE SERVICES, MAY BE LIABLE FOR AN ADDITIONAL CIVIL  PENALTY  NOT
TO EXCEED TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS, AFTER CONSIDERING WHETHER ONE OR MORE OF
THE FACTORS IN PARAGRAPH (B) OF THIS SUBDIVISION ARE PRESENT.
  (B)  IN  DETERMINING  WHETHER  TO  IMPOSE A SUPPLEMENTAL CIVIL PENALTY
PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH (A) OF THIS SUBDIVISION, AND  THE  AMOUNT  OF  ANY
SUCH PENALTY, THE COURT SHALL CONSIDER, IN ADDITION TO OTHER APPROPRIATE
FACTORS, THE EXTENT TO WHICH THE FOLLOWING FACTORS ARE PRESENT:
  (1) WHETHER THE DEFENDANT KNEW THAT HIS OR HER CONDUCT WAS DIRECTED TO
ONE  OR  MORE  PERSONS SEEKING OR USING IMMIGRANT ASSISTANCE SERVICES OR
WHETHER THE DEFENDANT KNOWINGLY ACTED WITH DISREGARD OF THE RIGHTS OF  A
PERSON SEEKING OR USING IMMIGRANT ASSISTANCE SERVICES;
  (2)  WHETHER  THE  DEFENDANT'S CONDUCT: (A) CAUSED A PERSON SEEKING OR
USING IMMIGRANT ASSISTANCE SERVICES TO SUFFER LOSS OR ENCUMBRANCE  OF  A
PRIMARY  RESIDENCE,  LOSS OF EMPLOYMENT OR SOURCE OF INCOME, SUBSTANTIAL
LOSS OF PROPERTY OR ASSETS ESSENTIAL TO THE HEALTH  OR  WELFARE  OF  THE
PERSON  SEEKING  OR  USING IMMIGRANT ASSISTANCE SERVICES; OR (B) WHETHER
ONE OR MORE PERSONS SEEKING OR USING IMMIGRANT ASSISTANCE SERVICES  WERE
SUBSTANTIALLY  MORE  VULNERABLE  TO  THE  DEFENDANT'S CONDUCT BECAUSE OF
IMPAIRED UNDERSTANDING, OR ANY OTHER PERCEIVED DISADVANTAGE, AND ACTUAL-
LY SUFFERED PHYSICAL OR ECONOMIC DAMAGE RESULTING FROM  THE  DEFENDANT'S
CONDUCT.
  2.  RESTITUTION  ORDERED  PURSUANT  TO THE PROVISIONS OF LAW LISTED IN
SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION OR PURSUANT TO ANY OTHER SECTION OF  LAW
SHALL  BE  GIVEN PRIORITY OVER THE IMPOSITION OF CIVIL PENALTIES ORDERED
BY THE COURT UNDER THIS SECTION.
  S 460-L. REQUIREMENTS FOR REGISTRATION OF IMMIGRANT ASSISTANCE SERVICE
PROVIDERS.  1. ANY PERSON, FIRM OR CORPORATION SEEKING A CERTIFICATE  OF
REGISTRATION  AS  AN  IMMIGRATION ASSISTANCE SERVICE PROVIDER SHALL FILE
WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE AN APPLICATION  FOR  REGISTRATION  IN  SUCH
FORM AND DETAIL AS THE DEPARTMENT SHALL PRESCRIBE, INCLUDING THE FOLLOW-
ING:
  (A) THE NAME AND RESIDENCE ADDRESS OF THE APPLICANT;
  (B) THE BUSINESS NAME, IF OTHER THAN APPLICANT;

S. 786--A                           3                          A. 158--A

  (C)  THE  FEDERAL  BOARD  OF  IMMIGRATION  APPEAL ACCREDITATION OF THE
APPLICANT;
  (D)  THE  PLACE,  INCLUDING THE CITY, TOWN OR VILLAGE, WITH THE STREET
AND NUMBER, WHERE THE BUSINESS IS TO BE LOCATED;
  (E) THE BUSINESS TELEPHONE OF THE APPLICANT;
  (F) THE LENGTH OF TIME THAT THE  APPLICANT  HAS  BEEN  AN  IMMIGRATION
ASSISTANCE SERVICE PROVIDER;
  (G) A STATEMENT INDICATING WHETHER THE APPLICANT HAS:
  (I)  BEEN  CONVICTED  OF  ANY CRIME OR IS A DEBTOR ON ANY UNPAID CIVIL
JUDGMENT RELATING TO WORK AS AN IMMIGRATION ASSISTANCE SERVICE PROVIDER;
AND
  (II) AT ANY TIME IN THE PAST BEEN ISSUED A  REGISTRATION  PURSUANT  TO
THIS  SECTION,  AND IF SO, WHETHER SUCH REGISTRATION WAS EVER REVOKED OR
SUSPENDED;
  (H) SATISFACTORY EVIDENCE OF GOOD MORAL CHARACTER; AND
  (I) A SWORN STATEMENT BY THE APPLICANT THAT THE INFORMATION SET  FORTH
IN THE APPLICATION IS CURRENT AND ACCURATE.
  2. IN DETERMINING WHETHER TO ISSUE OR RENEW A REGISTRATION, THE SECRE-
TARY  OF  STATE  MAY CONSIDER THE CHARACTER, COMPETENCY AND INTEGRITY OF
THE APPLICANT.
  3. THE SECRETARY OF STATE MAY REFUSE TO ISSUE A  REGISTRATION  TO  ANY
PERSON,  FIRM  OR CORPORATION WHOM HE OR SHE FINDS HAS BEEN CONVICTED OF
ANY CRIME OR FAILED TO PAY ANY FINAL CIVIL JUDGMENT RELATING TO WORK  AS
AN  IMMIGRATION  ASSISTANCE  SERVICE  PROVIDER,  IN  ACCORDANCE WITH THE
PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE TWENTY-THREE-A OF THE CORRECTION LAW.
  4. (A) A REGISTRATION ISSUED OR RENEWED UNDER THE PROVISIONS  OF  THIS
SECTION  SHALL  ENTITLE  A  PERSON  TO  ACT  AS A REGISTERED IMMIGRATION
ASSISTANCE SERVICE PROVIDER IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK FOR A PERIOD OF TWO
YEARS FROM THE EFFECTIVE DATE  OF  THE  REGISTRATION.  ANY  REGISTRATION
GRANTED  UNDER  THIS  SECTION  MAY BE RENEWED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE
UPON APPLICATION AND PAYMENT OF THE FEE FOR SUCH RENEWAL BY  THE  HOLDER
THEREOF, IN SUCH FORM AS THE DEPARTMENT MAY PRESCRIBE.
  (B)  THE  SECRETARY  OF STATE SHALL HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO ASSIGN STAG-
GERED EXPIRATION DATES FOR REGISTRATIONS AT THE TIME OF RENEWAL. IF  THE
ASSIGNED  DATE  RESULTS  IN  A TERM THAT EXCEEDS TWENTY-FOUR MONTHS, THE
APPLICANT SHALL PAY AN ADDITIONAL PRO-RATED ADJUSTMENT TOGETHER WITH THE
REGULAR RENEWAL FEE.
  (C) THE SECRETARY OF STATE SHALL  ISSUE  EACH  IMMIGRATION  ASSISTANCE
SERVICE PROVIDER A UNIQUE REGISTRATION NUMBER.
  5. (A) EACH ORIGINAL APPLICATION OR APPLICATION FOR RENEWAL FOR REGIS-
TRATION  AS AN IMMIGRATION ASSISTANCE SERVICE PROVIDER SHALL BE ACCOMPA-
NIED BY A FEE OF TWO HUNDRED FIFTY DOLLARS FOR EACH  BIENNIAL  REGISTRA-
TION PERIOD.
  (B) NOTICE IN WRITING IN THE MANNER AND FORM PRESCRIBED BY THE DEPART-
MENT  OF STATE SHALL BE GIVEN TO THE DEPARTMENT AT ITS OFFICES IN ALBANY
WITHIN TEN DAYS OF CHANGES OF NAME OR ADDRESS BY REGISTERED  IMMIGRATION
ASSISTANCE SERVICE PROVIDERS.  THE FEE FOR FILING EACH CHANGE OF NAME OR
ADDRESS NOTICE SHALL BE TEN DOLLARS.
  (C)  IN  THE  CASE  OF  LOSS, DESTRUCTION OR DAMAGE, THE DEPARTMENT OF
STATE MAY, UPON SUBMISSION OF A REQUEST IN SUCH FORM AND MANNER  AS  THE
DEPARTMENT MAY PRESCRIBE, ISSUE A DUPLICATE REGISTRATION UPON PAYMENT OF
A FEE OF TEN DOLLARS.
  6. THE FEES ESTABLISHED  BY THIS SECTION SHALL NOT BE REFUNDABLE.
  7.  EACH IMMIGRATION ASSISTANCE SERVICE PROVIDER ENGAGED IN SUCH BUSI-
NESS SHALL CONSPICUOUSLY POST HIS OR  HER  CERTIFICATE  AT  HIS  OR  HER

S. 786--A                           4                          A. 158--A

PRIMARY  PLACE OF BUSINESS AND EXHIBIT SUCH CERTIFICATE UPON THE REQUEST
OF ANY INTERESTED PARTY.
  8. NO PERSON, FIRM OR CORPORATION SHALL:
  (A) PRESENT, OR ATTEMPT TO PRESENT, AS HIS, HER OR ITS OWN, THE REGIS-
TRATION OF ANOTHER;
  (B)  KNOWINGLY GIVE FALSE EVIDENCE OF A MATERIAL NATURE TO THE DEPART-
MENT OF STATE FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROCURING A REGISTRATION;
  (C) FALSELY  REPRESENT  THEMSELVES  TO  BE  A  REGISTERED  IMMIGRATION
ASSISTANCE SERVICE PROVIDER;
  (D) USE OR ATTEMPT TO USE A REGISTRATION WHICH HAS EXPIRED;
  (E)  OFFER  TO  PERFORM  OR PERFORM ANY IMMIGRATION ASSISTANCE SERVICE
WITHOUT HAVING A CURRENT REGISTRATION AS IS REQUIRED UNDER THIS SECTION;
  (F) REPRESENT IN ANY MANNER THAT HIS, HER OR ITS REGISTRATION  CONSTI-
TUTES  AN  ENDORSEMENT  OF  THE  QUALITY OF SERVICE OR COMPETENCY OF THE
PROVIDER; OR
  (G) ENGAGE IN ANY VIOLATION OF SECTION FOUR HUNDRED  SIXTY-E  OF  THIS
ARTICLE.
  9.  REGISTRATIONS  ISSUED  TO IMMIGRATION ASSISTANCE SERVICE PROVIDERS
SHALL NOT BE TRANSFERABLE OR ASSIGNABLE.
  10. AN ATTORNEY LICENSED TO PRACTICE LAW IN THIS STATE  SHALL  NOT  BE
REQUIRED TO REGISTER AS AN IMMIGRATION SERVICE PROVIDER.
  11.  (A)  THE SECRETARY OF STATE SHALL PROMULGATE SUCH RULES AND REGU-
LATIONS AS ARE DEEMED NECESSARY TO EFFECTUATE THE PURPOSES OF THIS ARTI-
CLE, AND SHALL PROVIDE WRITTEN NOTIFICATION OF THE  PROVISIONS  OF  THIS
ARTICLE  TO  ALL  IMMIGRATION  ASSISTANCE  SERVICE  PROVIDERS REGISTERED
PURSUANT TO THIS ARTICLE.
  (B) THE OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL SHALL HAVE THE POWER TO ENFORCE
THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTICLE AND UPON COMPLAINT OF ANY PERSON, OR UPON
REFERRAL BY THE SECRETARY OF STATE, TO INVESTIGATE ANY VIOLATION THEREOF
OR TO INVESTIGATE THE BUSINESS, BUSINESS PRACTICES AND BUSINESS  METHODS
OF  ANY  PERSON,  FIRM, LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY, PARTNERSHIP OR CORPO-
RATION APPLYING FOR OR HOLDING A REGISTRATION AS AN IMMIGRATION  ASSIST-
ANCE  SERVICE  PROVIDER,  IF IN THE OPINION OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL SUCH
INVESTIGATION IS WARRANTED. EACH SUCH APPLICANT OR REGISTRANT  SHALL  BE
OBLIGED,  ON  REQUEST OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE OR THE ATTORNEY GENERAL,
TO SUPPLY IN A MANNER CONSISTENT WITH SUBDIVISION NINE OF  SECTION  FOUR
HUNDRED  SIXTY-B  OF  THIS  ARTICLE  SUCH  INFORMATION, BOOKS, PAPERS OR
RECORDS AS MAY BE REQUIRED CONCERNING HIS, HER OR ITS BUSINESS, BUSINESS
PRACTICES OR BUSINESS METHODS, OR PROPOSED BUSINESS PRACTICES  OR  METH-
ODS.  FAILURE  TO COMPLY WITH A LAWFUL REQUEST OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE
OR THE ATTORNEY GENERAL SHALL BE A GROUND FOR DENYING AN APPLICATION FOR
A REGISTRATION, OR FOR REVOKING,  SUSPENDING,  OR  FAILING  TO  RENEW  A
REGISTRATION ISSUED UNDER THIS ARTICLE.
  (C)  THE  DEPARTMENT  OF STATE SHALL AFTER NOTICE AND HEARING HAVE THE
POWER TO REVOKE OR SUSPEND ANY  REGISTRATION,  OR  IN  LIEU  THEREOF  TO
IMPOSE  A FINE NOT EXCEEDING ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS PAYABLE TO THE DEPART-
MENT, OR REPRIMAND ANY REGISTRANT OR DENY AN APPLICATION FOR A REGISTRA-
TION OR RENEWAL THEREOF UPON PROOF:
  (I)  THAT  THE  APPLICANT  OR  REGISTRANT  HAS  VIOLATED  ANY  OF  THE
PROVISIONS  OF  THIS  ARTICLE  OR  THE RULES AND REGULATIONS PROMULGATED
PURSUANT TO THIS ARTICLE;
  (II) THAT THE APPLICANT OR REGISTRANT HAS PRACTICED FRAUD,  DECEIT  OR
MISREPRESENTATION;
  (III)  THAT  THE APPLICANT OR REGISTRANT HAS MADE A MATERIAL MISSTATE-
MENT IN THE APPLICATION FOR OR RENEWAL OF HIS OR HER REGISTRATION;

S. 786--A                           5                          A. 158--A

  (IV) THAT THE APPLICANT OR REGISTRANT HAS DEMONSTRATED INCOMPETENCE OR
UNTRUSTWORTHINESS IN HIS OR HER ACTIONS.
  12. THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE SHALL, BEFORE DENYING AN APPLICATION FOR A
REGISTRATION  OR  BEFORE  REVOKING  OR  SUSPENDING  ANY REGISTRATION, OR
IMPOSING ANY FINE OR REPRIMAND, AND AT LEAST FIFTEEN DAYS PRIOR  TO  THE
DATE  SET  FOR  THE  HEARING,  AND UPON DUE NOTICE TO THE COMPLAINANT OR
OBJECTOR, NOTIFY IN WRITING THE APPLICANT FOR, OR  THE  HOLDER  OF  SUCH
REGISTRATION  OF  ANY  CHARGE  MADE  AND  SHALL AFFORD SUCH APPLICANT OR
REGISTRANT AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE HEARD IN PERSON OR BY COUNSEL IN  REFER-
ENCE  THERETO.  SUCH  WRITTEN  NOTICE  MAY BE SERVED BY DELIVERY OF SAME
PERSONALLY TO THE APPLICANT OR REGISTRANT, OR BY MAILING SAME BY  CERTI-
FIED  OR  FIRST  CLASS  MAIL  TO THE LAST KNOWN BUSINESS ADDRESS OF SUCH
APPLICANT OR REGISTRANT.  SUCH HEARING SHALL BE SCHEDULED  WITHIN  SIXTY
DAYS OF RECEIPT OF THE COMPLAINT.
  13. THE HEARING ON SUCH CHARGES SHALL BE AT SUCH TIME AND PLACE AS THE
DEPARTMENT OF STATE SHALL PRESCRIBE AND SHALL BE CONDUCTED BY SUCH OFFI-
CER OR PERSON IN THE DEPARTMENT AS THE SECRETARY OF STATE MAY DESIGNATE,
WHO  SHALL  HAVE  THE  POWER TO SUBPOENA AND BRING BEFORE THE OFFICER OR
PERSON SO DESIGNATED ANY PERSON IN THIS STATE, AND ADMINISTER AN OATH TO
AND TAKE TESTIMONY OF ANY PERSON OR CAUSE HIS OR HER  DEPOSITION  TO  BE
TAKEN.  A  SUBPOENA  ISSUED UNDER THIS SECTION SHALL BE REGULATED BY THE
CIVIL PRACTICE LAW AND RULES. SUCH OFFICER OR PERSON IN  THE  DEPARTMENT
OF  STATE DESIGNATED TO TAKE SUCH TESTIMONY SHALL NOT BE BOUND BY COMMON
LAW OR STATUTORY RULES OF EVIDENCE OR BY TECHNICAL OR  FORMAL  RULES  OF
PROCEDURE.
  14.  IN THE EVENT THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE SHALL DENY THE APPLICA-
TION FOR, OR REVOKE OR SUSPEND ANY SUCH REGISTRATION, OR IMPOSE ANY FINE
OR REPRIMAND, ITS DETERMINATION  SHALL  BE  IN  WRITING  AND  OFFICIALLY
SIGNED.    THE ORIGINAL OF SUCH DETERMINATIONS, WHEN SO SIGNED, SHALL BE
FILED IN THE OFFICE OF THE DEPARTMENT AND COPIES THEREOF SHALL BE MAILED
TO THE APPLICANT OR REGISTRANT AND TO THE COMPLAINANT  WITHIN  TWO  DAYS
AFTER SUCH FILING.
  15. THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE, ACTING BY THE OFFICE OR PERSON DESIGNATED
TO  CONDUCT THE HEARING PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION THIRTEEN OF THIS SECTION
OR BY SUCH OTHER OFFICER OR PERSON IN THE DEPARTMENT AS THE SECRETARY OF
STATE MAY DESIGNATE, SHALL HAVE THE POWER TO SUSPEND THE REGISTRATION OF
ANY REGISTRANT WHO HAS BEEN CONVICTED IN THIS STATE OR ANY  OTHER  STATE
OR  TERRITORY  OF  A  FELONY, OR OF ANY MISDEMEANOR INVOLVING HIS OR HER
WORK AS AN IMMIGRATION ASSISTANCE SERVICE  PROVIDER  FOR  A  PERIOD  NOT
EXCEEDING  THIRTY  DAYS PENDING A HEARING AND A DETERMINATION OF CHARGES
MADE AGAINST HIM OR HER. IF SUCH HEARING IS ADJOURNED AT THE REQUEST  OF
THE  REGISTRANT, OR BY REASON OF ANY ACT OR OMISSION BY HIM OR HER OR ON
HIS OR HER BEHALF, SUCH SUSPENSION MAY BE CONTINUED FOR  THE  ADDITIONAL
PERIOD OF SUCH ADJOURNMENT.
  16.  THE  ACTION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE IN GRANTING OR REFUSING TO
GRANT OR TO RENEW A REGISTRATION UNDER THIS ARTICLE OR  IN  REVOKING  OR
SUSPENDING  OR  REFUSING  TO  REVOKE  OR  SUSPEND SUCH A REGISTRATION OR
IMPOSING ANY FINE OR REPRIMAND SHALL BE SUBJECT TO REVIEW BY A  PROCEED-
ING INSTITUTED UNDER ARTICLE SEVENTY-EIGHT OF THE CIVIL PRACTICE LAW AND
RULES AT THE INSTANCE OF THE APPLICANT FOR SUCH REGISTRATION, THE HOLDER
OF A REGISTRATION SO REVOKED, SUSPENDED, FINED OR REPRIMANDED.
  17.  (A)  ANY  PERSON,  FIRM  OR CORPORATION THAT OPERATES AS AN IMMI-
GRATION ASSISTANCE SERVICE PROVIDER WITHOUT BEING  REGISTERED  SHALL  BE
REQUIRED  TO  PAY  A  CIVIL PENALTY NOT TO EXCEED FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS.
PROVIDED THAT, THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE MAY REDUCE SUCH PENALTY  IF  SUCH
PERSON,  FIRM  OR  CORPORATION  AGAINST  WHOM  SUCH  PENALTY IS ASSESSED

S. 786--A                           6                          A. 158--A

OBTAINS A REGISTRATION AS REQUIRED BY THIS SECTION, PROVIDED THAT APPLI-
CATION FOR SUCH REGISTRATION IS MADE NOT MORE THAN TEN  DAYS  AFTER  THE
IMPOSITION  OF  SUCH  PENALTY  AND  THE  IMMIGRATION  ASSISTANCE SERVICE
PROVIDER  HAS NEVER RECEIVED A PRIOR FINE FOR FAILURE TO REGISTER IN NEW
YORK OR IN ANY OTHER STATE THAT REQUIRES REGISTRATION.
  (B) AN IMMIGRATION ASSISTANCE SERVICE  PROVIDER  MAY  NOT  MAINTAIN  A
CIVIL  ACTION  TO  RECOVER PAYMENT FOR IMMIGRATION ASSISTANCE OFFERED OR
PERFORMED IF SUCH CONTRACTOR WAS NOT REGISTERED AS REQUIRED  UNDER  THIS
SECTION AT THE TIME SUCH WORK WAS OFFERED OR PERFORMED.
  (C)  MONEY  COLLECTED  PURSUANT  TO  PARAGRAPH (A) OF THIS SUBDIVISION
SHALL BE DESIGNATED FOR THE FUNDING  OF  INVESTIGATIONS  OF  IMMIGRATION
SERVICE PROVIDER FRAUD.
  18.  THE PROVIDER'S NAME, BUSINESS NAME, IF DIFFERENT THAN THE PROVID-
ER, THE BUSINESS LOCATION OR LOCATIONS, THE BUSINESS TELEPHONE NUMBER OR
NUMBERS AND THE DATE THE PROVIDER WAS FIRST REGISTERED SHALL  BE  AVAIL-
ABLE  TO THE PUBLIC ON THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE'S WEBSITE. THE DEPARTMENT
SHALL ENSURE THAT A CONSUMER IS ABLE TO VERIFY THIS INFORMATION BY CALL-
ING THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE'S TOLL-FREE PHONE NUMBER.
  19. THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE SHALL MAKE PUBLIC ON ITS WEBSITE AND  KEEP
UPDATED  AT LEAST ANNUALLY, OR MAKE AVAILABLE IN RESPONSE TO THE REQUEST
OF ANY CUSTOMER, A LIST OF PROVIDERS REGISTERED AS IMMIGRATION PROVIDERS
PURSUANT TO THIS ARTICLE. EACH IMMIGRATION PROVIDER SHALL  CONSPICUOUSLY
POST ITS CERTIFICATE AT ITS PLACE OF BUSINESS.
  S  4.  The opening paragraph and subdivision 8 of section 460-b of the
general business law, as added by chapter 463 of the laws of  2004,  are
amended to read as follows:
  NO IMMIGRATION SERVICE SHALL BE PROVIDED, UNDER PENALTY OF LAW, UNLESS
SUCH  SERVICE  PROVIDER  HAS REGISTERED WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE. No
immigrant assistance service shall be provided until  the  customer  has
executed  a  written  contract  with  the provider who will provide such
services. The contract shall be in a language understood by the  custom-
er,  either  alone  or  with the assistance of an available interpreter,
and, if that language is not English, an English language version of the
contract must also be provided. A copy of the contract shall be provided
to the customer upon the  customer's  execution  of  the  contract.  The
customer has the right to cancel the contract within three business days
after  his or her execution of the contract, without fee or penalty. The
right to cancel the contract within three days without  payment  of  any
fee  may be waived when services must be provided immediately to avoid a
forfeiture of eligibility or other loss of rights or privileges, and the
customer furnishes the provider with a separate dated and signed  state-
ment,  by the customer or his or her representative, describing the need
for services to be provided within three days and expressly  acknowledg-
ing  and waiving the right to cancel the contract within three days. The
contract may be cancelled at any time after execution. If  the  contract
is  cancelled  after  three  days,  or within three days if the right to
cancel without fee has been waived, the provider  may  retain  fees  for
services  rendered,  and  any  additional  amounts  actually expended on
behalf of the customer. All  other  amounts  must  be  returned  to  the
customer  within  fifteen  days after cancellation. The written contract
shall be in plain language, in at least  twelve  point  type  and  shall
include the following:
  8.  The  statement:  "The individual providing assistance to you under
this contract is not an attorney licensed to practice law or  accredited
by  the  board  of  immigration appeals to provide representation to you
before the bureau of citizenship and immigration services,  the  depart-

S. 786--A                           7                          A. 158--A

ment  of labor[, the department of state] or any immigration authorities
and may not give legal advice or accept fees for legal advice".
  S 5. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after
it shall have become a law.  Effective immediately, the addition, amend-
ment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implemen-
tation  of  this act on its effective date are authorized to be made and
completed on or before such effective date.

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