senate Bill S94A

2011-2012 Legislative Session

Relates to implementing the immigrant assistance service enforcement act

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


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

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jun 06, 2012 print number 94a
amend and recommit to rules
Mar 12, 2012 committee discharged and committed to rules
Feb 21, 2012 notice of committee consideration - requested
Jan 04, 2012 referred to consumer protection
Mar 23, 2011 reported and committed to finance
Feb 22, 2011 notice of committee consideration - requested
Jan 05, 2011 referred to consumer protection

Bill Amendments

Original
A (Active)
Original
A (Active)

S94 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A4887A
Current Committee:
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 Sessions:
2011-2012: A4887A
2009-2010: A10162B, S7218A

S94 - Bill Texts

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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 NUMBER:S94

TITLE OF BILL: REVISED 12/30/11
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 Section 460-h of the General Business Law. Doubles
the fine imposed upon those who violate laws regarding immigrant
assistance services to $15,000.

Section 3 Amends Section 460-i of the General Business Law.
Establishes a class E felony for three violations or more by the same
individual or entity.

Section 4 Amends the General Business Law by adding two new sections;
460-k and 460-1. Strengthens civil penalties for crimes committed
against immigration assistance service users and creates a special
fund that allocates monies collected from imposed fines to fund
future enforcement provisions. Requires all immigrant assistance
service providers to be registered with the department of state, and
added to a newly created online data-base.

Section 5 Amends the opening paragraph and section 460-b (8) of the
General Business Law. Prohibits the provision of immigrant services
unless the provider is registered with the Department of State.

Section 6 Effective Date

JUSTIFICATION:
Recent actions taken by the Office of
the New York
State Attorney General have illustrated that the system charged with
the oversight of immigration assistance service enforcement is in
dire need of stricter enforcement provisions, increased transparency,
and greater public accessibility.

There are currently too many New York companies providing unauthorized
and fraudulent legal services to immigrant communities. For example,
under the terms of the agreements secured by the Attorney General's
office in February of 2010, three different agencies have been
permanently barred from operating a business that provides
immigration-related services
and have been ordered to collectively pay approximately $118,000 in
penalties.


In light of such developments, "The Immigration Assistance Service
Enforcement Act" serves to expand the enforcement powers of Article
28-c of the General Business Law by increasing oversight and
transparency within the existing system and increasing penalties for
violations. Perhaps most importantly this act creates a special fund
that can use funds collected from fines to help strengthen and
develop these vital services to the newest Americans who are often
vulnerable to fraudulent legal services and other deceptive practices.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

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 & Means;
Reported, Referred to Rules

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

Increased fines for violations of this statute could result in
additional funds for the state, but the statue is strict in regards
to how they are to be allocated.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect one hundred and eighty days after it
becomes law.

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

                                   94

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 5, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  DIAZ  --  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  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,
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] FIFTEEN
THOUSAND DOLLARS for each violation.
  S 3. Section 460-i of the general business law, as  added  by  chapter
463 of the laws of 2004, is amended to read as follows:
  S  460-i.  Violations.  Any violation of any provision of this article
shall be a class A misdemeanor, and upon conviction the court may  order

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD03324-01-1

S. 94                               2

as  part of the sentence imposed restitution or reparation to the victim
of the crime pursuant  to  section  60.27  of  the  penal  law.    THREE
VIOLATIONS  OR  MORE,  OF  THIS ARTICLE BY THE SAME INDIVIDUAL OR ENTITY
SHALL  BE  A  CLASS E FELONY, AND UPON CONVICTION THE COURT MAY ORDER AS
PART OF THE SENTENCE IMPOSED RESTITUTION OR REPARATION TO THE VICTIM  OF
THE CRIME PURSUANT TO SECTION 60.27 OF THE PENAL LAW.
  S  4.  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. DEFINITION. AS USED IN  THIS  SECTION,
USERS  OF IMMIGRANT SERVICES IS DEFINED AS ANY INDIVIDUAL WHO IS SEEKING
ANY KIND OF ASSISTANCE SERVICE, LEGAL OR OTHERWISE,  FROM  AN  IMMIGRANT
ASSISTANCE  SERVICE  AS  DEFINED IN SECTION FOUR HUNDRED SIXTY-A OF THIS
ARTICLE.
  2. SUPPLEMENTAL CIVIL PENALTY. (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 USERS OF IMMIGRANT ASSISTANCE  SERVICES,
MAY BE LIABLE FOR AN ADDITIONAL CIVIL PENALTY NOT TO EXCEED TEN THOUSAND
DOLLARS,  IF  THE FACTORS IN PARAGRAPH (B) OF THIS SUBDIVISION ARE PRES-
ENT.
  (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  THE  DEFENDANT'S  CONDUCT  WAS
DIRECTED TO ONE OR MORE USERS OF IMMIGRANT ASSISTANCE SERVICES OR WHETH-
ER  THE  DEFENDANT'S CONDUCT WAS IN WILLFUL DISREGARD OF THE RIGHTS OF A
USER OF IMMIGRANT ASSISTANCE SERVICES;
  (2) WHETHER THE DEFENDANT'S CONDUCT: (A) CAUSED A  USER  OF  IMMIGRANT
ASSISTANCE  SERVICES  TO  SUFFER  LOSS OR ENCUMBRANCE OF A PRIMARY RESI-
DENCE, LOSS OF EMPLOYMENT OR SOURCE OF INCOME, SUBSTANTIAL LOSS OF PROP-
ERTY OR ASSETS ESSENTIAL TO THE HEALTH OR WELFARE OF THE USER  OF  IMMI-
GRANT ASSISTANCE SERVICES; OR (B) WHETHER ONE OR MORE USERS OF IMMIGRANT
ASSISTANCE  SERVICES  WERE  SUBSTANTIALLY MORE VULNERABLE TO THE DEFEND-
ANT'S CONDUCT BECAUSE OF LANGUAGE BARRIERS, IMPAIRED  UNDERSTANDING,  OR
ANY  OTHER  PERCEIVED  DISADVANTAGE,  AND  ACTUALLY SUFFERED PHYSICAL OR
ECONOMIC DAMAGE RESULTING FROM THE DEFENDANT'S CONDUCT.
  3. THERE IS HEREBY ESTABLISHED IN THE STATE TREASURY A SPECIAL FUND TO
BE KNOWN AS THE IMMIGRANT ASSISTANCE SERVICE STABILITY FUND, WHICH SHALL
CONSIST OF AND INTO WHICH SHALL BE PAID  FIFTY  PERCENT  OF  ALL  MONEYS
DERIVED  FROM  SUPPLEMENTAL  CIVIL  PENALTIES  IMPOSED  PURSUANT TO THIS
SECTION.  THE MONEYS IN SUCH FUND SHALL BE ADMINISTERED BY  THE  DEPART-
MENT  OF  LAW  AND SHALL BE EXPENDED SOLELY FOR THE INVESTIGATION OF AND
PROSECUTION OF CONSUMER FRAUDS AGAINST  USERS  OF  IMMIGRANT  ASSISTANCE
SERVICES.  THE  MONEYS  IN  THE  FUND SHALL BE PAID OUT ON THE AUDIT AND
WARRANT OF THE COMPTROLLER ON VOUCHERS  CERTIFIED  OR  APPROVED  BY  THE
ATTORNEY  GENERAL.    NOTWITHSTANDING  ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW TO THE
CONTRARY, ANY BALANCE IN SAID FUND ON MARCH THIRTY-FIRST OF  ANY  FISCAL
YEAR SHALL NOT REVERT TO THE GENERAL FUND OF THE STATE.

S. 94                               3

  4.  RESTITUTION  ORDERED  PURSUANT  TO THE PROVISIONS OF LAW LISTED IN
SUBDIVISION TWO OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE GIVEN PRIORITY OVER THE IMPOSI-
TION OF CIVIL PENALTIES DESIGNATED 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  AN  APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION IN SUCH FORM AND
DETAIL AS THE DEPARTMENT SHALL PRESCRIBE, INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING:
  (A) THE NAME AND RESIDENCE ADDRESS OF THE APPLICANT;
  (B) THE BUSINESS NAME, IF OTHER THAN APPLICANT;
  (C) THE PLACE, INCLUDING THE CITY, TOWN OR VILLAGE,  WITH  THE  STREET
AND NUMBER, WHERE THE BUSINESS IS TO BE LOCATED;
  (D) THE BUSINESS TELEPHONE OF THE APPLICANT;
  (E)  THE  LENGTH  OF  TIME  THAT THE APPLICANT HAS BEEN AN IMMIGRATION
ASSISTANCE SERVICE PROVIDER;
  (F) 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;
  (G) SATISFACTORY EVIDENCE OF GOOD MORAL CHARACTER; AND
  (H)  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, IF SUCH REFUSAL WILL,  IN
THE  JUDGMENT  OF  THE SECRETARY OF STATE, BEST PROMOTE THE INTERESTS OF
THE PEOPLE OF THIS STATE.
  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 UPON APPLI-
CATION 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 FIFTY DOLLARS FOR EACH BIENNIAL REGISTRATION PERIOD.
  (B) NOTICE IN WRITING IN THE MANNER AND FORM PRESCRIBED BY THE DEPART-
MENT  SHALL  BE  GIVEN TO THE DEPARTMENT AT ITS OFFICES IN ALBANY WITHIN
TEN DAYS OF CHANGES OF NAME OR ADDRESS BY REGISTERED IMMIGRATION ASSIST-
ANCE SERVICE PROVIDERS.   THE FEE FOR FILING  EACH  CHANGE  OF  NAME  OR
ADDRESS NOTICE SHALL BE TEN DOLLARS.

S. 94                               4

  (C)  IN  THE  CASE OF LOSS, DESTRUCTION OR DAMAGE, THE DEPARTMENT 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 EXHIBIT HIS OR HER CERTIFICATE UPON THE REQUEST OF ANY INTER-
ESTED 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 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;
OR
  (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.
  9.  REGISTRATIONS  ISSUED  TO IMMIGRATION ASSISTANCE SERVICE PROVIDERS
SHALL NOT BE TRANSFERABLE OR ASSIGNABLE.
  10. (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  SECRETARY  OF  STATE  SHALL  HAVE  THE  POWER TO ENFORCE THE
PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTICLE AND UPON COMPLAINT OF ANY PERSON, OR UPON THE
SECRETARY'S INITIATIVE, TO  INVESTIGATE  ANY  VIOLATION  THEREOF  OR  TO
INVESTIGATE THE BUSINESS, BUSINESS PRACTICES AND BUSINESS METHODS OF ANY
PERSON,  FIRM,  LIMITED  LIABILITY  COMPANY,  PARTNERSHIP OR CORPORATION
APPLYING FOR OR HOLDING A  REGISTRATION  AS  AN  IMMIGRATION  ASSISTANCE
SERVICE  PROVIDER,  IF  IN  THE  OPINION  OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE SUCH
INVESTIGATION IS WARRANTED. EACH SUCH APPLICANT OR REGISTRANT  SHALL  BE
OBLIGED,  ON  REQUEST OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE, TO SUPPLY SUCH INFORMA-
TION, BOOKS, PAPERS OR RECORDS AS MAY BE REQUIRED CONCERNING HIS, HER OR
ITS BUSINESS, BUSINESS PRACTICES OR BUSINESS METHODS, OR PROPOSED  BUSI-
NESS  PRACTICES  OR  METHODS. FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH A LAWFUL REQUEST OF
THE SECRETARY SHALL BE A GROUND FOR DENYING AN APPLICATION FOR A  REGIS-
TRATION, OR FOR REVOKING, SUSPENDING, OR FAILING TO RENEW A REGISTRATION
ISSUED UNDER THIS ARTICLE.
  (C)  THE  DEPARTMENT  SHALL  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 DEPARTMENT, OR REPRIMAND ANY REGISTRANT
OR DENY AN APPLICATION FOR A REGISTRATION 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. 94                               5

  (IV) THAT THE APPLICANT OR REGISTRANT HAS DEMONSTRATED INCOMPETENCE OR
UNTRUSTWORTHINESS IN HIS OR HER ACTIONS.
  11.  THE  DEPARTMENT SHALL, BEFORE DENYING AN APPLICATION FOR A REGIS-
TRATION 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 REFERENCE THERETO.
SUCH WRITTEN NOTICE MAY BE SERVED BY DELIVERY OF SAME PERSONALLY TO  THE
APPLICANT  OR REGISTRANT, OR BY MAILING SAME BY CERTIFIED 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.
  12. THE HEARING ON SUCH CHARGES SHALL BE AT SUCH TIME AND PLACE AS THE
DEPARTMENT  SHALL  PRESCRIBE  AND  SHALL BE CONDUCTED BY SUCH OFFICER 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  DESIG-
NATED  TO TAKE SUCH TESTIMONY SHALL NOT BE BOUND BY COMMON LAW OR STATU-
TORY RULES OF EVIDENCE OR BY TECHNICAL OR FORMAL RULES OF PROCEDURE.
  13. IN THE EVENT THAT THE DEPARTMENT SHALL DENY THE  APPLICATION  FOR,
OR REVOKE OR SUSPEND ANY SUCH REGISTRATION, OR IMPOSE ANY FINE OR REPRI-
MAND,  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.
  14.  THE  DEPARTMENT,  ACTING  BY  THE  OFFICE OR PERSON DESIGNATED TO
CONDUCT THE HEARING PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION TWELVE 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 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 PERI-
OD OF SUCH ADJOURNMENT.
  15. THE ACTION OF THE DEPARTMENT 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 PROCEEDING 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 REGIS-
TRATION SO REVOKED,  SUSPENDED,  FINED  OR  REPRIMANDED  OR  THE  PERSON
AGGRIEVED.
  16.  (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 IN THE SUM OF ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS PER
CONTRACT ENTERED INTO IN VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION.   HOWEVER, ANY  SUCH
PERSON,  FIRM OR CORPORATION AGAINST WHOM SUCH PENALTY HAS BEEN ASSESSED
MAY AVOID ALL BUT FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS OF SUCH PENALTY  BY  OBTAINING  A

S. 94                               6

REGISTRATION  AS REQUIRED BY THIS SECTION, PROVIDED THAT APPLICATION 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 WORK UNDER IMMIGRATION ASSISTANCE
SERVICE PROVIDER CONTRACT PERFORMED IF SUCH CONTRACTOR IS NOT REGISTERED
AS REQUIRED UNDER THIS SECTION.
  17. ALL OF THIS INFORMATION EXCEPT THE  PROVIDER'S  HOME  ADDRESS  AND
TELEPHONE  NUMBER  SHALL BE AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC ON THE DEPARTMENT OF
STATE'S WEBSITE. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL ENSURE THAT A CONSUMER IS ABLE  TO
VERIFY  THIS  INFORMATION BY CALLING THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE'S TOLL-FREE
PHONE NUMBER.
  18. 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 LICENSED AS  IMMIGRATION  PROVIDERS
PURSUANT  TO  THIS  ARTICLE.  EACH  IMMIGRATION  PROVIDER SHALL POST ITS
LICENSE AT ITS PLACE OF BUSINESS.
  S 5. 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
THAT SERVICE PROVIDER HAS REGISTERED EITHER BY MAIL, OR ONLINE, 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 under-
stood by the customer, either alone or with the assistance of an  avail-
able  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 with-
in three business days after his or her execution of the contract, with-
out  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 statement, by the customer  or  his  or  her  represen-
tative,  describing  the  need  for services to be provided within three
days and expressly acknowledging 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 with-
in 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-
ment of labor[, the department of state] or any immigration  authorities
and may not give legal advice or accept fees for legal advice".
  S 6. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after
it shall have become a law.

S94A (ACTIVE) - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A4887A
Current Committee:
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 Sessions:
2011-2012: A4887A
2009-2010: A10162B, S7218A

S94A (ACTIVE) - Bill Texts

view 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.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S94A

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 Section 460-h of the General Business Law. 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-l. 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-l provides
for the new registration requirements for providers of immigration
assistance services.

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

Section 5 Effective Date

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 Committee Discharged and Committed to Rules/A.4887A Amend
and Recommit to Codes
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. However, effective immediately, the
addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary
for the implementation of this act on its effective date are
authorized to be made and completed on or before such effective date.

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

                                  94--A

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 5, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  DIAZ  --  read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee  on  Consumer  Protection  --
  recommitted to the Committee on Consumer Protection in accordance with
  Senate  Rule 6, sec. 8 -- committee discharged and said bill committed
  to the Committee on  Rules  --  committee  discharged,  bill  amended,
  ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee

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,
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.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD03324-05-2

S. 94--A                            2

  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
LANGUAGE BARRIERS, IMPAIRED UNDERSTANDING, OR ANY OTHER PERCEIVED DISAD-
VANTAGE, AND ACTUALLY 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;
  (C)  THE  PLACE,  INCLUDING THE CITY, TOWN OR VILLAGE, WITH THE STREET
AND NUMBER, WHERE THE BUSINESS IS TO BE LOCATED;
  (D) THE BUSINESS TELEPHONE OF THE APPLICANT;
  (E) THE LENGTH OF TIME THAT THE  APPLICANT  HAS  BEEN  AN  IMMIGRATION
ASSISTANCE SERVICE PROVIDER;
  (F) 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

S. 94--A                            3

  (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;
  (G) SATISFACTORY EVIDENCE OF GOOD MORAL CHARACTER; AND
  (H)  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 FIFTY DOLLARS FOR EACH BIENNIAL REGISTRATION 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
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;

S. 94--A                            4

  (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  SECRETARY  OF  STATE  SHALL  HAVE  THE  POWER TO ENFORCE THE
PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTICLE AND UPON COMPLAINT OF ANY PERSON, OR UPON THE
SECRETARY'S INITIATIVE, TO  INVESTIGATE  ANY  VIOLATION  THEREOF  OR  TO
INVESTIGATE THE BUSINESS, BUSINESS PRACTICES AND BUSINESS METHODS OF ANY
PERSON,  FIRM,  LIMITED  LIABILITY  COMPANY,  PARTNERSHIP OR CORPORATION
APPLYING FOR OR HOLDING A  REGISTRATION  AS  AN  IMMIGRATION  ASSISTANCE
SERVICE  PROVIDER,  IF  IN  THE  OPINION  OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE SUCH
INVESTIGATION IS WARRANTED. EACH SUCH APPLICANT OR REGISTRANT  SHALL  BE
OBLIGED,  ON  REQUEST  OF  THE SECRETARY OF STATE, 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 METHODS.  FAILURE  TO  COMPLY
WITH  A LAWFUL REQUEST OF THE SECRETARY 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;
  (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.

S. 94--A                            5

  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
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.
  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

S. 94--A                            6

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-
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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