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Local business accused of selling illegal immigration services

IBJ Staff
March 9, 2011
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The Indiana Attorney General’s Office filed a civil lawsuit Wednesday against an Indianapolis business for allegedly performing immigration services without proper licensing and training.

The complaint names The Mexican Civic Association of Indiana Inc. and M. Esther Barber, operating as Asociacion Civica Mexicana De Indiana Inc. at 2226 Shelby St.

Barber, who is not an attorney, is accused of knowingly violating the Deceptive Consumer Sales Act by providing advice without the required licensing and training, according to the suit.

The Attorney General’s Office alleges that Barber has advertised herself to the Spanish-speaking community as someone who can assist with immigration issues. Since 2006, she has allegedly prepared immigration forms for consumers for a fee, in violation of Indiana law. Two consumers lodged complaints against her after the paperwork did not comply with legal requirements.

The Attorney General’s Office is seeking an injunction against Barber to prevent her from advising consumers about immigration policies, preparing forms on their behalf or accepting payment for attorney services without a license to practice law.

Barber has been a public critic of immigration-reform efforts before the Indiana legislature.

The suit also seeks consumer restitution for unlawfully obtained funds, civil penalties of up to $5,000 for each violation and up to $500 for each intentional violation of the Deceptive Consumer Sales Act.

“It is important that foreign nationals who wish to follow the law and get their immigration paperwork in order not be deceived by fraudsters motivated by fees who are unqualified to give proper advice,” Attorney General Greg Zoeller said in a prepared statement.

Zoeller filed the suit in Marion Superior Court. He also filed a similar complaint against a Fort Wayne business, United Hispanic Caring Hearts, in Allen Circuit Court.
 

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  • just the beginning
    This is just the tip of the iceberg. This practice (illegal immigration services) is getting more prevalent with the growing illegal population in Indy.
  • Protected Class
    Is it no wonder that lawyers need lawyers to protect their extortion (income). Was this person practicing law or just filling out paperwork? If what she did was done by the individual themselves, would they have been arrested too? Doubt it. Sounds like some lawyers is trying to make sure they cash in on the non-citizens as much as employers do.
  • Conclusions
    Jump to conclusions much? No where in this article does it say she is assisting "illegal" immigrants. As someone who used to work in immigration law, there are plenty of reasons why those here legally could need assistance with immigration policies.
  • Deserving
    Hasn't it always been the case that those who beat their chests the most saying they are standing up for the oppressed minorities (in this case ILLEGAL aliens) are generally among those exploiting their situations?

    Barber has done our community no favors with her support of ILLEGAlS.

    I wish the AG well in his prosecution!
  • really?
    Lizzy - tolerance? For people who broke the law? You must be a liberal, because tolerance should only be for law breakers.

    Really now? Tolerance? Yeesh. You may as well have tolerance for the bank robber, since they are obviously doing this to get back at the evil majority?
  • Of course they are.
    Indiana in general is a very bigoted state. Read the boards about 80% go after every minority group there is. Indiana politics are also very bigoted. I am ashamed of this this state. Why do we not teach more tolerance?

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  1. Again, Maria.... how much are YOU contributing? The man doesn't HAVE to give a red cent! What don't you get about that? And, I know this might actually require some actual "facts", but can you please point me to the parking garage that the city gave to him?

  2. Another internet tuff guy I see. And what would the basis of taking the person to jail? If they were drunk, yea. But if not, there would be no jailable offense. All these gestapo, Nazi, jackboots are running SCARED. When the SHTF in this country who's side are you going to be on? The citzens, or the establishment? Better make up your mind quick because it's not far off. I would rather be trying to make friends than enemies. But no worries my "friend", God will take care of you and your likes in good time. It tells us that in the bible. If you stand, support and help carry out the plans of evil rulers, you will NOT be spared the wrath of God. That simple. All you can do is repent now and ask God to forgive you.

  3. Yes, Ersal, thank you for donating a whole $75,000, while the city gives you a parking garage for free and is going to pay for a multi million dollar stadium for you. I'd be donating money too if I was on welfare.

  4. I live and work in Broad Ripple and agree 100% that the traffic is not a significant problem. It can be slow at some times, but hey...this is an urban area. As for the development itself...HOORAY. Office and retail development brings people during the day, something that our community needs much more of. Thank goodness people are finally waking up to take advantage of the serene White River views. The BRVA land us committee endorsed the project because they know how these kind of projects help offset the cries of "too many bars". Pray that this development, and the proposed major investment by Browning, move forward. And remember Good Earth, these will mean hundreds of daytime people - potential shoppers for your store.

  5. Under current, previous existing law, this new law would be unconstitutional. Not that supposedly having to have a driver's license to drive isn't in the first place.

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