Bill Text: CA SB1382 | 2019-2020 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Immigration form assistants.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2020-05-21 - May 22 set for first hearing canceled at the request of author. [SB1382 Detail]

Download: California-2019-SB1382-Introduced.html


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 1382


Introduced by Senator Hueso

February 21, 2020


An act to amend Sections 6126.4, 6401, 22440, 22441, 22441.1, 22442, 22442.1, 22442.2, 22442.3, 22442.4, 22442.5, 22442.6, 22443, 22443.1, 22443.3, 22444, 22446.5, 22447, and 22449 of, and to amend the heading of Chapter 19.5 (commencing with Section 22440) of Division 8 of, the Business and Professions Code, and to amend Section 8223 of the Government Code, relating to immigration form assistants.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 1382, as introduced, Hueso. Immigration form assistants.
Existing law regulates the practice of immigration consultants who provide nonlegal assistance or advice in an immigration matter. Existing law prohibits any person, for compensation, from engaging in the business or acting in the capacity of an immigration consultant in this state, unless that person complies with the regulations in state law governing the practice of immigration consultants, is an attorney, or is authorized by federal law to represent persons before the United States Board of Immigration Appeals or the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Existing law prohibits an immigration consultant from literally translating from English into another language, with the intent to mislead, any words or titles, including, but not limited to, “notary public,” “notary,” “licensed,” “attorney,” or “lawyer,” that imply that the person is an attorney, in any document describing the immigration consultant, and expressly prohibits the literal translation of the phrase “notary public” into Spanish as “notario publico” or “notario.” Existing law requires an immigration consultant to conspicuously display in their office a specified notice that includes, among other things, a statement that the immigration consultant is not an attorney. Existing law requires an immigration consultant, prior to providing services, to provide the client with a specified written disclosure in the native language of the client. Existing law establishes both criminal and civil penalties for a violation of specified provisions related to immigration consultants.
This bill would replace the title “immigration consultant” with “immigration form assistant” for purposes of the above-described provisions. The bill would additionally prohibit literally translating any words or titles, with the intent to mislead, on the internet or in broadcast media and would prohibit an immigration form assistant from using the title “immigration consultant,” “immigration specialist,” or any other title that implies that the person has expertise in immigration matters in any document, on the internet, or in broadcast media describing the immigration form assistant.
This bill would require the above-described notice and disclosure that the immigration form assistant is required to display in their office and provide to the client, to include a statement that the immigration form assistant is not an attorney nor a notario publico. The bill would prohibit an immigration form assistant from providing nonlegal assistance related to specified applications and petitions, including an application to be granted asylum under federal immigration law. By expanding the scope of an existing crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
Existing law requires a person seeking to engage in the business or act in the capacity of an immigration consultant in this state to file with the Secretary of State a bond of a specified amount, a specified disclosure form, and other related documents.
This bill would, additionally, require that person to submit satisfactory proof of completion of specified education requirements with the disclosure form.
Existing law authorizes specified persons and entities to bring certain civil actions, including an authorization for any party who, upon information an belief, claims an immigration consultant has committed a violation of the provisions related to the practice of immigration consultants to bring a civil action for injunctive relief on behalf of the general public.
This bill would remove the above-described authorization for any party to bring a civil action for injunctive relief on behalf of the general public and would authorize the Secretary of State to bring a civil action for injunctive relief, restitution, and other equitable relief against an immigration form assistant in the name of the people of the State of California.
Existing law prohibits a notary who holds themself out as an immigration consultant from advertising they are a notary public.
This bill would prohibit a notary public who holds themself out as an immigration form assistant from using the title “immigration consultant,” “immigration specialist,” or any title or description reflecting an expertise in immigration matters.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 6126.4 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

6126.4.
 Section 6126.3 shall apply to a person acting in the capacity of an immigration consultant form assistant pursuant to Chapter 19.5 (commencing with Section 22440) who advertises or holds himself or herself themself out as practicing or entitled to practice law, or otherwise practices law.

SEC. 2.

 Section 6401 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

6401.
 This chapter does not apply to any person engaged in any of the following occupations, provided that the person does not also perform the duties of a legal document assistant in addition to those occupations:
(a) Any government employee who is acting in the course of their employment.
(b) A licensee of the State Bar of California, or their employee, paralegal, or agent, or an independent contractor while acting on behalf of a licensee of the State Bar.
(c) Any employee of a nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation who either assists clients free of charge or is supervised by a licensee of the State Bar of California who has malpractice insurance.
(d) A licensed real estate broker or licensed real estate salesperson, as defined in Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 10130) of Part 1 of Division 4, who acts pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 10131 on an unlawful detainer claim as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 6400, and who is a party to the unlawful detainer action.
(e) An immigration consultant, form assistant, as defined in Chapter 19.5 (commencing with Section 22440) of Division 8.
(f) A person registered as a process server under Chapter 16 (commencing with Section 22350) of Division 8 or a person registered as a professional photocopier under Chapter 20 (commencing with Section 22450) of Division 8.
(g) A person who provides services relative to the preparation of security instruments or conveyance documents as an integral part of the provision of title or escrow service.
(h) A person who provides services that are regulated by federal law.
(i) A person who is employed by, and provides services to, a supervised financial institution, holding company, subsidiary, or affiliate.

SEC. 3.

 The heading of Chapter 19.5 (commencing with Section 22440) of Division 8 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:
CHAPTER  19.5. Immigration Consultants Form Assistants

SEC. 4.

 Section 22440 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

22440.
 It is unlawful for any person, for compensation, other than persons authorized to practice law or authorized by federal law to represent persons before the United States Board of Immigration Appeals or the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, to engage in the business or act in the capacity of an immigration consultant form assistant within this state except as provided by this chapter. This chapter does not sanction, authorize, or encourage the practice of law by nonlawyers. Registration under this chapter, or an exemption from registration, does not immunize any person from prosecution or liability pursuant to Section 6125, 6126, 6126.5, or 6127.

SEC. 5.

 Section 22441 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

22441.
 (a) A person engages in the business or acts in the capacity of an immigration consultant form assistant when that person gives nonlegal assistance or advice on an immigration matter. That assistance or advice includes, but is not limited to, the following:
(1) Completing a form provided by a federal or state agency but not advising a person as to their answers on those forms.
(2) Translating a person’s answers to questions posed in those forms.
(3) Securing for a person supporting documents, such as birth certificates, which may be necessary to complete those forms.
(4) Submitting completed forms on a person’s behalf and at their request to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
(5) Making referrals to persons who could undertake legal representation activities for a person in an immigration matter.
(b) “Immigration matter” means any proceeding, filing, or action affecting the immigration or citizenship status of any person which arises under immigration and naturalization law, executive order or presidential proclamation, or action of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, the United States Department of State, or the United States Department of Labor.
(c) “Compensation” means money, property, or anything else of value.
(d) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), an immigration form assistant shall not provide nonlegal assistance related to any of the following:
(1) Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal.
(2) Application for T Nonimmigrant Status.
(3) Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status.
(4) Petition of a spouse, child, or parent of a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident under the federal Violence Against Women Act (18 U.S.C. Sec. 2261 et seq.).
(5) Petition for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status.

(d)

(e) Every person engaged in the business or acting in the capacity of an immigration consultant form assistant shall only offer nonlegal assistance or advice in an immigration matter as defined in subdivision (a). Any act in violation of subdivision (a) is a violation of this chapter. described in subdivisions (a) and (d).

SEC. 6.

 Section 22441.1 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

22441.1.
 (a) A person engaged in the business or acting in the capacity of an immigration consultant form assistant shall satisfactorily pass a background check conducted by the Secretary of State.
(b) The Secretary of State shall disqualify an individual from acting as an immigration consultant form assistant for any of the following reasons:
(1) Conviction of a felony.
(2) Conviction of a disqualifying misdemeanor where not more than 10 years have passed since the completion of probation. A conviction after a plea of nolo contendere is deemed to be a conviction within the meaning of this paragraph. The list of disqualifying misdemeanors shall be the same as the disqualifying misdemeanors applicable to notaries public appointed and commissioned pursuant to Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 8200) of Division 1 of Title 2 of the Government Code.
(3) Failure to disclose any arrest or conviction in the disclosure form required pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 22443.1.
(c) The Secretary of State shall complete a background check on every person engaged in the business or acting in the capacity of an immigration consultant form assistant who was bonded and qualified pursuant to this chapter on or before December 31, 2006.
(d) The Secretary of State shall not file a bond, disclosure form, or photograph from a person who has failed to pass the background check required by this section.

SEC. 7.

 Section 22442 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

22442.
 (a) Every person engaged in the business, or acting in the capacity of, an immigration consultant form assistant who enters into a contract or agreement with a client to provide services shall, prior to providing any services, provide the client with a written contract, the contents of which shall be prescribed by the Department of Consumer Affairs in regulations.
(b) The written contract shall include all provisions relating to the following:
(1) The services to be performed. Each service to be performed shall be itemized with an explanation of the purpose and process of each service.
(2) The cost of each itemized service to be performed.
(3) There shall be printed on the face of the contract in 10-point boldface type a statement that the immigration consultant form assistant is not an attorney and may not perform the legal services that an attorney performs.
(4) The written contract shall list the documents to be prepared by the immigration consultant, form assistant, shall explain the purpose and process of each document, and shall list the cost for preparing each document.
(5) The written contract shall state the purpose for which the immigration consultant form assistant has been hired and the actions to be taken by the immigration consultant form assistant regarding each document, including the agency and office where each document will be filed and the approximate processing times according to current published agency guidelines.
(6) The written contract shall include a provision that informs the client that he or she they may report complaints relating to immigration consultants form assistants to the Executive Office for Immigration Review of the United States Department of Justice. The written contract shall also include a provision stating that complaints concerning the unauthorized practice of law may be reported to the State Bar of California. These required provisions shall include the toll-free telephone numbers and Internet Web sites of those entities.
(c) An immigration consultant form assistant shall not include provisions in the written contract relating to either any of the following:
(1) Any guarantee or promise, unless the immigration consultant form assistant has some basis in fact for making the guarantee or promise.
(2) Any statement that the immigration consultant form assistant can or will obtain special favors from or has special influence with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, or any other governmental agency, employee, or official, that may have a bearing on a client’s immigration matter.
(3) Any false or misleading representation that the offering or provision of services is necessary.
(4) Any representation that the life, safety, or welfare of the client or the client’s family would be adversely affected if the services of an immigration form assistant are not provided.
(d) The provisions of the written contract shall be stated both in English and in the client’s native language.
(e) A written contract is void if it is not written pursuant to subdivision (d).
(f) The client shall have the right to rescind the contract within 72 hours of signing the contract. The contents of this subdivision shall be conspicuously set forth in the written contract in both English and the client’s native language.
(g) An immigration consultant form assistant shall not make the statements described in subdivision (c) orally to a client.
(h)  Except if required pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (c) of Section 22442.6, this section does not apply to employees of nonprofit, tax-exempt corporations who help clients complete application forms in an immigration matter free of charge or for a nominal fee, including reasonable costs, consistent with that authorized by the Board of Immigration Appeals under Section 292.2 of Title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

SEC. 8.

 Section 22442.1 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

22442.1.
 (a) A person engaged in the business or acting in the capacity of an immigration consultant form assistant shall provide a signed receipt to a client for each payment made by that client. The receipt shall be typed or computer generated on the consultant’s form assistant’s letterhead.
(b) A statement of accounting for the services rendered and payments made shall be provided to the client every two months, shall be typed or computer generated on the immigration consultant’s form assistant’s letterhead, and shall display the individual charges and total charges for services and the client’s payments offsetting those charges. The consultant form assistant shall provide the client a written translation of the statement in the client’s native language.

SEC. 9.

 Section 22442.2 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

22442.2.
 (a) An immigration consultant form assistant shall conspicuously display in his or her their office a notice that shall be at least 12 by 20 inches with boldface type or print with each character at least one inch in height and width in English and in the native language of the immigration consultant’s form assistant’s clientele, that contains the following information:
(1) The full name, address, and evidence of compliance with any applicable bonding requirement including the bond number, if any.
(2) A statement that the immigration consultant form assistant is not an attorney. attorney nor a notario publico.
(3) The services that the immigration consultant form assistant provides and the current and total fee for each service.
(4) The name of each immigration consultant form assistant employed at each location.
(b) Prior to providing any services, an immigration consultant form assistant shall provide the client with a written disclosure in the native language of the client that shall include the following information:
(1) The immigration consultant’s form assistant’s name, address, and telephone number.
(2) The immigration consultant’s form assistant’s agent for service of process.
(3) The legal name of the employee who consulted with the client, if different from the immigration consultant. form assistant.
(4) Evidence of compliance with any applicable bonding requirement, including the bond number, if any. requirement.
(5) A statement that the immigration form assistant is not an attorney nor a notario publico.
(c) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) or (3), an immigration consultant form assistant who prints, displays, publishes, distributes, or broadcasts, or who causes to be printed, displayed, published, distributed, or broadcasted, any advertisement for services as an immigration consultant, form assistant, within the meaning of Section 22441, shall include in that advertisement a clear and conspicuous statement that the immigration consultant form assistant is not an attorney.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), a person engaging in the business or acting in the capacity of an immigration consultant form assistant who is not licensed as an attorney in any state or territory of the United States, but is authorized by federal law to represent persons before the Board of Immigration Appeals or the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, shall include in any advertisement for services as an immigration consultant form assistant a clear and conspicuous statement that the immigration consultant form assistant is not an attorney but is authorized by federal law to represent persons before the United States Board of Immigration Appeals or the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), a person who is not an active member of the State Bar of California, but is an attorney licensed in another state or territory of the United States and is admitted to practice before the United States Board of Immigration Appeals or the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, shall include in any advertisement for immigration services a clear and conspicuous statement that he or she is they are not an attorney licensed to practice law in California but is an attorney licensed in another state or territory of the United States and is authorized by federal law to represent persons before the United States Board of Immigration Appeals or the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
(4) If an advertisement subject to this subdivision is in a language other than English, the statement required by this subdivision shall be in the same language as the advertisement.

SEC. 10.

 Section 22442.3 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

22442.3.
 (a) An immigration consultant form assistant shall not, with the intent to mislead, literally translate, from English into another language, any words or titles, including, but not limited to, “notary public,” “notary,” “licensed,” “attorney,” or “lawyer,” that imply that the person is an attorney, attorney in any document, including an advertisement, stationery, letterhead, business card, or other comparable written material material, on the internet, or in broadcast media describing the immigration consultant. form assistant. As provided in this subdivision, the literal translation of the phrase “notary public” into Spanish as “notario publico” or “notario,” is expressly prohibited.
(b) Except as authorized by law, an immigration form assistant shall not use the title “immigration consultant,” “immigration specialist,” or any other title that implies that the person has expertise in immigration matters in any document, including an advertisement, stationery, letterhead, business card, or other comparable written material, on the internet, or in broadcast media describing the immigration form assistant.

(b)

(c) For purposes of this section, “literal translation of” or “to literally translate” a word, title, or phrase from one language means the translation of a word, title, or phrase without regard to the true meaning of the word or phrase in the language that is being translated.

(c) An immigration consultant may not make or authorize the making of any verbal or written references to his or her compliance with the bonding requirements of Section 22443.1 except as provided in this chapter.

(d)

(d) A violation of subdivision (a) or (c) (a) or (b) by an immigration consultant form assistant shall constitute a violation of subdivision (a) of Section 6126.

(e)

(e) (1) In addition to the remedies and penalties prescribed in this chapter, a person who violates this section shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000) per day for each violation, to be assessed and collected in a civil action brought by any person injured by the violation or in a civil action brought in the name of the people of the State of California by the Attorney General, the Secretary of State, a district attorney, or a city attorney.
(2) In assessing the amount of the civil penalty, the court may consider relevant circumstances presented by the parties to the case, including, but not limited to, the following:
(A) The nature and severity of the misconduct.
(B) The number of violations.
(C) The length of time over which the misconduct occurred, and the persistence of the misconduct.
(D) The willfulness of the misconduct.
(E) The defendant’s assets, liabilities, and net worth.
(3) If the Attorney General brings the action, one-half of the civil penalty collected shall be paid to the treasurer of the county in which the judgment was entered, and one-half to the General Fund. If a district attorney brings the action, the civil penalty collected shall be paid to the treasurer of the county in which the judgment was entered. If a city attorney brings the action, one-half of the civil penalty collected shall be paid to the treasurer of the city in which the judgment was entered, and one-half to the treasurer of the county in which the judgment was entered.
(4) The court shall grant a prevailing plaintiff reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs.

SEC. 11.

 Section 22442.4 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

22442.4.
 (a) A person engaged in the business or acting in the capacity of an immigration consultant form assistant shall submit to the Department of Justice, fingerprint images and related information required by the Department of Justice for the purpose of obtaining information as to the existence and content of a record of state and federal convictions and arrests and information as to the existence and content of a record of state and federal arrests for which the Department of Justice establishes that the person is free on bail, or on his or her their recognizance, pending trial or appeal. An immigration consultant form assistant who has been issued a bond as described in Section 22443.1 on or before December 31, 2006, shall submit the fingerprint images and related information to the Department of Justice on or before July 1, 2007.
(b) The Department of Justice shall forward the fingerprint images and related information received pursuant to subdivision (a) to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and request a federal summary of criminal information.
(c) The Department of Justice shall review the information returned from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and compile and disseminate a response to the Secretary of State pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (p) of Section 11105 of the Penal Code.
(d) The Secretary of State shall request from the Department of Justice subsequent arrest notification service, pursuant to Section 11105.2 of the Penal Code, for each person who submitted information pursuant to subdivision (a).
(e) The Department of Justice shall charge a fee sufficient to cover the cost of processing the requests described in this section.
(f) The Secretary of State shall not post on its Internet Web site internet website information received from the Department of Justice.

SEC. 12.

 Section 22442.5 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

22442.5.
 (a) An immigration consultant form assistant who provides immigration reform act services shall establish and deposit into a client trust account any funds received from a client prior to performing those services for that client.
(b) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(1) “Immigration reform act” means either of the following:
(A) Any pending or future act of Congress that is enacted after October 5, 2013, that authorizes an undocumented immigrant who either entered the United States without inspection or who did not depart after the expiration of a nonimmigrant visa, to attain a lawful status under federal law. The State Bar shall announce and post on its Internet Web site internet website when an immigration reform act has been enacted.
(B) The President’s executive actions on immigration announced on November 20, 2014, or any future executive action or order that authorizes an undocumented immigrant who either entered the United States without inspection or who did not depart after the expiration of a nonimmigrant visa to attain a lawful status under federal law. The State Bar shall announce and post on its Internet Web site internet website when an executive action or order has been issued.
(2) “Immigration reform act services” means services described in Section 22441 that are provided in connection with an immigration reform act.
(c) The immigration consultant form assistant providing immigration reform act services for the client may withdraw funds received from that client only in compliance with either of the following:
(1) After completing one or more of the itemized services described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 22442, and only in the amount identified as the cost of that service or those services pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 22442.
(2) After completing one or more of the documents listed, and only in the amounts listed, pursuant to paragraph (4) of subdivision (b) of Section 22442.

SEC. 13.

 Section 22442.6 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

22442.6.
 (a) It is unlawful for an immigration consultant form assistant to demand or accept the advance payment of any funds from a person for immigration reform act services in connection with any of the following:
(1) An immigration reform act as defined in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 22442.5, before the enactment of that act.
(2) (A) Requests for expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) under an immigration reform act as defined in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 22442.5, before the date the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services begins accepting those requests.
(B) Requests for Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) under an immigration reform act as defined in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 22442.5, before the date the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services begins accepting those requests.
(C) Requests for Expanded Provisional Waivers of Unlawful Presence under an immigration reform act as defined in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 22442.5, before the issuance and effective date of new guidelines and regulations for those provisional waivers.
(D) Any relief offered under any executive action announced or executive order issued, on or after the effective date of the act adding this subparagraph, that authorizes an undocumented immigrant who either entered the United States without inspection or who did not depart after the expiration of a nonimmigrant visa to attain a lawful status under federal law, before the executive action or order has been implemented and the relief is available.
(b) Any advance payment of funds for immigration reform act services that was received after October 5, 2013, but before the enactment or implementation of the immigration reform act for which the services were sought, shall be refunded to the client promptly, but no later than 30 days after the receipt of the funds.
(c) (1) If an immigration consultant form assistant providing immigration reform act services accepted funds prior to the effective date of this amendment to this section, and the services provided in connection with payment of those funds were rendered, the consultant form assistant shall promptly, but no later than 30 days after the effective date of this amendment to this section, provide the client with a statement of accounting describing the services rendered.
(2) (A) Any funds received before the effective date of this amendment to this section for which immigration reform act services were not rendered prior to the effective date of this amendment to this section shall either be refunded to the client or shall be deposited in a client trust account pursuant to Section 22442.5.
(B) If an immigration consultant form assistant deposits funds in a client trust account pursuant to this paragraph, he or she they shall comply with all applicable provisions of this chapter, including Section 22442, and shall provide to the client a written notice, in both English and in the client’s native language, that there are no benefits or relief available, that no application for such benefits or relief may be processed until enactment or implementation of an immigration reform act and the related necessary federal regulations and forms, and that commencing with the effective date of this amendment to this section, it is unlawful for an immigration consultant form assistant to demand or accept the advance payment of any funds from a person for immigration reform act services before the enactment or implementation of an immigration reform act.
(d) (1) In addition to the remedies and penalties prescribed in this chapter, a person who violates this section shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000) per day for each violation, to be assessed and collected in a civil action brought by any person injured by the violation or in a civil action brought in the name of the people of the State of California by the Attorney General, a district attorney, or a city attorney.
(2) In assessing the amount of the civil penalty, the court may consider relevant circumstances presented by the parties to the case, including, but not limited to, the following:
(A) The nature and severity of the misconduct.
(B) The number of violations.
(C) The length of time over which the misconduct occurred, and the persistence of the misconduct.
(D) The willfulness of the misconduct.
(E) The defendant’s assets, liabilities, and net worth.
(3) If the Attorney General brings the action, one-half of the civil penalty collected shall be paid to the treasurer of the county in which the judgment was entered, and one-half to the General Fund. If a district attorney brings the action, the civil penalty collected shall be paid to the treasurer of the county in which the judgment was entered. If a city attorney brings the action, one-half of the civil penalty collected shall be paid to the treasurer of the city in which the judgment was entered, and one-half to the treasurer of the county in which the judgment was entered.
(4) The court shall grant a prevailing plaintiff reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs.

SEC. 14.

 Section 22443 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

22443.
 (a) A person engaged in the business or acting in the capacity of an immigration consultant form assistant shall deliver to a client a copy of each document or form completed on behalf of the client. Each document and form delivered must include the name and address of the immigration consultant. form assistant.
(b) (1) A person engaged in the business or acting in the capacity of an immigration consultant form assistant shall retain copies of all documents and forms of a client for not less than three years from the date of the last service to the client.
(2) Upon presentation of a written consent signed by a client, an immigration consultant form assistant shall provide a copy of the client file to law enforcement without a warrant or a subpoena.
(c) (1) A person engaged in the business or acting in the capacity of an immigration consultant form assistant shall return to a client all original documents, including, but not limited to, original birth certificates, rental agreements, utility bills, employment stubs, Department of Motor Vehicle licenses with dates of entry, and passports, that the client has provided to the consultant form assistant in support of the client’s application.
(2) Any original document that does not need to be submitted to immigration authorities as an original document shall be returned by the immigration consultant form assistant immediately after making a copy or reproduction thereof.

SEC. 15.

 Section 22443.1 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

22443.1.
 (a) (1) Prior to engaging in the business, or acting in the capacity, of an immigration consultant, form assistant, each person shall file with the Secretary of State a bond of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) executed by a corporate surety admitted to do business in this state and conditioned upon compliance with this chapter. The total aggregate liability on the bond shall be limited to one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000).
(2) The bond may be terminated pursuant to Section 995.440 of, and Article 13 (commencing with Section 996.310) of Chapter 2 of Title 14 of Part 2 of, the Code of Civil Procedure.
(b) The bond required by this section shall be in favor of, and payable to, the people of the State of California and shall be for the benefit of any person damaged by any fraud, misstatement, misrepresentation, unlawful act or omission, or failure to provide the services of the immigration consultant form assistant or the agents, representatives, or employees of the immigration consultant, form assistant, while acting within the scope of that employment or agency.
(c) An immigration consultant form assistant who is required to file a surety bond with the Secretary of State shall also file a disclosure form with the Secretary of State that contains all of the following information:
(1) The immigration consultant’s form assistant’s name, date of birth, residence address, business address, residence telephone number, and business telephone number.
(2) The name and address of the immigration consultant’s form assistant’s agent for service of process if one is required to be or has been appointed.
(3) Whether the immigration consultant form assistant has ever been convicted of a violation of this chapter or of Section 6126.
(4) Whether the immigration consultant form assistant has ever been arrested or convicted of a crime.
(5) If applicable, the name, business address, business telephone number, and agent for service of process of the corporation or partnership employing the immigration consultant. form assistant.
(d) An immigration consultant form assistant shall notify the Secretary of State’s office in writing within 30 days when the surety bond required by this section is renewed, and of any change of name, address, telephone number, or agent for service of process.
(e) The Secretary of State shall post information on its Internet Web site internet website demonstrating that an immigration consultant form assistant is in compliance with the bond required by this section and has satisfactorily passed the background check required under Section 22441.1, and shall also post a copy of the immigration consultant’s form assistant’s photograph. The Secretary of State shall ensure that the information is current and shall update the information at least every 30 days. The Secretary of State shall only post this information and photograph on its Internet Web site internet website if the person has filed and maintained the bond, filed the disclosure form and photograph required to be filed with the Secretary of State, and passed the background check required by Section 22441.1.
(f) The Secretary of State shall develop the disclosure form required to file a bond under this section and make it available to any immigration consultant form assistant filing a bond pursuant to this section.
(g) An immigration consultant form assistant shall submit all of the following with the disclosure form:
(1) A copy of valid and current photo identification to determine the immigration consultant’s form assistant’s identity, such as a California driver’s license or identification card, passport, or other identification acceptable to the Secretary of State.
(2) A photograph of himself or herself themself with the dimensions and in the style that would be acceptable to the United States Department of State for obtaining a United States passport, as instructed by the Secretary of State.
(3) (A) Except as specified in subparagraph (B), satisfactory proof of completion of at least one of the following:
(i) A high school diploma or general equivalency diploma, and either a minimum of two years of law-related experience under the supervision of a licensed attorney, or a minimum of two years of experience providing service related to an immigration matter.
(ii) A baccalaureate degree in any field and either a minimum of one year of law-related experience under the supervision of a licensed attorney, or a minimum of one year of experience providing service related to an immigration matter.
(iii) A certificate of completion from a paralegal program approved by the American Bar Association.
(iv) A certificate of completion from a paralegal program that is institutionally accredited but not approved by the American Bar Association, that requires successful completion of a minimum of 24 semester units, or the equivalent, in legal specialization courses.
(B) The following individuals are exempt from the requirement specified in subparagraph (A):
(i) An immigration form assistant who has been registered and bonded with the state for at least 10 years.
(ii) A former employee of a nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation who helped clients complete application forms in an immigration matter free of charge or for a nominal fee, including reasonable costs, consistent with that authorized by the United States Board of Immigration Appeals.
(iii) An immigrant form assistant who has the assistance of an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of California.
(4) Satisfactory proof of completion of education courses on immigration law, procedure, and practice developed by a State Bar-approved provider.
(h) The Secretary of State shall charge and collect a filing fee to cover the cost of filing the bond. bond and receiving proof of completion of the education requirement specified in paragraph (4) of subdivision (g).
(i) The Secretary of State shall enforce the provisions of this chapter that govern the filing and maintenance of bonds. bonds and submitting proof of the education requirement specified in paragraph (4) of subdivision (g).
(j)  This section does not apply to employees of nonprofit, tax-exempt corporations who help clients complete application forms in an immigration matter free of charge or for a nominal fee, including reasonable costs, consistent with that authorized by the Board of Immigration Appeals under Section 292.2 of Title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(k) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2014.

SEC. 16.

 Section 22443.3 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

22443.3.
 It is unlawful for any person to disseminate by any means any statement indicating directly or by implication that the person engages in the business or acts in the capacity of an immigration consultant, form assistant, or proposes to engage in the business or act in the capacity of an immigration consultant, form assistant, unless the person has on file with the Secretary of State a disclosure statement and a bond, in the amount of, and subject to the terms described in, Section 22443.1, that is maintained throughout the period covered by the statement, such as, but not limited to, the period of a Yellow Pages listing.

SEC. 17.

 Section 22444 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

22444.
 It is unlawful for any person engaged in the business or acting in the capacity of an immigration consultant form assistant to do any of the following acts:
(a) Make false or misleading statements to a client while providing services to that client.
(b) Make any guarantee or promise to a client, unless the guarantee or promise is in writing and the immigration consultant form assistant has some basis in fact for making the guarantee or promise.
(c) Make any statement that the immigration consultant form assistant can or will obtain special favors from or has special influence with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, or any other governmental agency, employee, or official, that may have a bearing on a client’s immigration matter.
(d) Charge a client a fee for referral of the client to another for services which the immigration consultant form assistant cannot or will not provide to the client. A sign setting forth this prohibition shall be conspicuously displayed in the immigration consultant’s form assistant’s office.

SEC. 18.

 Section 22446.5 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

22446.5.
 (a) A person claiming to be aggrieved by a violation of this chapter by an immigration consultant form assistant may bring a civil action for injunctive relief or damages, or both. If the court finds that the defendant has violated a provision of this chapter, it shall award actual damages, plus an amount equal to treble the amount of actual damages or one thousand dollars ($1,000) per violation, whichever is greater. The court shall also grant a prevailing plaintiff reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs.

(b)Any other party who, upon information and belief, claims a violation of this chapter has been committed by an immigration consultant may bring a civil action for injunctive relief on behalf of the general public and, upon prevailing, shall recover reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs.

(c)

(b) The Attorney General, the Secretary of State, a district attorney, or a city attorney who claims a violation of this chapter has been committed by an immigration consultant, form assistant, may bring a civil action for injunctive relief, restitution, and other equitable relief against the immigration consultant form assistant in the name of the people of the State of California.

(d)

(c) An action brought under this chapter shall be set for trial at the earliest possible date, and shall take precedence over all other cases, except older matters of the same character and matters to which special preference may be given by law.

SEC. 19.

 Section 22447 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

22447.
 (a) A person who is awarded damages in an action or proceeding for injuries caused by the acts of a person engaged in the business of, or acting in the capacity of, an immigration consultant, form assistant, in the performance of his or her their duties as an immigration consultant, form assistant, may recover damages from the bond required by Section 22443.1. In an action brought by the Attorney General, a district attorney, or a city attorney, the court may order relief for benefit of the injured parties to be paid from the bond.
(b) When any claim or claims against a bond have been paid so as to reduce the principal amount of the bond remaining available to pay claims below the principal amount required by Section 22443.1, the immigration consultant form assistant shall cease to conduct any business unless and until the bond has been reinstated up to the minimum amount required by Section 22443.1.

SEC. 20.

 Section 22449 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

22449.
 (a) Immigration consultants, form assistants, attorneys, notaries public, and organizations accredited by the United States Board of Immigration Appeals shall be the only individuals authorized to charge clients or prospective clients fees for providing consultations, legal advice, or notary public services, respectively, associated with filing an application under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program announced by the United States Secretary of Homeland Security on June 15, 2012.
(b) (1) Immigration consultants, form assistants, attorneys, notaries public, and organizations accredited by the United States Board of Immigration Appeals shall be prohibited from participating in practices that amount to price gouging when a client or prospective client solicits services associated with filing an application for deferred action for childhood arrivals as described in subdivision (a).
(2) For the purposes of this section, “price gouging” means any practice that has the effect of pressuring the client or prospective client to purchase services immediately because purchasing them at a later time will result in the client or prospective client paying a higher price for the same services.
(c) (1) In addition to the civil and criminal penalties described in Section 22445, a violation of this section by an attorney shall be cause for discipline by the State Bar pursuant to Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 6000) of Division 3.
(2) In addition to the civil and criminal penalties described in Section 22445, a violation of this section by a notary public shall be cause for the revocation or suspension of his or her the notary public’s commission as a notary public by the Secretary of State and the application of any other applicable penalties pursuant to Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 8200) of Division 1 of Title 2 of the Government Code.

SEC. 21.

 Section 8223 of the Government Code is amended to read:

8223.
 (a) A notary public who holds himself or herself themself out as being an immigration specialist, immigration consultant, form assistant, or any other title or description reflecting an expertise in immigration matters shall not advertise in any manner whatsoever that he or she is they are a notary public.
(b) A notary public who holds themself out as being an immigration form assistant shall not use the title “immigration consultant,” “immigration specialist,” or any title or description reflecting an expertise in immigration matters.

(b)

(c) A notary public qualified and bonded as an immigration consultant form assistant under Chapter 19.5 (commencing with Section 22440) of Division 8 of the Business and Professions Code may enter data, provided by the client, on immigration forms provided by a federal or state agency. The fee for this service shall not exceed fifteen dollars ($15) per individual for each set of forms. If notary services are performed in relation to the set of immigration forms, additional fees may be collected pursuant to Section 8211. This fee limitation shall not apply to an attorney, who is also a notary public, who is rendering professional services regarding immigration matters.

(c)

(d) This section shall not be construed to exempt a notary public who enters data on an immigration form at the direction of a client, or otherwise performs the services of an immigration consultant, form assistant, as defined by Section 22441 of the Business and Professions Code, from the requirements of Chapter 19.5 (commencing with Section 22440) of Division 8 of the Business and Professions Code. A notary public who is not qualified and bonded as an immigration consultant form assistant under Chapter 19.5 (commencing with Section 22440) of Division 8 of the Business and Professions Code may not enter data provided by a client on immigration forms nor otherwise perform the services of an immigration consultant. form assistant.

SEC. 22.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.
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