SAN JOSE (BCN) — Two people who allegedly provided immigration services without completing state requirements to conduct business in San Jose were arrested Friday, a Santa Clara County sheriff’s spokesman said.
Alejandro Sanchez, 56, and Patricia Garcia Abonce, 46, were arrested on suspicion of illegally running Al Sanchez Bookkeeping and Tax, an immigration consultation business at 31 S. Jackson Ave., sheriff’s Sgt. James Jensen said.
The investigation into Sanchez, the owner, and Abonce, an employee, began with a tip followed up by the sheriff’s Notario Fraud Investigations Unit, Jensen said.
The business allegedly didn’t have an immigration consultant clearance from the California secretary of state and a required $100,000 bond, according to Jensen.
“Immigrants can be very vulnerable targets for abuse and fraud,” Sheriff Laurie Smith said in a statement.
“Cracking down on unlawful immigration service providers ensures immigrants get the services they are promised and the services they paid for,” she said.
The business, which has been running for 27 years, also has offices on McKee Road and in Tracy, according to the company’s website.
An employee who answered the phone at the South Jackson Avenue location Friday morning wasn’t aware of the arrests and said the business was closed for the day.
Sheriff’s officials advise the public to seek immigration services from a business that is competent in their work and meets legal guidelines.
People who receive immigration assistance from an illegal business may lose their money or get deported, according to sheriff’s officials.
Immigration services workers aren’t required to undergo training or earn a formal certificate, but have to follow the state’s business and professions codes, sheriff’s officials said.
An immigration consultant has to secure a $100,000 bond, pass a Department of Justice background check and send an application to the secretary of state, according to sheriff’s officials.