Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive


Friday, April 14, 2000

CORNYN FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST FRAUDULENT 'IMMIGRATION SPECIALIST'

Border business offers U.S. residence and work status to ineligible Mexican nationals

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn today announced the filing of a lawsuit against Ybarra's Immigration Services and owner Hilda Ybarra Hernandez of La Blanca, Texas for violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA). Ybarra is accused of misleading Mexican citizens who are ineligible to legally immigrate to the United States into believing she can obtain for them residence status and a work permit.

"This is a particularly disturbing situation because the business owner is not only breaking the law--she is taking advantage of those trying to live the American Dream. I will continue to monitor these businesses to be sure they are operating lawfully. I will fight to protect the rights of consumers from illegal businesses," said Attorney General Cornyn.

According to the lawsuit, Ybarra provides to her customers, for a fee of $650.00, a document entitled "Notice of Representation." She misrepresents to clients that the document protects them from deportation and that it allows them to work legally in the United States. In fact, the document is worthless and her customers are subject to immediate deportation if apprehended.

By representing that her services have characteristics, uses or benefits which they do not, and by failing to disclose her services do not achieve the claimed results in order to induce victims to pay her fee, Ybarra is in violation of the DTPA. The lawsuit seeks to permanently enjoin Ybarra from operating in Texas in addition to civil penalties of up to $10,000.00 for violations of the DTPA and reimbursement to all identifiable victims.

Following several months of investigation by the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service, this case was referred to the Texas Attorney General's Office for prosecution. This case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Ric Madrigal of the Attorney General's McAllen Consumer Protection office. The lawsuit was filed in the 139th District Court, Hidalgo County, Judge Leticia Hinojosa presiding.

If you have a complaint against a similar business, please contact the Consumer Protection hotline at (800) 621-0508 or fill out a complaint online at www.oag.state.tx.us.

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Contact Mark Heckmann, Heather Browne, or Tom Kelley at (512) 463-2050