The number of foreign nationals residing in Michigan is ever-growing. They come here for various reasons, such as work, school or to start a new life. Unfortunately, many will find themselves dealing with immigration issues that they may be unable to handle on their own. When seeking assistance, be careful. Fraudulent immigration schemes are out there and those who fall victim to them end up losing a lot.

Recently, a woman from the Holland area entered a guilty plea in court for her involvement in a fraudulent immigration operation, and now she is facing up to 20 years in prison and a hefty fine. According to reports, for six years, this individual claimed to work for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as an immigration attorney. Her alleged specialty was assisting undocumented individuals to achieve lawful status. The problem, she possessed no legal license and did not work for the government.

Authorities say that 30, possibly more, people depended on her to assist them with their immigration status. In total, she collected $105,245 in fees but failed to perform any of the services she promised. She even threatened her victims with deportation when they brought up their concerns.

The life lesson of, “if something seems too good to be true, it probably is,” applies here. Immigration issues cannot be handled overnight, and no immigration professional can guarantee one’s case will go a particular way. Still, having an experienced immigration attorney on one’s side, one who will actually fight for one’s best interests may prove beneficial to one’s case. Immigrants currently residing in Michigan just need to perform their due diligence when seeking assistance to ensure the help they are getting is legitimate.