Cook County is home to a large and vibrant immigrant population, and the rich diversity of our immigrant communities is one of our region’s great strengths. Unfortunately, there are individuals who target and prey on these communities, and immigrant witnesses and victims of crime may fear cooperating with law enforcement due to their immigration status. Please be assured that the Office of the Cook County State’s Attorney is, and always will be, fully committed to protecting all members of our community, and to prosecuting crimes regardless of a victim’s immigration status, nationality, religious background, or language.
The Office of the Cook County State’s Attorney serves all victims, regardless of immigration status:
* The Office of the Cook County State’s Attorney does not enforce immigration laws, and does not conduct removal or deportation proceedings.
* State’s Attorney’s Office employees will not ask you about your immigration status.
* Cooperating with the Cook County State’s Attorney will not result in your information being shared with federal immigration authorities.
* The State’s Attorney’s Office is able to certify U Visas and T Visas for qualifying crime victims. U and T Visa certification requests are processed through our Immigration Policy & Legal Advisor Michael Kasprzynski, who can be reached at (312) 603-2352 or Michael.Kasprzynski@cookcountyil.gov.
* All victims are entitled to respectful treatment in a language they can understand; translation services are available.
The SAO’s Consumer Fraud Unit Also Reminds Communities to Beware of Immigration Scams:
Immigrations scammers use recent news headlines about proposed changes in immigration law to create fear, and then step in to offer a fake solution. Victims can end up losing a lot of money or, even worse, hurting their chances of obtaining legal status. Be alert and keep the following tips in mind:
* Beware of companies or individuals making false promises, such as obtaining work permits or U.S. Visas right away, or having special influence with government officials.
* Be on the lookout for businesses or individuals who falsely represent themselves as lawyers, notarios, or “immigration specialists.” Ask questions and ask for documentation showing a person is licensed or bonded.
* Always demand a written contract for immigration services, get copies of any papers prepared for you, and get a receipt with amount paid, date, name and address of the person or business. * Do not pay for government application forms. Forms are free: see www.uscis.gov/forms.
* Do not sign papers you do not understand, do not sign blank application papers, and do not let anyone keep your original documents.
To register a complaint about an immigration scam, please call 312-603-8678.
Calls are confidential, and federal immigration authorities will never be contacted.