Find Your States Unauthorized Practice of Immigration Law Scorecards | CLINIC

How well does your state regulate immigration assistance?

Coloring GuideA = Green B = Orange C = Yellow D = Purple F = Red

Unauthorized Practice of Immigration Law Scorecard Project

Our report, Stopping Immigration Services Scams: A tool for Advocates and Lawmaker, shines a light on how United States citizens and immigrants can fall prey to bad actors who may be selling fraudulent and incompetent immigration legal services. This is known as the unauthorized practice of immigration law, or UPIL. It does not matter who is seeking assistance or what the service is, mistakes can lead to serious legal consequences for consumers.

Upgrade your advocacy on this issue with our new state UPIL scorecards! Focusing on the following six aspects, these scorecards show how well each state regulates immigration legal assistance by non-attorneys:

  •  State law prohibits unauthorized individuals from providing immigration legal services.
  •  States impose penalties for those who engage in the unauthorized practice of immigration law.
  •  State law restricts non-attorney notaries public from providing immigration legal assistance.
  •  State law bars the translation or use of the term notario publico.
  •  State law regulates how non-legal services providers advertise services to immigrants.
  • State consumer protection law applies to transactions involving immigration services.

While not all encompassing, these provisions are strong initial steps that can equip law enforcement agencies with the necessary tools to combat these crimes.


What you can do

Use these scorecards to advocate for the critical need for legislation that addresses various ways consumers of immigration services can become victims and penalize unlawful actions.

  • Educate your community. Share this information widely, including, but not limited to your family, friends, neighbors, faith leaders, legal practitioners and elected officials. Encourage those in need of immigration services to avoid scams by only seeking assistance from an attorney or accredited representative. You can find qualified professionals at If you do not have trusted legal services in your community, work with elected officials to brainstorm ways to improve access.
  • Advocate for stronger protections. Share your state’s scorecard with your elected officials and push to enact laws that protect your community against immigration services fraud. Even if your state was awarded a high score, urge your officials to improve existing laws by increasing penalties for violations and placing caps on fees for non-legal services.
  • Call for more accessible and confidential reporting procedures. Work with your local law enforcement officials to make reporting these crimes more convenient through language access, confidentiality policies, and other innovative measures that help people feel comfortable speaking up.


How we determined the scores

The following grading criteria was used in the creation of these scorecards:

[50-60= A]: State offers strong protections by addressing all six key provisions as listed above.

[40-49 =B]: State offers moderate protections by addressing the majority of the provisions, but lacks protections in a few key areas.

[30-39=C]: State offers limited protection by addressing or partially addressing only half of the key provisions.

[20-29=D]: State offers insufficient protection by only addressing one or two key provisions, and likely relies on general unauthorized practice of law or consumer protection laws for enforcement.

[0-19= F]: State offers no protection. Its general unauthorized of practice law or consumer protection laws do not extend to the specific types of immigration services fraud consumers are exposed to.

If you have any questions about the project or scorecards please email