CLFA Aims to Combat Immigration Fraud

Centro La Familia granted recognition to provide  federally authorized immigration and naturalization services

Office of the Consulate of Mexico joins in attempt to combat fraudulent agencies

Local officials and community members will gather for a news conference today at the Office of the Consulate of Mexico to highlight the recent federal recognition granted to Centro La Familia Advocacy Services, Inc., by the United States Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA).

In a community where an array of immigration and naturalization services can be found, individuals seeking help with these services can often become victims of fraud and end up paying more than they should. As a trusted agency with a longstanding track record of service to the community, Centro La Familia’s achievement of BIA recognition stresses the need to reduce these fraudulent immigration services in the Central Valley that fail to provide competent assistance at a nominal rate.

“Many people turn to our agency for help with immigration issues,” said Margarita Rocha, Executive Director of Centro La Familia Advocacy Services. “We’re honored to have earned this recognition by the BIA because we know this will be a huge benefit to individuals seeking reliable assistance with their immigration issues.”

“We were receiving calls on a daily basis from people who wanted to know if we provided these services, so we listened and responded to those needs.”

Three of the organization’s staff members earned accreditation, allowing Centro La Familia to become one of the few local organizations with the ability to provide federally-approved immigration and naturalization services to the general public at a nominal rate. Together with the Consulate of Mexico in Fresno, the two organizations aim to protect citizens of Mexico, which is the one of the primary responsibilities of the consulate’s office.

A news conference will take place today to announce the federal recognition, and will be held at the Office of the Consulate of Mexico, 7435 N Ingram Ave, Fresno, CA 93711, at 10 a.m.

“Because of the vulnerable situations that many individuals face, we must do more to protect them from untrustworthy and fraudulent immigration services,” said Vicente Sanchez Ventura, Head Consul at the Consulate of Mexico. “Centro La Familia’s federal recognition is a critical step toward creating more accessible immigration and naturalization services while giving people a trusted place to turn to for help, while further expanding the collaboration with this Diplomatic Representation”

Event participants will include Margarita Rocha, Executive Director of Centro La Familia Advocacy Services; Vicente Sanchez Ventura, Head Consul, Consul de Mexico/Consulate of Mexico; and Delfino Neira, Director of Fresno County Department of Social Services.

The business startup is partially funded by Wells Fargo Bank and CalViva Health.


About Centro La Familia Advocacy Services, Inc.

Centro La Familia Advocacy Services is a community-based, non-profit organization serving low-income families in Fresno County. The organization was founded in 1972 to provide direct advocacy and intervention services for those needing help.


About Consulate of Mexico in Fresno

The Consulate of Mexico in Fresno is the only Diplomatic Representation in the Central Valley. It serves approximately 1.5 million Mexican nationals in the counties of Fresno, Inyo, Kings, Kern, Madera, Mariposa, Merced and Tulare under the direction of Head Consul Vicente Sanchez Ventura. The Consulate provides information and a vast amount of services to Mexican nationals, such as providing passports and Consular IDs, legal assistance, facilitating access to medical programs via the Ventanilla de Salud program, among others.