New York City is the safest big city in America because of – not in spite of – our thriving immigrant communities. We believe these men, women, and children are full-fledged New Yorkers, whether they are documented or undocumented under federal law. Regardless of your immigration status, we are here to protect your safety and your rights.
Too often, members of immigrant groups fall victim to theft, fraud, and other acts at the hands of criminals. These individuals target those seeking residency, citizenship, or legal services and offer assistance in exchange for large sums of money or personal identifying information, sometimes without providing promised services at all. Undocumented immigrants—who may fear cooperation with law enforcement due to their immigration status—are particularly vulnerable to exploitation related to their employment, wages, and housing.
We are firmly committed to protecting immigrant New Yorkers with a team of dedicated prosecutors keenly focused on immigration fraud and a suite of programs and services tailored to our diverse immigrant population. We provide community education and outreach on potential scams and tips to avoid victimization. We operate two satellite offices—in Harlem and in Washington Heights—to better connect Upper Manhattan residents to staff and resources. And we manage an immigrant affairs hotline where victims can safely and anonymously report crime.
- On December 6, 2017, Ephraim Vashovsky was convicted for endangering the lives of immigrant tenants in an East Harlem residential building by purposefully creating hazardous conditions with the intention of forcing them to vacate their rent-stabilized apartment.
- On June 1, 2017, Perla Ozoria, Ambar Ozoria, and Vilmania DeJesus were indicted for stealing more than $28,000 from customers attempted to send money to Latin American family members through a money transfer agency.
- On January 23, 2017, Jenetta Ferguson, an English as a Second Language teacher, pleaded guilty to stealing more than $40,000 from student visa holders by falsely promising to provide them with green cards in exchange for cash payments.
- On December 22, 2016, Antoine Anthony and Joshua Padilla were indicted for stealing more than $100,000 through a counterfeit check scheme affecting more than 140 Citibank customers, most of whom were immigrant New Yorkers.