Senator Keith Leftwich author of Senate Bill 276 cleared another legislative hurdle on Monday February 24th.
The Democrat from South Oklahoma City enabled passage of the bill on the Senate floor. The bill will prohibit notary publics from providing legal advice on any proceeding in relation to immigration or citizenship.
Currently many notary publics have presented themselves to Spanish-speaking immigrants as being qualified to legally represent them in obtaining immigration or citizenship status, stated Senator Leftwich. This bill will prohibit any notary public that is not a licensed attorney to give legal advice in the selection of immigration forms required by the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Under SB 276 any notary public who provides non-legal assistance on any proceeding will be required to give a verbal and written notice stating that they are not associated with any government entity and cannot offer legal advice on the matter. If the notary operates his or her business in any other language other than English, the statement must also be provided in that language.
This will prevent immigrants from being taken advantage of and will also ensure that those who are trying to gain immigration or citizenship status will receive proper representation, said Senator Leftwich. It is extremely important to protect the rights of those trying to gain citizenship and I am very pleased that SB 276 has passed through the Senate.
The next step is for SB276 to be heard in the House of Representatives committee.