DENVER (AP) — A bill to protect Spanish-speaking immigrants from unknowingly hiring non-attorneys to represent them in immigration matters has passed the state Senate.

Senators voted 26-8 to approve the bill.

It requires “notarios,” or notary publics, to advertise that they are not authorized to practice immigration law — unless they actually are.

Violators could face civil fines.

Notarios are attorneys in many Latin American countries. But Colorado attorneys say some take advantage of Spanish-speaking immigrants by claiming to be able to represent them in U.S. legal matters, especially immigration cases.

The House already passed the bill, which now goes to the governor’s desk.

LINK: HB16-1391

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