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Consumer bureau's authority questioned on U.S. immigration law

In 2007, the U.S. Congress created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau following a national mortgage lending crisis. The bureau has become involved in a U.S. immigration law situation involving Libre by Nexus, a company based outside of Florida. Libre by Nexus says it is committed to helping immigrants and rescuing them from adverse detainment atmospheres, and CFPB has no authority over its practices.

The complicated situation is centered on services bond assistance Libre by Nexus offers detained immigrants. The company apparently helps post bond to secure release of detained immigrants while they await process of their cases in court. Libre by Nexus is accused of exploiting its clients by conducting unfair, deceptive and abusive practices.

Immigrants who use Libre by Nexus services secure bonds for their own releases. They are then required by the company to wear ankle monitors and pay $420 per month to the company while in possession of the ankle devices. Immigrants sign contracts containing these terms in exchange for their freedom bonds. The problem is that many immigrants have come forward saying they did not understand the terms of their agreements. The CFPB is currently investigating whether Libre by Nexus is offering or extending credit services without permission.

Libre by Nexus contends it is not doing anything illegal and has rescued thousands of immigrants from unsafe environments. U.S. immigration law authorities have not made conclusive decisions regarding the situation as the federal investigation remains ongoing at this time. Many Florida immigrants know what it feels like to need help understanding contracts or other legal terminology that may affect their residencies. It can be helpful to know that there are support advocates, such as experienced immigration and naturalization law attorneys, who can clarify any and all legal issues affecting immigrants' statuses or freedom.

Source: The Washington Post, "Company accused of preying on detained immigrants is under investigation", Michael E. Miller, Oct. 20, 2017

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