Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") Extends Temporary Protected Status ("TPS") for Haitians in the United States

The Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") today extended Temporary Protected Status ("TPS") for Haitians living in the United States for an additional 18 months. Shortly, DHS will issue eligibility requirements and instructions for how to register (those who entered the US within one year after the earthquake) and re-register (those who have alaredy been granted TPS status).
This means that those Haitian citizens, in the United States, who have been granted TPS as victims of last year's earthquake are able to remain in the United States for another year and one half. DHS's order also extends eligibility for Haitians who may not have met with criteria for TPS previously. Initially, only those Haitians who were in the United States at the time of the earthquake were able to apply for TPS relief. Now, under the new order, eligible Haitians who came to the United States within one year after the earthquake may be eligible to obtain TPS status. This measure provides much-need relief to many Haitians who were devastated by the effects of the earthquake and fled to the United States to seek safety.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

President Obama's commitment to immigration reform

President Obama reaffirmed his commitment to immigration reform recently when he spoke at the Chamizal National Memorial on the Mexican border . He stated: "One way to strengthen the middle class in America is to reform the immigration system so that there's no longer a massive underground economy that exploits a cheap source of labor while depressing wages for everybody else." He also expressed his wish for Congress to pass the Dream Act and enact comprehensive immigration reform. It is important for all of us to continue to contact our Senators and Congressional representatives and tell them that true, fair and comprehensive immigration reform is necessary.

Please contact our attorneys if you would like to discuss family-based immigration, employment-based immigration, deportation/removal, asylum, VAWA, criminal immigration and your other legal needs.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Attorney General Holder Takes Important Step in favor of Immigration Benefits for Same-Sex Couples

Today the Attorney General of the United States took the extraordinary step of vacating a decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals ("BIA") relating to adjustment of status for same-sex spouses of U.S. citizens. The Attorney General directed the Board to examine how the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act ("DOMA") applies to the case. Attorney General Holder's action is important because it could ultimately result in allowing same sex partners of United States citizens to apply for legal permanent resident status or "green cards" that for over a century have been granted to heterosexual spouses of US citizens.

Please contact immigration attorney Ellen Sullivan if you have questions about your immigration matters.

Supreme Judicial Court Protects Consumers in Recent Decision

In response to a request by the U.S. Court of Appeals, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts opined that real estate closings are the practice of law and cannot be conducted by escrow companies. Clearing title and interpreting the status of title, as well as drafting and interpreting deeds and other documents by which legal rights are created, modified, surrendered or secured are acts which only an attorney should be doing in order to protect those bounds by these documents. "(W)e believe that a lawyer is a necessary participant at the closing to direct the proper transfer of title and consideration, and to document the transaction, thereby protecting the private legal interests at stake as well as the public interest in the continued integrity and reliability of the real property recording and registration systems. "

This decision will also have an effect on out of state immigration lawyers which have satellite offices in Massachusetts but no real presence for the consumers using their services.

When you call Glickman Turley, attorneys answer your calls. There is no one between you and your lawyer. We protect your interests.

The decision can be found on the website for the Supreme Judicial Court. It is Real Estate Bar Association v. National Real Information Services, 459 Mass. 512 (2011).