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Contact Us: (617) 714-4375


Ellen Sullivan Published in The List

Attorney Ellen Sullivan posted a post about the effects of President Obama’s executive actions in Boston Queer Agenda’s weekly publication The List. To read her missive, subscribe to the List, or continue reading below.


President Obama’s recent immigration announcement is exciting for many folks who for many years have lived and worked in the US and, during that time, given themselves to communities here in the U.S. By allowing some undocumented immigrants that have children who are US citizens or lawful permanent residents to obtain temporary status in the US, President Obama demonstrates his commitment to keeping families together and avoiding devastating deportations of US children’s parents. A summary of the President’s plan is here.
The President’s plan takes much-needed humanitarian action to address the dire unfairness of keeping millions of our neighbors in the shadows. However, the new policies have serious shortcomings. First, the President’s offer of “work permits” requires vulnerable individuals to declare their undocumented status to the government, without any information about how the government will deal with their situations once the “work permits” expire in three years. It is important for individuals who may apply for the “work permit” to consider how they will be affected if/when the government ends the program. That is, what will these folks do if the government puts them into deportation proceedings after the work permits expire? For many, the opportunity to come out of the shadows-even temporarily-is worth the risk of potential detention and/or deportation. For others, such as those who fear persecution in their home countries, the stakes are much higher.
Also, the new policies fail to help many individuals and families, especially LGBT families without children and those families where a parent may not be the biological or legal parent of a child. The Huffington Post reported on this issue here.
I applaud the President’s action, yet I hold out hope for broader action that will help more of my neighbors to live more freely and productively. Feel free to get in touch with me if you have questions: Attorney Ellen Sullivan at and 617-714-4375.


DHS to Expand Opportunities for High-Skilled Businesses and Workers

The Department of Homeland Security will give businesses more flexibility to hire highly skilled foreign-born workers through President Obama’s executive actions.

As an update to the current employment-based immigrant visa system, the Secretary of Homeland Security has directed USCIS to consider a few practical changes. According to his direction, USCIS ought to issue all of the immigrant visas available to qualified applicants, rather than letting many go unused. Furthermore, USCIS will update its practice for when it makes such visa applications available throughout the year. The Secretary also recommended that USCIS consider any other potential changes that would make the application process more accessible and stable to any such highly-skilled applicants and beneficiaries.

Read more about how DHS is attempting to support high-skilled workers and the businesses that hire them.

Expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which continues to implement President Obama’s proposed immigration executive action, will expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program. Under this program, the DHS uses its power of prosecutorial discretion on a case-by-case basis for deferred action concerning undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children. As a result of the President’s executive action, the program will no longer require—among other things—eligible immigrants to have been born after June 15, 1981, and the entry date for these individuals has been pushed back from June 15, 2007 to January 1, 2010.


Read more about the proposed changes to the DACA program, and please feel free to contact our office if you have any questions.

Many LGBT Families Feel Left Out of President’s New Immigration Plan

President Obama’s new immigration plan focused on keeping families together and avoiding devastating deportations of the parents of children. However, the plan does not help families that do not have children. Also, the plan does not help the parents of US citizen children or lawful permanent resident children, when the parents are not the biological or legal parents. The Huffington Post reports that LGBT advocates say that these exclusions disproportionately affect LGBT families.

© Copyright 2014 Law Office of Ellen Sullivan, P.C. This website does not constitute a representation agreement with Attorney Sullivan or anyone else at the firm. The information on this website is not intended to, nor does it in fact, replace legal advice provided by an attorney in an attorney-client consultation. Please contact our office or another immigration attorney if you would like legal counsel. Sitemap