Jill Santiago

What makes me qualified?

I have worked in the immigration field for 17 years, including 10 years as an attorney passionately representing hundreds of clients in front of the various immigration agencies and courts. I graduated from Bryn Maw College (B.A 2002) and Boston College Law School (J.D. 2006). I continue to educate myself on a weekly basis to stay aware of changes in immigration law change that affect my clients through the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

To be a qualified immigration lawyer, it is extremely important that the lawyer only practice immigration law. Since my first day as an attorney I have practiced and specialized only in immigration law. I cannot help you with every legal problem that you might have, but if I take on your case, you can be sure that I am prepared and qualified to represent you. Our office carefully chooses which clients we represent so that we can provide them with the highest quality representation. You may find a lawyer who will take your immigration case, your divorce case, and your bankruptcy case, but he is unlikely to adequately represent you in any of those cases. Protect yourself, your family, and your dreams—hire a qualified immigration lawyer.

team

So what makes our office different?

Our office will take the time to get to know you as an individual and will always remember that your case is one of the most important things in your life. We get it. We’ve been through it. That is why we chose to do the work we do.

We carefully choose which cases and how many cases our office takes on so that we can give your case the attention, time and effort that you deserve. Just like you wouldn’t want a surgeon talking to another patient while he performed surgery on you, you need an attorney who knows how much time your case requires to give you the best chance at success.

Our fees are based on this same idea. We understand why price is important. We also see why it cannot be the MOST important factor in your decision to hire an attorney. To charge someone a very low fee, an attorney has to take on more cases in order to be able to pay his expenses and take home a paycheck. Our fees are reasonable- they will not be the lowest or the highest that you can find. If we had the lowest fees, we would have to represent many more clients, and the quality of our work would decline. For us, this is not an acceptable way to work. We also do not believe in charging clients high fees just because we know they are desperate enough that they will pay them. I believe strongly that this is not only unethical, but more importantly, it is also fundamentally unjust.

You will also find that our team is incredibly dedicated to you and your case. We go out of our way to make sure that you have the best shot at winning your case. I remember when I stayed up all night without a bit of sleep in order to save one client from being deported.

Other team members have driven across the state to make sure that a document arrives on time. Each of us has taken extra time to stop to listen to a crying client talk about the stress they are going through while going through the immigration system.

We do this work because immigration is a personal story to us, because we are passionate about helping others navigate the same system we struggled through. We want to make sure that your rights are respected, your family stays together, you understand what you can reasonably expect during your case, and you are able to live out the dreams you have in the United States. Everything we do during our workday is motivated by these goals.

– 2000, Beginning

I began my 17 years of working with immigrants when I waitressed at Tex-Mex restaurant in Cambridge. I was taking a semester off from Bryn Mawr College and needed to pay my rent. In addition to paying my bills, though, I came to know my Brazilian and Mexican co-workers, and see all of the struggles they were going through on a daily basis. Having their car towed when they drove without an American license. Struggling to explain in broken English to the doctor why they had brought their baby into the emergency room. Working 80 hours a week to send money back to their mother in Brazil. So I decided to learn Portuguese, and the cooks, waitresses and bus boys became my teachers in between serving tables and going with friends to the hospital to try to help translate.

– 2001, Volunteer

After seeing how powerless many of my friends felt, I decided to volunteer as an English tutor to help empower the same community of immigrants so that they could participate more fully in the English-speaking community around them. It wasn’t enough for me though. There was so much more that was needed.

– 2002, Paralegal

After graduating, I looked for a job where I could make a bigger difference in immigrants’ lives. I had the luck of finding a job working for a skilled immigration attorney, who became my mentor. I worked as an immigration law paralegal in Boston, learning the ins and outs of the bewildering immigration system. Still, though, I didn’t feel like I was doing all that I was meant to do.

– 2006, My First Case

The best experience I had during those years of school, though, was my work with the Boston College Immigration and Asylum Project. Under a mentor’s supervision, I was able to help reunite a family four years after they had been separated by deportation. The husband had been deported to Mexico, the wife was struggling to make ends meet, and the children wanted to know when their daddy was coming home. It was a huge amount of responsibility, and it quickly became clear how important my role was. It wasn’t important for my resume or some award, it was important to each member of that family.

– 2007, My Dream Job

In 2007, I opened my own office. I fell in love with working on tough cases, helping the underdog win an impossible fight against the Goliath immigration agencies. I later named the office Immigration Advocates, as a clear statement of the motivation that drives me: advocating for my clients as an attorney, activist, and supporter.

– 2009, My Dream Team

After a few years, and with a baby on the way, I knew that I would need to bring on additional help if I was going to serve as many clients as I wanted to. First my husband Daniel joined me, and later others. With each addition, I have dedicated myself to finding team members who are as passionate about working with our clients as I am. I have been blessed to find dedicated, skilled, compassionate and determined professionals. I believe you can see in our work that each of us loves what we do and feels lucky to be working with our clients.

– 2017, Making More Dreams Come True…

Today, we are a busy, growing office with wonderful clients. We stopped advertising years ago because our clients are happy with the work that we have done for them and refer their friends and family to us. We love seeing the sisters, fathers, cousins, friends and co-workers of our clients come to us to help them achieve their immigration dreams. It is the highest compliment that we can receive, to earn our clients’ trust so that they can enthusiastically recommend us.

MEET OUR TEAM

Jill

Founding Attorney

Karen

Senior Paralegal

Daniel

Client Services

Green Card

Apply for a Green Card.

“Renewing a Green Card”

Remove the conditions on your 2-year Green Card.

Citizenship

Become an American citizen.

“Hardship Waiver”

Apply for Form I-601 or I-212.

Deportation Defense

Representation in Immigration Court.

Consular Processing

Get a Green Card through a U.S. Consulate abroad.