Bhairavi Asher, Staff Attorney
Bhairavi is a Staff Attorney for the Children’s Representation Project (CRP). Before joining ImmDef, Bhairavi represented abused and neglected foster children in dependency court at the Children’s Law Center. Previously, Bhairavi also volunteered in Tanzania for 2-years as an English Teacher with World Teach and as a Legal Advocate for Asylum Access providing legal aid to asylum seekers and refugees. In law school, Bhairavi was a Law Student Representative with the Justice & Immigration Clinic providing pro bono legal services to immigrants. When she is not working, you can find Bhairavi hiking, running, exploring new places, or hanging out with friends and family.
Veronica Basilio, Staff Attorney
Veronica Basilio is a Staff Attorney focusing on the representation of detained and recently released adults in Orange County. As an immigrant, she is passionate about defending individuals in their removal cases in the county where she grew up and resides. Veronica earned her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California, Irvine and Juris Doctorate from Fordham University School of Law in New York City where she was a member of the Urban Law Journal. Prior to joining ImmDef, Veronica worked in the private sector as a civil litigator. Additionally, she volunteered at Laura’s House, a domestic violence non-profit organization in south Orange County, for five years and is a certified domestic violence victim advocate. In her spare time, Veronica enjoys spending time with her family, as well as rooting for Notre Dame football and the Argentine soccer team.
Devin Chatterton, Staff Attorney
Devin Chatterton is a Staff Attorney at ImmDef with the Adult Representation Project. Devin received her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and her B.A. from the University of San Francisco. Throughout her undergraduate studies, Devin was involved in advocating for reentry services for previously incarcerated populations through multiple organizations and internships. During law school, Devin was a summer law clerk for the Public Law Center, where she worked in obtaining medical benefits for clients with HIV or AIDS. Additionally, she interned on the hill for Congressman Alan Lowenthal. During her second summer of law school, Devin successfully argued before the California Court of Appeal for the First District under California Attorney General Kamala Harris. Prior to joining ImmDef, Devin worked at the New York County District Attorney’s Office in the rackets bureau. When not working, Devin can often be found spending time with her family or keeping active with boxing, pilates, or treadmill cardio classes. She also enjoys watching documentaries and live music.
Alexander Cooper, Staff Attorney
Alex is a staff attorney for the Children's Representation Project (CRP). Before law school, Alex worked for a year and a half as a legal assistant at a Las Vegas immigration firm, where he prepared consular processing cases and the cases of immigrants in removal proceedings, and during law school, he interned with the Los Angeles Immigration Court and the National Immigration Law Center. He also participated in UCLA's Immigrants' Rights Policy Clinic, where he advocated for policies limiting local participation in immigration enforcement. Alex earned his J.D. from the UCLA School of Law and his B.A. in International Studies and Philosophy from Pepperdine University. In his free time, Alex enjoys camping and traveling.
Troy Elder, Senior Staff Attorney
Troy is a litigator, law professor, and community- and faith-based activist with more than 20 years of experience, mostly at the intersection of immigration, international human rights, ethics, poverty law, and health law. After five years practicing complex litigation at two Wall Street firms, in 2000 Troy moved to Miami to work with Haitian boat refugees as a legal aid lawyer, spending years representing immigrants in the wake of 9/11. Thereafter, he spent 10 years as a law professor, with faculty appointments at a number of law schools across the country, most recently at Yale. Troy has litigated cases in numerous local, state, federal, foreign, and international venues, including securing a multi-million dollar judgment for the victims in the first class action under the Convention Against Torture. Overseas, his human rights work has focused on migration, prison conditions, due process, and access to justice issues, mostly in Haiti, Latin America, and Africa. Troy holds graduate degrees in law and ethics from Yale. He serves clients in French, Haitian Creole, and Spanish.
Iliana Gomez, Staff Attorney
Iliana Alexis Gomez is a UCLA Law Fellow focusing on helping parents of US citizen children. Iliana received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley in 2014 and her law degree from UCLA Law in 2017. Throughout undergrad, Iliana focused on learning about the US prison system and its negative impact on inmates and families alike. In law school, Iliana applied her passion for helping those affected by the carceral system to focusing on helping immigrants in detention. Iliana became passionate about the fight for universal representation for all detained immigrants. She interned at the Bronx Defenders in New York, which cemented her desire to represent detained immigrants in removal proceedings. Iliana is inspired by her hardworking family including her mother, sister, 3 brothers and her father. She enjoys spending time with her family and loves being an aunt to her two nieces and two nephews.
Daniela Hernandez, Staff Attorney
Daniela is from Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico. Before moving to Los Angeles in 2015, she was living and working in Mexico City, as a Directing Attorney for the Comision Nacional de los Derechos Humanos (CNDH), Mexico’s Ombudsman. During her five-year tenure at CNDH, Daniela was responsible for hundreds of investigations related to human rights abuses committed by the armed forces, the elaboration of recommendations and special reports and supervising their fulfillment by the federal agencies. Before joining ImmDef, she did volunteer work with legal non-profits that defend immigrant workers rights. She earned her law degree in Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM) in Mexico City in 2011, and LL.M degree from University of California of Los Angeles School of Law (UCLA) in 2017. She is currently completing research to earn her Master’s degree in Human Rights from Universidad Iberoamericana (UIA), Mexico City, on the domestic workers labor movement in the U.S. and Mexico. She sees the shift from previous human rights to immigration as a natural continuation of the work she has been doing for years. Understanding that immigration is a transnational global issue, she strives to build bridges from California to Mexico in all the work she does.
Mona Iman, Staff Attorney
Mona Iman is a Staff Attorney in the Children’s Representation Project (CRP). She has broad experience in human rights advocacy, immigration, and international legal development - both in government and civil society settings - and is committed to social justice and the empowerment of at-risk groups to safeguard their rights. Prior to joining ImmDef and her preceding civil litigation practice, Mona advocated for immigrants as a fellow at the ACLU of Southern California, where she investigated CARRP, a previously secret national security policy imposing extra-statutory exclusions and barriers to Middle Eastern and North African applicants. Before focusing on cross-border immigration issues, Mona advised and coordinated rule of law programs in Iraq with the U.S. Institute of Peace, where she led strategic initiatives to support negotiation, transparency, and public participation in the country’s first independent constitution-making process. Mona later served as director of a foundation focused on documenting human rights violations in Iran, and in addition to other efforts, designed and implemented programs in Los Angeles and Dar es Salaam to raise the capacity of youth and junior youth to address issues of social justice and contribute to the wellbeing of their communities. Mona earned her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, where she served on The Georgetown Immigration Law Journal, and her B.A. from Emory University. Mona has lived all over the world, believes in the fundamental oneness of humankind, and celebrates the beauty in diversity of all forms.
Alfonso Maldonado, Staff Attorney
Alfonso Maldonado is a staff attorney at Immigrant Defenders Law Center. Alfonso graduated from Western State College of Law and is driven to provide the immigrant community with access to adequate legal representation. During his law school years, Alfonso worked on victim-based relief for clients and successfully argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. His work at ImmDef will focus on serving residents of the Inland Empire and will be stationed at our Riverside office. During his spare time, you can catch Alfonso biking down the Santa Ana Trail or camping in the local mountain ranges.
Cristel Martinez, Staff Attorney
Cristel Martinez was born in Honduras and migrated to the United States when she was 9 years old. She is a staff attorney with the Children’s Representation Project (CRP) at ImmDef. Cristel earned her Juris Doctor from Western State College of Law where she was part of the immigration clinic and successfully argued before he U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She plans to use her education to work towards an equal access for people who are deprived.
Allison O' Brien, Staff Attorney
Allison (Ali) is a staff attorney for the Children’s Representation Project (CRP). Before joining ImmDef, she worked at Immigration Center for Women and Children (“ICWC”) representing victims of domestic violence in their U-Visa application. Prior to moving to Los Angeles, Ali was a post-graduate fellow for the Pro Bono & Volunteer Unit at the New York Legal Assistance Group (“NYLAG”), and was a research associate for the Jesuit Massacre Documentation Project. Before law school, Ali worked as a middle school English teacher and admission coordinator at an international school in Santiago, Chile. Ali received her B.A. in Public Policy and Spanish from Trinity College and earned her J.D. from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.