Meet our team

ImmDef has profound experience and a proven track record of serving clients from all over the world, with particular cultural competence serving Latin-American immigrants. Many of our staff members are immigrants themselves or the children or grandchildren of immigrants. As such, our team is able to draw upon our deep roots in the communities that we serve in order provide culturally

Immigrant Defenders Law Center staff smile while posing for group picture.

competent legal services. ImmDef regularly hosts trainings to assist our staff in providing trauma-informed services and we have held trainings to address culturally competent services for particular populations including LGBTQ clients. The majority of ImmDef's client-serving staff are bilingual in English and one or more additional languages. The vast majority of clients we serve are Spanish speaking, and as such, many of our staff have a high degree of Spanish language proficiency. Further, we have staff who speak the following languages: Farsi, French, Japanese, Punjabi, Hindi, Tagalog, and Amharic.  

Leadership

Lindsay Toczylowski, Executivde Director at Immigrant Defenders Law Center.

Lindsay Toczylowski

Executive Director

Lindsay is a social entrepreneur whose work to increase access to justice for immigrants is at the forefront of the movement for universal representation. Lindsay also served as the Overseas Operations Director at Asylum Access, an international nonprofit that fights for the rights of refugees in the global South. She was recently named one of California’s Top 40 Under 40 Lawyers by the Daily Journal. Lindsay is the proud mother of two revolutionaries-in-training, and they are her inspiration to keep fighting for social justice every day. 

Susan Alva, Associated Director at Immigrant Defenders Law Center

Susan Alva

Associate Director

Susan was born in New York City to Mexican and Dominican immigrant parents. She has held various leadership roles defending vulnerable communities and worked on several high-profile cases, including the El Monte Thai garment workers case. She is on the Boards of the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild and the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. Susan is a fierce defender of immigrant's rights and through her work, many lives have been positively impacted. 

Bhairavi Asher, Managing Attorney at Immigrant Defenders Law Center

Bhairavi Asher

Managing Attorney

Before joining ImmDef, Bhairavi represented abused and neglected foster children in dependency court at the Children’s Law Center. She also volunteered in Tanzania as an English Teacher and as a Legal Advocate for Asylum Access providing legal aid to asylum seekers and refugees. When she is not working, you can find her hiking, running, exploring new places, or hanging out with friends and family.

Margaret Cargioli, Managing Attorney at Immigrant Defenders Law Center

Margaret Cargioli

Managing Attorney

Margaret has worked on behalf of underserved indigent groups, including victims of domestic violence and  asylum seekers throughout her legal career. In 2010 she received an award from the International Institute of New Jersey for her legal immigration work on behalf of survivors of torture fleeing persecution. She was also a recipient of the Joseph Doherty Civil Rights Fellowship.

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Nicole Cortes

Human Resources Manager

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Cynthia Felix

Managing Attorney

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Iliana Gomez

Managing Attorney

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Yliana Johansen-Mendez

Legal Services Director

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Arlette Lozano

Paralegal Coordinator

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Carlos Olivares

Administrative Coordinator

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Reashly Pineda Leon

Case Management Coordinator

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Axel Sawczuk

Finance and Operations Director

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Jennifer Toledo

Paralegal Coordinator

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Jonathan Barrales, Support Services Manager at Immigrant Defenders Law Center

Jonathan Barrales

Support Services Manager

Jonathan graduated from CSULA with a degree in Latin American Studies. Before joining ImmDef he worked as a Community Organizaer at Eastside Café and also Co-Founded El Sereno Bungalows Collective. His favorite part about working at ImmDef is his passionate, hard-working and intelligent coworkers and seeing the confidence our clients feel when we help them navigate the unjust immigration system.

Devin Chatterton, Managing Attorney at Immigrant Defenders Law Center

Devin Chatterton

Managing Attorney

Since her time in college, Devin has been a passionate advocate for marginalized groups. During her second summer of law school, Devin successfully argued before the California Court of Appeal for the First District under then California Attorney General Kamala Harris. When not working, Devin likes spending time with her family or keeping active with boxing, Pilates, or treadmill cardio classes.

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Mickey Donovan-Kaloust

Directing Attorney

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Diana Gama Salmeron

Program Coordinator

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Daniel Gonzalez

IT Supervisor

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Leah A. Jones

Managing Attorney

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Joyce Noche

Legal Services Director

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Laura Olmos

Operations Manager

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Natalia Rodriguez

Paralegal Coordinator

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Amanda Schuft

Directing Attorney

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Eric Vera

Managing Attorney

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Sarena Bhatia, Managing Attorney at Immigrant Defenders Law Center

Sarena Bhatia

Managing Attorney

Prior to ImmDef, Sarena adjudicated applications for refugee status at UNHCR. Before law school, she served as an AmeriCorps member with the IRC in San Diego, where she coordinated a family education center for resettled refugees in the community and taught an after school program. During her spare time, you can find Sarena exploring LA and re-acquainting herself with life on the West Coast.

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Hannah Comstock

Managing Attorney

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Cathy Dreyfuss

Supervising Attorney

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Renee Garcia

Development & Communications Manager

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Kimberly Harbin

Managing Attorney

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Eva Leiva Partnoy

Program Coordinator

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Lisa Okamoto

Directing Attorney

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Jonathon Orta

Paralegal Coordinator

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Natalie Sanchez

Finance Supervisor

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Munmeeth Soni

Director of Litigation and Advocacy

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ImmDef Team

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Alejandra Aguilar Ruiz

Paralegal

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Soledad Alejandre

Paralegal

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Fernanda Antonello-Bailey

Fernanda Antonello

Staff Attorney

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Karina E. Ramos

Staff Attorney

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Chelsea Bell

Staff Attorney

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Rosana Carretero

Receptionist

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Kely Cortes

Paralegal

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Andrea Debroy

Legal Assistant

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Daniela Diaz

Paralegal

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Miriam Enriquez

Staff Attorney

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Dani Gies

Staff Attorney

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Annabel Gonzalez

Paralegal

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Llaned Huerta

Law Clerk

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Shoshana Kushner

Staff Attorney

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Amanda Manalo

Amanda Manalo

Staff Attorney

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Mary Mattingly

Human Resources Associate

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Camila Mojica

Law Clerk

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Mayra Navarro

Staff Attorney

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Alina Pastor-Chermak

Law Clerk

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Andres Peña

Paralegal

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Sandra Ramirez

Legal Assistant

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Adan Rodriguez Zavala

Staff Attorney

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Michelle Saucedo

Equal Justice Works Fellow

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Sarah Shlemon

Program Associate

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Edwin Vargas

Staff Attorney

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Juana Warlick

Program Associate

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Paola Aguirre

Operations Associate

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Cesia Alvarez

Staff Attorney

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Maricela Baltazar

Case Management Associate

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Sandra Bautista

Paralegal

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Nicholas Borkowski

Staff Attorney

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Marcos Cerna Gonzalez

Staff Attorney

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Ismael De Anda

Legal Assistant

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Roberto De La Peña

Development & Communications Assistant

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Lucia Diaz

Staff Attorney

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Nicholas Garces

Staff Attorney

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Carmen Godinez-Tapia

Program Associate

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Kathleen Gutierrez

Legal Assistant

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Mona Iman

Staff Attorney

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Amy Lopez

Paralegal

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Ana Karen Manjarrez

Case Management Associate

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Madeline McCormick

Case Management Associate

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Muñoz Stefany

Paralegal

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Jennifer Norris

Staff Attorney

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Sandra Patlan

Staff Attorney

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Johana Peña

Paralegal

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Paulina Reyes

Staff Attorney

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Luis Rodriguez

Staff Attorney

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Allyssa Scheyer

Law Clerk

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Katie Siler

Staff Attorney

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Jacqueline Vargas

Paralegal

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Alma Zazueta

Paralegal

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Carmine Aiello

Staff Attorney

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Caitlin Anderson

Staff Attorney

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Anna Barie

Executive Assistant

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Alejandra Becerra

Paralegal

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Kelly Camacho

Program Associate

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Michael Citrin

Legal Fellow

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Brenda De Leon

Paralegal

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Edgar Diaz Gonzalez

Paralegal

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Eduardo Doering

Staff Attorney

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Oscar Garcia Mendoza

Case Management Associate

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Anna Rae Goethe

Staff Attorney

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Dulce Guzman

Program Associate

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Marc Jacome

Staff Attorney

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Selene Lopez

Paralegal

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Rogelio Maravilla

Paralegal

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Ethan Metcalfe

Executive Assistant

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Neysa Nankervis

Staff Attorney

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Marlene Olarra

Administrative Assistant

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Harlan Peebles

Operations Associate

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Sarah Poblano

Paralegal

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April Rios

Paralegal

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Madeline Sachs

Paralegal

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Carson Scott

Legal Fellow

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Elaine Torres

Staff Attorney

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September Cervera

Staff Attorney

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