Team ImmDef

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 from Mexico and Central America. As such, our team is able to draw upon our deep roots in the communities that we serve in order provide culturally 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 team

Our Team Members

immdef team

Aguilar Ruiz, Alejandra D

Paralegal

Children's Representation Project

Alejandra graduated from Humboldt State University. Before ImmDef she worked as a Legal Assistant (DOJ Accredited Representative) at the Immigration Resource Center of San Gabriel Valley. At Immdef, she wants to help clients navigate the legal system, and also empower them to continue being their best resilient selves.

Anderson, Caitlin E

Staff Attorney

Barie, Anna K

Executive Assistant

Admin Team

Anna graduated from University of North Texas with a BA in Social Sciences. She is currently working on an MPA in Nonprofit Management at California State University Northridge. Prior to working at ImmDef she was Programs Coordinator at the Levitt Foundation. She is thrilled to be supporting ImmDef management and staff through all the victories and challenges that lay ahead. This work is incredibly vital and personally important to her. She feels proud to be a part of the team, and knows she will learn so much every day.

Bautista, Sandra

Paralegal

NQRP

Sandra graduated from Cal State Los Angeles. While employed in the private sector Sandra gained valuable experience working with the immigrant community. She loves that ImmDef provides universal representation for adults and minors. Working for ImmDef is a dream come true for her.

Bhatia, Sarena

Managing Attorney

Carretero, Rosana

Receptionist

Administration Team

Chatterton, Devin R

Managing Attorney

Comstock, Hannah

Managing Attorney

Cortes, Nicole M

Human Resources Manager

DeLaPena Jr, Roberto

Dev and Com Assistant

Administration Team

Diaz, Daniela M

Paralegal

Donovan-Kaloust, Marion

Directing Attorney

Enriquez, Miriam

Staff Attorney

Children's Representation Project

Miriam has a JD from the University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law and a BA from California State University of San Marcos. While in law school, she was the Vice President of the Latino Law Student Association. Prior to working at ImmDef she was a Law Clerk at Pima County Attorney’s Office, and she also worked as an Eligibility Worker for San Bernardino and San Diego County. Her favorite part about working at ImmDef is that it allows her to feel connected. The people she works with inspire her every day.

Gama Salmeron, Diana K

Program Coordinator

Gies, Danielle M

Staff Attorney

Gomez, Iliana A

Staff Attorney

NQRP

Iliana graduated with a Bachelors from the University of California, Berkeley—Legal Studies UCLA School of Law and did a specialization in Critical Race Studies. She was an intern at the Bronx Defenders. She hopes that her work defending immigrants in removal proceedings will highlight the injustices of our immigration and carceral systems such that the abolitionist movement may be pushed forward.

Gutierrez, Kathleen

Legal Assistant

Harbin, Kimberly N

Staff Attorney

Children's Representation Project

Kimberly received her JD from Harvard Law School, and a BA from Tufts University. She is an EJW Fellow at Syracuse University College of Law and was previously an in-house counsel at the Ad Council as well as an associate at Morrison & Foerster, LLP. She enjoys being a small part of the new lives that her young clients are building for themselves in this country.

Johansen-Mendez, Yliana

Legal Services Director

Leiva Partnoy, Eva V

Program Coordinator

Lopez, Selene V

Paralegal

Children's Representation Project and Family Unity Project

Selene graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a B.A. in Political Science. Prior to ImmDef she worked as a Paralegal for a Private Practice - Immigration Law firm. She values that her role at ImmDef transcends the limits of a typical paralegal position. In her role, she is also an advocate for our clients and a resource they can rely on.

Aiello, Carmine

Staff Attorney

Asher, Bhairavi

Managing Attorney

Barrales, Jonathan

Support Services Manager

Bell, Chelsea N

Staff Attorney

Cargioli, Margaret

Managing Attorney

Cerna Gonzalez, Marcos

Staff Attorney

Chertoff, Emily R

Staff Attorney

Corado Barrios, Alma C

Case Management Associate

Children's Representation Project

Alma graduated from Whittier College with a B.A in Psychology. In addition to her work at ImmDef, she is also an EL CIVICS adjunct instructor at Los Angeles City College. Alma strives to ensure our clients feel supported beyond their legal case by connecting them to an array of holistic resources and services.

Dajer-Pascal, Emilie E

Staff Attorney

Debroy, Andrea F

Legal Assistant

Diaz, Lucia T

Staff Attorney

Dreyfuss, Cathy

Sr. Staff Attorney

Felix, Cynthia Isabel

Managing Attorney

Garcia Mendoza, Oscar

Case Management Associate

Godinez-Tapia, Carmen S

Program Associate

Gonzalez, Annabel

Paralegal

Gutierrez, Patrick

Staff Attorney

Iman, Mona

Staff Attorney

Jones-Swanson, Leah A

Managing Attorney

Leiva, Eva

Program Coordinator

Alejandre, Soledad

Paralegal

Children's Representation Project

I am a first generation college graduate. I graduated from Cal State Northridge with a B.A. in Sociology and a minor in Family Studies. I’m daughter of immigrant parents and have undocumented siblings. I grew up in East Los Angeles. Growing up, I witnessed first-hand the many struggles that my family had to endure being undocumented. I have also witnessed the many disadvantages that my community suffers. I believe these factors are what have fueled my passion and commitment to wanting to make a difference in my community and help bring social justice. I used to work at a private law firms where I was working for the immigrant community, but have always wanted to be able to help in a larger scale where money would not be an impediment for the underserved communities to receive help and justice. I hope to continue learning more so that I may continue making a change. On my free time, I enjoy doing outdoor activities with friends and attending community events aimed at helping the underserved community.

Asher, Bhairavi K

Managing Attorney

Barrales, Jonathan

Support Services Manager

Bhatia, Sarena

Managing Attorney

Cargioli, Margaret G

Managing Attorney

Chatterton, Devin

Managing Attorney

Comstock, Hannah

Managing Attorney

Cortes, Nicole

Human Resources Manager

De Leon, Brenda R

Paralegal

Diaz Gonzalez, Edgar E

Paralegal

Donovan, Mickey

Directing Attorney

Dreyfuss, Cathy R

Sr. Staff Attorney

Felix, Cynthia Isabel

Managing Attorney

Garcia, Renee R

Dev and Com Manager

Goethe, Anna Rae

Staff Attorney

Gonzalez, Daniel A

IT Supervisor

Guzman, Dulce

Program Associate

Detained Youth Empowerment Project

Dulce graduated from Santa Clara University with a Bachelors in Ethnic Studies & Political Science. Prior to working at ImmDef, she worked as a Case Manager for Unaccompanied Minors at Catholic Charities Immigrant Services. In her new role she strives to be able to provide detained unaccompanied minors with the support and guidance they deserve.

Johansen-Mendez, Yliana

Legal Services Director

Kushner, Shoshana

Staff Attorney

Lloyd, Abigail W

Supervising Attorney

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Contact Us

634 S. Spring St. 10th Fl.

Los Angeles, CA 90014

info@immdef.org

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Immigrant defenders law center is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, EIN 474473312.

© 2023 by Immigrant Defenders Law Center.

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