Meet Our Staff

 

Suzanne McCormick is the founder and Executive Director of ICWC. Suzanne graduated from the University of Oregon School of Law in 1997. Since law school she has been dedicated to providing legal services to at risk youth and victims of domestic violence. Suzanne worked as a Staff Attorney at Public Counsel Law Center in Los Angeles. While at Public Counsel, she represented clients in probate guardianship, Violence Against Women Act, and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status cases. She was the Project Coordinator for the Guardianship Volunteer Program, a pro per clinic at the Los Angeles central district courthouse, which assists unrepresented litigants. In 2002, Suzanne co-authored Abandon Probate Court for Abandoned Children: Combining Probate Guardianship of the Person and Dependency into one Stronger, Fairer Children’s Court in the Spring 2003 Southern California Review of Law and Women’s Studies. In 2004, Suzanne founded the Immigration Center for Women and Children. Through her work, Suzanne identified a need in the community for a legal service agency that provided services on a sliding scale fee system. Suzanne has established ICWC as one of the leading legal service agencies in California that provide immigration options for victims. Suzanne is active in many immigration and child advocacy groups in California and nationwide. Email Suzanne at suzanne@icwclaw.org.

 

Susan Bowyer is the Deputy Director of ICWC. Susan is a national expert in U Nonimmigrant Status and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). She is the author of a number of publications on immigration remedies for survivors of domestic violence, including those published by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law & Justice, the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) and the Boston University Public Interest Law Journal. She is a frequent trainer on immigration through the VAWA and U Visa and has presented at the American Immigration Lawyers Association National Conference, California and Central Florida Chapters, the Alameda County Law Enforcement Chiefs’ Annual Conference, on regional and national webinars, and before the California State Senate and Assembly Human Service Committees. Susan is a 1992 graduate of Stanford Law School, where she was a Public Service Law Fellow. She was the Managing Attorney of the International Institute of the Bay Area’s Oakland office from 2003 to 2010. She has also worked as a staff attorney with the Immigrant Legal Resource Center and Acting Director of the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment. Email Susan at susan@icwclaw.org.

 

Jessica Farb is the Directing Attorney in the ICWC San Francisco Office. Jess received her B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her J.D. from American University Washington College of Law. She began working with immigrant crime victims in 2003 as an AmeriCorps VISTA legal assistant at Casa Cornelia Law Center in San Diego. Then, while pursuing her law degree in Washington DC, she worked for the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law and helped represent immigrant clients at Ayuda, Inc. and Holland & Knight’s Community Services Team. Jess also authored an article on the U visa with the Human Rights Brief. She returned to California in 2008 to coordinate the immigrant crime victim program at the International Institute of the Bay Area’s Oakland office, joining ICWC in 2011. Jess maintains a diverse caseload of U visa and VAWA clients, provides regional and national trainings on the U visa, and regularly appears on the Spanish language news channel, KDTV Univision 14. Jessica created and administrates ICWC’s national web-based information sharing for U Nonimmigrant Status practitioners, the U Travel and Certifier Database (formerly called Google Docs). Email Jessica at jessicafarb@icwclaw.org.

 

Mona Patel-Sikora Mona Patel-Sikora is the Directing Attorney in the ICWC Los Angeles Office. She has worked extensively on behalf of battered women and children and has provided immigration representation to victims of domestic violence, crime and human trafficking. Mona has also been actively involved in advocacy and community outreach and has been a frequent speaker and trainer on immigration law and domestic violence issues. Mona was a founding board member at ICWC.

Mona received her law degree from USC Law School in May 1990. She also has a Master’s Degree in Social Work. Prior to joining ICWC, Mona was a Senior Attorney in the Immigration Unit at the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA). She has also worked at Public Counsel Law Center where she ran the VAWA Project and has worked as a litigation associate at the international law firm of Bryan Cave LLP. In 2002, she was named one of California’s top 20 Lawyers under 40 by California Law Business Magazine. She is also the recipient of USC Law School and PILF’s Outstanding Graduate Award, as well as the South Asian Bar Association’s Public Service Award. She has been named as a Super Lawyer” on several occasions and has served on the boards of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association (APABA) and the South Asian Helpline and Referral Agency (SAHARA). Mona also served on the Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel for the U.S. District Court, Central District of California. Email Mona at mona@icwclaw.org.

 

Mariel Abeleda is a Staff Attorney in the ICWC Los Angeles Office. Mariel received her J.D. from Loyola Law School and B.A. from UC Berkeley. She has worked and interned for the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA), UC Berkeley’s Student Legal Clinic, the Community Development Department, and the Office of the City Attorney. While at LAFLA, she assisted clients in appealing their unemployment insurance denials and conducted outreach informing low-income workers of their employment rights. Prior to joining ICWC, Mariel was in private practice representing clients in employment-based immigration petitions. Mariel is also a volunteer tutor at the Los Angeles Public Library’s Singleton Literacy Center assisting adult learners with acquiring basic literacy skills. Email Mariel at mariel@icwclaw.org.

 

Brooke Alexander Parr is a Staff Attorney in the ICWC San Diego office. Brooke received her Juris Doctor degree from the University Of Southern California School Of Law and graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in Psychology and a B.A. in Spanish. While at Stanford, Brooke enhanced her Spanish skills during a semester abroad in Argentina. After Stanford, Brooke provided therapy services to children with special needs, primarily Autism. She worked closely with parents and educators to promote the child’s social-emotional development and she advocated on the child’s behalf to ensure that he or she received the services to which he or she is entitled under the law. During her time at USC School of Law, Brooke served as Notes Editor for her honors journal, Southern California Review of Law and Social Justice (RLSJ). She also worked as an intern at Public Counsel Law Center in Los Angeles and participated in USC Children’s Rights Clinic. She gained experience assisting families who were adopting children that had been abused, abandoned, or neglected and assisted attorneys with guardianship and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) cases. In light of these experiences, Brooke authored a publication for RLSJ, regarding the benefits received by families adopting children from the foster care system who have special needs. Post-graduation, Brooke worked as a Staff Attorney at Casa Cornelia Law Center (CCLC) in San Diego. She devoted her time to providing free legal services to indigent immigrants. During her time with CCLC, Brooke held various positions, including Domestic Violence Program Director. She has represented clients in VAWA, U Visa, Adjustment of Status, guardianship, and SIJS cases. Email Brooke at brooke@icwclaw.org.

 

Kayla Casey is a staff attorney in the ICWC San Francisco Office. She received her J.D. from the University of Iowa College Of Law and her B.A. from Loyola University Chicago. Prior to law school Kayla interned at Amnesty International in Santiago, Chile. She also worked as a paralegal at the National Immigrant Justice Center in Chicago. During law school she interned for ProBAR in Harlingen, Texas where she represented detained asylum seekers. Prior to joining ICWC she was a staff attorney at Justice For Our Neighbors – Nebraska.

 

Liz Gonzalez is a Staff Attorney in the ICWC Los Angeles Office. Liz received her B.A. in Spanish Literature from Reed College in Portland, Oregon. After Reed, she moved back to Los Angeles and worked at ICWC as a Legal Assistant. She also worked as a Legal Assistant at Schonbrun, DeSimone, Seplow, Harris, Hoffman & Harrison, LLP, a civil rights plaintiff’s litigation firm in Venice, California. While at Southwestern Law School, Liz worked on U Visa and SIJS cases at the Immigration Clinic, clerked at Public Counsel where she worked on U Visa and affirmative asylum cases, and she also worked with detainees at the Santa Ana detention center. Liz also returned to ICWC as a summer clerk and she interned at ICWC her last semester of law school. During law school, Liz was the social chair of Southwestern’s Immigration Law Student’s Association and she was the recipient of the Public Interest Law Grant, the Silbert Public Interest Fellowship, the Equal Justice America Fellowship, and the Public Interest Law Service Award. Liz has also been involved as a volunteer at the Alexandria House, a transitional shelter for women and children in the Los Angeles area. Email Liz at liz@icwclaw.org.

 

Angel Graf is a Staff Attorney in the ICWC San Francisco Office. Prior to joining ICWC, Angel was an Attorney Advisor for the Executive Office of Immigration Review. She has also worked and interned for Life Span Center for Legal Services and Advocacy, the Domestic Violence Legal Clinic, and World Relief Chicago’s Immigrant Legal Services. Angel received her J.D., magna cum laude, from DePaul College of Law (2012) with a certification in Public Interest Law. While in law school Angel focused on issues involving gender, inclusion, domestic violence, and immigration. She also holds a B.A. from Elmhurst College (2003), a M.A. in Latin American Studies from Georgetown University (2006), and previously worked in international relations, inter-cultural communication, and international human rights. Email Angel at angel@icwclaw.org.

 

Veronica Joya is a staff attorney in the ICWC Los Angeles Office. Prior to joining ICWC, Veronica was a staff attorney at Advocates for Children of New York, where she represented immigrant students and parents in special education hearings. Veronica received a B.A. in Rhetoric from UC Berkeley in 2007 and a J.D. from the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law in 2012, where she was a Haywood Burns Fellow in Civil and Human Rights. While at Berkeley, she interned at Centro Legal de la Raza in Oakland, working on wage and hour claims on behalf of immigrant workers. After Berkeley, she returned to Los Angeles and worked as a legal assistant at the Center for Human Rights & Constitutional Law, providing legal services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. During law school, Veronica interned at the Urban Justice Center’s Sex Worker’s Project, providing legal advocacy and research on behalf of survivors of sex-trafficking and at the Legal Aid Society’s Immigration Law Unit providing deportation defense. While at CUNY Law, Veronica was part of the International Women’s Human Rights Clinic, president of the Latin American Law Students’ Association, and Notes & Comments editor of the City University of New York Law Review. Email Veronica at veronica@icwclaw.org.

 


Grace Mandry is the Coordinator for the Legal Orientation Program for Custodians in the ICWC San Francisco Office. Grace graduated from Kalamazoo College in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Studies. During college she studied abroad in Cáceres, Spain where she also tutored students in English. In Kalamazoo, she also participated in Model United Nations and lacrosse. Prior to joining ICWC, Grace was the AmeriCorps member for an immigration nonprofit in Lexington, Kentucky. There she coordinated a clinic for migrant workers who were victims of wage theft. She also conducted outreach for the clinic, and traveled all over Kentucky educating immigrant and refugee groups on their rights in the workplace.

 

Monica Martinezis a Senior Caseworker in the ICWC San Francisco office. Monica graduated from Saint Mary’s College of California in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. While attending Saint Mary’s, Monica was an active participant in the Bonner Leader Program and volunteered at East Bay Sanctuary Covenant in Berkeley, CA. As an immigrant rights advocate at East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, Monica worked on Asylum cases and collaborated with board members in preparation for the organization’s annual fundraiser. Monica also spent some time at an orphanage in Mexico as an English teacher. She worked at La Raza Community Resource Center, an organization providing vital social and immigration services to families in San Francisco’s Mission District. Email Monica at monica@icwclaw.org.

 

David Menninger is a Staff Attorney in the ICWC Los Angeles office. David received a B.A. in American Studies from UC Berkeley in 2005 and a J.D. from New York University School of Law in 2011. During law school, David interned with Make the Road New York, Legal Services for Children San Francisco, the Immigrant Defense Project and the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project. After graduation, David served as a law clerk to the Honorable Carlos Lucero of the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Denver, Colorado and for the Honorable A. Howard Matz of the US District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles. Between college and law school, David traveled extensively and lived in San José, Costa Rica and Madrid, Spain. Email David at david@icwclaw.org

 

Esmeralda V. Meza is a Staff Attorney at the ICWC Los Angeles Office. Esmeralda received her J.D. from UCLA with a specialization in Critical Race Studies. She graduated from UC San Diego with a B.A. in Sociology and a minor in Law and Society. At UCLA Law, Esmeralda served as Co-Chair of La Raza, Conference Co-Chair of the 16th Annual National Latina/o Law Student Association Conference, Co-Chair of the Immigration Law Society, Co-Coordinator of the student run VAWA Immigration Clinic, and Chief Executive Editor of the Chicana/o-Latina/o Law Review. During her time in law school, Esmeralda provided direct immigration legal services – U Visa, VAWA, SIJS, and asylum – through her work with the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), ICWC, Public Counsel, and Kids In Need of Defense (KIND). After graduating from UCLA Law, she returned to ICWC as a 2013-2014 UCLA Law Public Service Law Fellow. Email Esmeralda at esme@icwclaw.org.

 

<Nickole Miller is a Staff Attorney in the ICWC Los Angeles Office. Nickole graduated from Columbia University in 2008 with a B.A. in Political Science and Human Rights. In May 2012, Nickole graduated cum laude from DePaul University College of Law and received her J.D. with a special certificate in Public Interest Law. While in law school, Nickole served on DePaul University’s Center for Public Interest Law Committee and clerked with Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing, Cabrini Green Legal Aid, Bay Area Legal Aid and the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law. Upon graduation from law school, Nickole was awarded the Student Bar Association Distinguished Senior Service Award. Prior to joining ICWC, Nickole was a Legal Fellow at the Public Law Center in Santa Ana, California where she provided direct legal assistance to low-income clients with petitions for immigration relief including U Visas, T Visas, and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Email Nickole at nickole@icwclaw.org.

 


Miriam Nuñez is a Staff Attorney in the ICWC Los Angeles Office and previously worked at ICWC in San Francisco. Miriam graduated from UCLA Law with a specialization in the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy. She is a double Bruin, having graduated summa cum laude from UCLA with a B.A. in International Development Studies and a minor in Chicana/o Studies. During her time at UCLA Law, Miriam served as Co-Chair of the Immigration Law Society, and the National Lawyers Guild Immigrants’ Rights Committee. She also served as Academic Co-Chair of La Raza, Panel Coordinator of the 16th Annual National Latina/o Law Student Association Conference, and mentor with the UCLA Law Fellows Program. While at UCLA Law, Miriam worked with organizations such as Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), Public Counsel and ICWC to provide direct legal services, including U Visa, T Visa, VAWA, Asylum, SIJS and DACA. She has also worked closely with the immigrant community through the CLEAN Carwash Campaign and in tutoring Spanish speaking adults to achieve basic Spanish and English literacy. Miriam is a current member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Immigration Section and a proud first-generation Mexican-American. Email Miriam at miriam@icwclaw.org.

 

Mayra Pop is a Staff Attorney in the ICWC Los Angeles Office. Mayra graduated magna cum laude from California State University, Northridge with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a minor in Business. She received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2012. While in law school, Mayra worked at the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office in which she represented the People of the State of California in numerous cases. She was a fellow with the American Board of Trial Advocated (ABOTA) and was the recipient of the 2012 ABOTA Excellence in Preparation for Trial Practice Award. Mayra also helped provide direct immigration services through the Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project and the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN). Email Mayra at mayra@icwclaw.org.

 

Elizabeth Roehm is a Staff Attorney in the ICWC San Francisco Office. Elizabeth received her Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School in 2012 and graduated from the University of Texas, Austin in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in Geography and a minor in Spanish. While at Yale, Elizabeth interned at the New Haven Legal Assistance Association, where she began working with immigrant survivors of domestic violence in U Visa and VAWA cases. Additionally, she was involved in economic development projects in New Haven and in a legal clinic at a Latino community center. Elizabeth interned with policy organizations in Austin, Texas and Colombo, Sri Lanka fighting human rights abuses. Prior to law school, Elizabeth served as an operations coordinator and case manager at Casa Marianella, an emergency shelter for recently arrived immigrants and asylum seekers in Austin, Texas. Email Elizabeth at elizabethroehm@icwclaw.org.

 

Emma Steiner is a Staff Attorney in the ICWC Los Angeles Office. Emma graduated with highest honors from the University of California, Berkeley with a BA in Sociology in 2009. She received her Juris Doctor degree with a Public Law concentration from Cornell Law School in 2013. Before law school, Emma worked as a legal assistant at Kamine Law PC. During law school, Emma interned with the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant in Berkeley, CA and California Rural Legal Assistance in Fresno, CA. Emma was the recipient of the Freeman Award for Civil/Human Rights and the Equal Justice America Fellowship.

 

David Szeles is a staff attorney in the ICWC San Diego Office. David received his J.D. from Loyola Law School in 2011. He received his B.A. in Spanish and Political Science from the University of San Diego in 2007. After law school, David received a Loyola Public Interest Fellowship and worked as a staff attorney at the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) for 2 years. His fellowship included presenting the Legal Orientation Program at Musick Detention Center in Orange County, and preparing U Visa, Adjustment of Status, and DACA cases. During law school David interned at the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST), Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project, Bet Tzedek Legal Services, Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County, and the LA County Bar Immigration Project. David served a two year volunteer mission in Florida, which is where he fell in love with the Hispanic community and became passionate about immigration law. He has 2 children, ages 5 and 3. Email David at davidszeles@icwclaw.org.

 

Siobhan Waldron is a Staff Attorney in the ICWC Los Angeles office. Siobhan received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2012, where she specialized in the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy and Critical Race Studies Program. She received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley in 2006 in Legal Studies and Spanish, with a concentration in Hispanic Languages and Bilingual Issues. During and after college, Siobhan volunteered with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area as an interpreter for Spanish-speaking individuals seeking asylum. Also at that time, she began visiting and working in solidarity with isolated rural villages in El Salvador with the Oakland-based non-profit organization the Central American Refugee Committee (CRECE), and continues to visit El Salvador annually. Prior to law school, Siobhan worked on the statewide legal services website LawHelpCA.org at OneJustice in San Francisco. During law school, she focused her coursework and extracurricular activities on becoming a direct services immigration attorney at a legal services non-profit agency in California. Siobhan has done direct services immigration work with Centro Legal de la Raza (Oakland), the East Bay Community Law Center (Berkeley), Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project, Public Counsel, and the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN). Email Siobhan at Siobhan@icwclaw.org.

 

Support Staff


Karen Y. Abella- Bonissoni is the Intake Coordinator in the ICWC San Francisco Office. Karen graduated from San Francisco State University in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in International Relations with a concentration in Global Peace studies and Human rights. While at SFSU, she was very active in various student organizations following her passion for human rights. To complete her degree, she wrote her thesis on the impact of extreme child labor around the world. Shortly after graduating, she began working as a Research Associate at the International Forum of Globalization and was able to assist in pragmatic needs throughout the United Nations Conference of the Parties(COP16) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change(UNFCC) in Cancun, Mexico. Karen also worked as Program coordinator for 3D networks, where she contributed to the launch of E-Contractor Academy, a green efficiency retrofit pilot program that benefits minority and women owned businesses. Additionally, she provided program executives with accurate data analysis, research and program marketing, and development support for spot light events such as Los Angeles Health Care Awards which raised over $100,000 to benefit inner city Medical School Scholars. E-mail Karen at Karen@icwclaw.org.

 


Alfonso Alfaro is an Administrative Assistant in the ICWC Los Angeles Office. In June 2012, Alfonso graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish and Community and Culture. During his time at UCLA, Alfonso participated in student government, helping establish the Bruin Meal Voucher Program, through the Undergraduate Students Association Council’s Financial Supports Commission, to help provide warm and nutritious meals for homeless UCLA students. He also held various internships with elected officials in the Greater Los Angeles area and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute in Washington, DC. Before joining ICWC, Alfonso worked in the Capitol Hill office of Congresswoman Grace F. Napolitano as her scheduler, and later worked out of the Los Angeles-based district office of Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard as her Education Field Deputy. Email Alfonso at alfonso@icwclaw.org.

 

Natalyá Caraballo is a Legal Assistant in the ICWC San Francisco Office. Natalyá graduated from the University of Chicago in June 2011 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a Minor in Spanish Language and Literature. While attending the University of Chicago, Natalyá acted as the Community Organizing Chair with the Puerto Rican Students Association. She worked closely with local grassroots organizations to plan upcoming events and educate students on Puerto Rican history and political oppression. Natalyá’s legal and immigration background began in 2002 as a youth defense attorney with the Donald P. McCullum Youth Court in the Superior Court of California. She represented first-time juvenile offenders and advocated peer accountability and restorative justice as an alternative to the juvenile justice system. Since then Natalyá has strengthened her passion throughout Chicago, Madrid and San Francisco Bay Area. In 2009 she assisted the American Bar Association’s first ever Championing Our Students Summer Law Camp and collaborated with the Public Education Division to develop materials for its iMentor Program in Chicago. Natalyá later became a student intern for the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights and assisted Best Interest Determination hearings for unaccompanied minors. Most recently Natalyá worked as an English Language and Cultural Auxiliar with the Ministry of Education in Madrid, Spain and volunteered as a research assistant with Proyecto Esperanza, a women’s rights organization serving survivors of domestic trafficking. Natalyá is proud to be back in her hometown working with members of her community to advocate immigrant and victim’s rights. Email Natalyá at natalya@icwclaw.org.

 

Doris Alvarez is a Legal Assistant in the ICWC Los Angeles office. Doris graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 2012 with a double major in Political Economy and Legal Studies. While at Berkeley, she volunteered at the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant where she worked on asylum cases. She also interned at the East Bay Community Law Center, Neighborhood Justice Clinic, assisting low-income clients with a variety of legal issues, including those related to debt collection and small claims cases. Doris also devoted much of her time working for an Early Childhood Education Center and tutoring third-grade students in one of Oakland’s most impoverished neighborhoods. Prior to joining ICWC, Doris interned at the White House for the Domestic Policy Council where she worked on issues related to economic mobility and urban development. Email Doris at doris@icwclaw.org.

 

Javier Donez is a Legal Assistant in the ICWC Los Angeles office. Javier graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2011 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science with a concentration in International Relations and a minor in Public Affairs. While at UCLA, he was very active in various student organizations where he tutored and mentored inner-city and low-income youth, promoting cultural awareness, higher education, and youth advocacy through policy change. Javier participated in a travel-study abroad program where he examined the different systems of government in Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands and France. For his senior research project, Javier conducted extensive research on immigration reform policy focusing on immigrant youth, analyzing its economic and political impact on several levels. Prior to joining ICWC, Javier worked at the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) as a legal assistant, providing DACA direct services. Email Javier at javier@icwclaw.org.

 

Sarait Escorza is a Legal Assistant in the ICWC San Francisco office. She received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Work from CSU, Chico in 2012. While in school, she became actively involved in several organizations such as Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan, where she raised political awareness and promoted academic advancement among the Latino community. As an intern at the Chico Peace and Justice Center, Sarait collaborated with ACLU and the Asian Law Caucus to introduce the Trust Act to city officials. She is highly recognized by her work in the community, particularly in East Palo Alto. Through Youth United for Community Action (YUCA), she obtained her leadership and community organizing skills pushing for tenant rights, community benefits, and environmental justice. Four years later, she returned to the organization to help launch an immigration campaign. In 2012, she volunteered at Services, Immigrant Rights and Education Network (SIREN) for various DACA processing events and Citizenship drives. As a dreamer and activist herself, she has being part of several conversations around immigrants’ rights. She is also involved in organizing among undocumented students. Sarait currently serves a Legal Advocate for Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC) where she provides legal information and helps undocumented young people nationwide understand their immigration remedies. Sarait’s passion to help the community along with her experience with Silicon Valley De-Bug’s Albert Cobarrubias Justice Project, raised her interest in attending Law School in the future. Email Sarait at sarait@icwclaw.org.

 

Irazema Garcia is the Intake Coordinator in the ICWC San Francisco office. She received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2006. Shortly after graduating Irazema began working in the legal field for a private law firm in Las Vegas, Nevada handling bankruptcy, litigation and family law matters. She spearheaded the pro bono program for the firm where she assisted low-income individuals receive quality legal representation in their bankruptcy and divorce matters. Irazema volunteered for two years at the Community Multicultural Center in Las Vegas, Nevada as a literacy tutor assisting adults learn and fine-tune their English reading and writing skills, as well as help prepare them for their GED exams. Email Irazema at irazema@icwclaw.org.

 


Leonidas A. Garcia is a Legal Assistant in the ICWC Los Angeles Office. Leonidas graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2012 where he studied Political Science, History, and Economics and minored in Italian. While at UC Santa Cruz, he interned at the Beach Flats Community Center where he helped the predominantly low-income, Spanish speaking community gain access to community resources. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz, Leonidas returned to Los Angeles and worked at the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN). At CARECEN he worked as a paralegal providing direct legal services to people applying for family-based immigration benefits. His work consisted primarily of applying for Naturalization, Derivative Citizenship, Adjustment of Status, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and family petitions. Email Leonidas at leonidas@icwclaw.org.

 

Lourdes Mendoza is a Legal Assistant in the ICWC Los Angeles office. In 2012, she received her Bachelor’s Degree from Wellesley College, and earned a double major in Women and Gender Studies with a focus on Latina/Chicana studies, and Spanish. At Wellesley, she was also a campus organizer with Mezcla de Wellesley that helped advocate for DREAMers, and equal access to higher education. She studied abroad in Cordoba, Spain and Puebla, Mexico. During her time in Mexico, she interned with Comisión Estatal para la Atención al Imigrante Poblano, assisting with immigration cases for immigrants from Puebla living abroad. She also interned at the Community Legal Services and Counseling Center in Cambridge, MA as an assistant and translator to the immigration lawyers where she worked with U Visa, VAWA and asylum cases. Email Lourdes at lourdes@icwclaw.org

 


Nataly Quintero is an Administrative Assistant in the ICWC Los Angeles office. Nataly graduated from Santa Clara University in 2013 with a B.S. in Political Science and Ethnic Studies. While at Santa Clara, Nataly was active in various student organizations promoting higher education amongst low income minority youth and diversity and inclusion in the collegiate community. In 2012, she was awarded the Jean Donovan Social Justice Fellowship and performed her service at ICWC as an Intake Coordinator intern. In 2011, Nataly participated in American University’s Washington Semester Program. While in Washington D.C., she interned at Hispanic Link News Service as reporter and conducted research on felony disenfranchisement and voting rights within the Latino community. Nataly also interned at the Orange County-based Malcolm & Cisneros Law Firm in the Unlawful Detainer Unit. Before ICWC, Nataly briefly volunteered at the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles’ (LAFLA) Government Benefits Unit performing case management and worked for the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO) as a phone canvasser providing Naturalization and voting services. Email Nataly at nataly@icwclaw.org.

 


Patricia Ramirez is the Intake Coordinator in the ICWC San Diego Office. Patricia graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) in 2011 with a Bachelor’s Degree in both Chicana/o Studies and Feminist Studies. While at UCSB, she developed an interest for critical race theory and focused a majority of her coursework in exploring the intersecting oppressions among race, class, and gender. Throughout her college career she worked at the Women’s Center and UCSB’s Rape Prevention Education Program where she dedicated herself to educating others about sexual violence and gender inequity. Following college, Patricia has remained committed to helping marginalized communities. She entered the non-profit sector and worked as a Parent/ Volunteer Coordinator where she empowered Mid-City, Los Angeles parents of at-risk youth maneuver the educational system. Through her work at the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) as the U Visa/VAWA Legal Assistant she integrated her background in grassroots organizing and advocacy to providing a holistic approach to her work. Her work at CARECEN included screening potential clients for U Visa/ VAWA services, supporting U Visa/ VAWA attorneys in case management, preparing immigration forms, providing community resources to clients, and representing CARECEN in various outreach events including the Los Angeles’ Mexican Consulate’s Foro Contra Violencia Domestica and Univision’s A Su Lado Domestic Violence Call bank. Patricia developed a profound passion in working directly with victims of crimes. Email Patricia at patricia@icwclaw.org.

 


Jennie Renn is an Administrative Assistant in the ICWC San Francisco Office. She graduated from Pitzer College in 2010 with a B.A. in Chicano Studies and Spanish. During her undergraduate years, Jennie was involved in immigrant workers’ rights campaigns both on campus and in her college and home communities, and was an active member of the college’s student-run mariachi group. After graduating, Jennie spent three years teaching English at the Universidad del Papaloapan in Tuxtepec, Oaxaca. Prior to working with ICWC, Jennie volunteered with the Family Services Unit at the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project in Seattle and at citizenship clinics organized by Washington New Americans and AILA. Email Jennie at jennie@icwclaw.org.

 

Milena Reyes is a Legal Assistant in the ICWC Los Angeles office. Milena graduated from California State University, Northridge in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. During her undergraduate career, she interned at Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County, Self-Help Legal Access Center, assisting clients with housing and child custody issues. After graduating, she volunteered for EL ARCA, a non-profit organization that provided care and educational programs to the developmentally disabled. She also worked in the private sector teaching children with disabilities and volunteered for a local City Council election campaign. Milena was the Administrative Assistant at ICWC Los Angeles office prior to becoming a Legal Assistant. Email Milena at milena@icwclaw.org

 


Karina Rocha is the Intake Coordinator in the ICWC Los Angeles Office. Karina graduated from the University of California Davis in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology, with an emphasis in Law and Society and a minor in Chicana/o studies. While at UC Davis, she was an active member of Alpha Chi Omega whose philanthropic mission is to support victims of domestic violence through fundraising and awareness. After her undergraduate studies, she went on to UCLA and obtained a Paralegal Certificate in November 2013. Karina has experience working as a paralegal for a private practice assisting in the preparation of pleadings, discovery, motions, legal research and trial preparation for civil litigation. Karina has also volunteered for Neighborhood Legal Services providing free assistance with housing, public benefits, family law and workers’ rights to individuals and families.

 


Armando Sedano is an Administrative Assistant in the ICWC San Francisco Office. Mando, as his friends call him, was born in Ameca, Jalisco, México. He immigrated to the United States along with his mother in 1991. He graduated from CSU, Chico in May 2014 with a B.A. in International Relations and Latin American Studies. Upon graduating, Mando was involved with CAVE (Community Action Volunteers in Education) where he volunteered for the Hermanos y Hermanas program. He tutored and was a “big brother” to children in grades 2-3 with math, reading, and writing at a two-way immersion elementary school. Later in his college career, Mando worked at CLIC (Community Legal Information Center), a student-run, non-profit organization that provides free legal information to students and community members. As an office manager, Mando made sure that every client had an answer to their question or directed them to someone that could help them. As a Wildcat Ambassador, Mando enthusiastically represented the University and communicated general admission requirements. In February 2014, he participated in the Pasos a la Universidad at the Consulate General of México in Sacramento. This was a great opportunity for him to talk to prospective first-generation Hispanic college students and their families.

 

Brenda Torres is a Legal Assistant in the ICWC San Francisco Office. She received a Bachelor’s Degree from UC Berkeley in May 2011, and earned a double major in Chicano Studies and American Studies with a concentration in Social Psychology and the American legal system. She completed an internship with San Francisco’s District Attorney, Kamala Harris. Brenda studied abroad in Madrid, Spain and participated in a semester-long program in Universidad Carlos III. Email Brenda at brenda@icwclaw.org.