Adriel D. Orozco is our Equal Justice Works Attorney Fellow for 2016-2018. He grew up in Albuquerque and attended Brandeis University where he studied Political Science and Economics. After graduating, Adriel worked as a paralegal at a small law firm in Boston, MA, focusing on immigration, personal injury and criminal law. He attended the University of New Mexico School of Law and became an attorney in September 2016. Adriel’s Equal Justice Works project is aimed at increasing legal services for immigrants across New Mexico. Adriel is particularly interested in the intersection of immigration and employment/labor laws and in finding ways to build sustainable economies that produce just and fair workplaces for everyone, including immigrants.
With a background in community organizing and education, Eduardo became an attorney in order to have a direct impact on the systems that affect his community. For 15 years, he has dedicated himself to fighting for both immigrant rights and worker rights. As an Equal Justice Works Attorney Fellow at NMILC, he hopes to continue this fight by integrating employment law and immigration law, through bond cases, wage theft cases, and more. Eduardo also participates in a local rapid response team, which finds community solutions to aggressive ICE actions.
Growing up in a predominantly immigrant community here in Albuquerque, Diana knew that as an attorney she would want to dedicate herself to immigration law. She graduated from UNM School of Law in 2018 after working for non-profits on the East Coast in a variety of fields. She is now an Equal Justice Works Crime Victims Justice Corps Fellow here at NMILC, where she specializes in cases involving human trafficking of immigrants. The survivors of trafficking often live with extreme trauma, and Diana is motivated to learn and help as much as possible during her two-year fellowship.
Hali Calzadillas is an Equal Justice Works Paralegal Fellow for 2017-2019 and is originally from Chihuahua, Mexico, but has lived in Santa Fe since she was nine. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in University Studies with concentrations in social work, Spanish and social sciences from New Mexico Highlands University. Hali is passionate about working with and empowering undocumented students, as well as working with the immigrant community. Hali plans to attend law school after her fellowship ends and continue working with the immigrant population of New Mexico.
Deshawnda Chaparro grew up in Greeley, Colorado and attended Aims Community College until moving to Lehigh Acres, Florida to study political science and Latin American studies at Florida Gulf Coast University. After graduating, Deshawnda worked as a paralegal at a firm in Naples, FL that focused on foreclosure law. She attended the University of New Mexico School of Law and became an attorney in April 2018. Deshawnda’s fellowship is aimed at increasing access to legal resources for victims of human trafficking, including prescreening for immigration relief, direct representation, and education.
Vanessa Gonzalez grew up in Taos, NM and attended Pitzer College where she earned a degree in Sociology with a concentration in Chicanx/Latinx Studies. Vanessa was involved with many legal non-profits in the Los Angeles area, including Pomona Economic Center, Bet Tzedek Legal Sevices, Immigrant Defenders Law Center, Central American Resource Center, and several others. Vanessa will continue to serve the immigrant community by expanding services to rural communities in New Mexico and working within immigration detention centers.
Originally from Cebu City, Philippines, Jabez recently graduated from UNM and decided to pursue law as a way to advocate for his community. Now, as an Equal Justice Works Paralegal Fellow, Jabez works with various partnerships to expand the reach of NMILC's citizenship and naturalization services. Through collaborations with Cities for Citizenship and the New Mexico Asian Family Center, he hopes to find more people who are eligible for naturalization and to assist them in every step of that process – from paperwork, to hearings, to finally voting and taking full advantage of all the rights of citizenship