Our Staff

Jennifer Landau

Executive Director
Jennifer graduated cum laude from the University of New Mexico School of Law in 2006, where she was awarded the Clinical Legal Association Outstanding Student Award along with clinical honors. In 2007, she was awarded a two-year Equal Justice Works fellowship with Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services, Inc. to work on improving access to justice for New Mexican immigrants in deportation proceedings. She was also presented the 2009 Justice Pamela B. Minzer Outstanding Advocacy for Women award by the State Bar of New Mexico’s Committee on Women and the Legal Profession. Jenny has also taught immigration courses as an adjunct faculty at the University of New Mexico School of Law. She leads the planning and organizational development for NMILC.

Adriel Orozco

Associate Director
Adriel D. Orozco 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 graduated in May 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.

Jazmín Irazoqui Ruiz

Corinne Wolfe Fellow for Transformative Advocacy
Jazmín is a Corinne Wolfe Fellow for Transformative Advocacy, sponsored by the University of New Mexico School of Law. She was born in Sinaloa, Mexico and grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. Jazmín received her Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in finance and honors interdisciplinary studies from the UNM Anderson School of Management. Thanks to the Obama era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, she graduated from the UNM School of Law in May 2017 and was admitted to the NM State Bar in December 2017. Jazmín ‘s fellowship project focuses on economic development for immigrant families and children across New Mexico through policy advocacy, community education, and direct legal advocacy projects.

Vanessa Gonzalez

Equal Justice Works Paralegal Fellow|DOJ Accredited Representative

Vanessa Gonzalez is one of our Equal Justice Works Paralegal Fellows for 2017-2019. She 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 Services, 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. She will attend law school after completing her fellowship with the goal of concentrating on immigration and civil rights law.

Vianey Veleta-Arambula

Business Manager
Vianey graduated cum laude from UNM in the summer of 2017, with a B.A. in Spanish with a concentration in Chicanx Studies and a minor in Management. She looks forward to returning to UNM in two years to pursue an M.B.A. Once she obtains her M.B.A. and has enough experience administering a business she will look into opening her own business and employing members of the community. Before joining NMILC she worked for the NM Attorney General’s Keep Your Home New Mexico Program for three years. Vianey is very connected to the immigrant community because as an immigrant she believes in advocating for immigrant rights, social justice and the community’s well-being. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling to new places in New Mexico (first) and then exploring other states.

Emma Race

AmeriCorps Public Ally

Originally from Boston, MA, Emma began working at NMILC in September 2018. She received her B.A. from Connecticut College in English and Latin American & Latino Studies. In Connecticut, she worked with a coalition of community organizations to start an immigration storytelling workshop series. She is excited to learn more about the legal side of the immigration issue during her time at the NMILC. Her fellowship focuses on non-profit capacity building, so she will be improving the efficiency of the pro bono attorney outreach network for cases involving Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, as well as helping out wherever necessary. She is looking forward to exploring New Mexico and getting to know the southwest.

Abdiel Razo

Communications Associate  

Born in Los Angeles, Abdiel moved to Albuquerque when he was ten. The son of Mexican immigrants, Abdiel and the first in his family to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree from UNM in Political Science and History in 2016 and his Masters in International Relations and Law from the University of Illinois Springfield in 2019. Much of his studies at UNM and UIS focused on human rights issues, and therefore found NMILC’s mission to advocate for justice and equity for low income immigrant communities as vital and essential. Abdiel is excited to be working with NMILC, and to see how the immigration process works first hand.

Edith Linares

Business Administrative Assistant 

Edith Linares is the Business Administrative Assistant of NMILC. She graduated from the University of New Mexico, having studied human resources, international business, and organizational leadership. She is now currently perusing her MBA at UNM’s Anderson School of Management. Edith has over 7 years of customer service experience and 5 years in retail. In her free time, she likes to help her community through different non-profit organizations.

John Jabez S. Ledres

Equal Justice Works Paralegal Fellow

A native of Cebu City, Philippines, Jabez immigrated to the United States at the age of 16. The first in his family to attain a college degree in America; Jabez graduated from the University of New Mexico with a Bachelor of Liberal Arts in Pre-Occupational Therapy and a Minor in Psychology. As an immigrant, he has spent most of his time in the country living in different minority-majority contexts. Because of his intersectional experiences with communities of color, he has grown an interest in public sector law and advocacy particularly in immigration and civil rights justice. Jabez has led advocacy and cross-cultural training efforts with the Christian Community Development Association, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship and New Creation Albuquerque. He has also partnered with immigrants and refugees from all over the world alongside Denver-based non-profits in Project Worthmore and Lutheran Family Services as well as non-profits in Albuquerque including East Central Ministries and Catholic Charities. At the New Mexico Immigrant Law Center, Jabez is focused on expanding the reach of the organization’s citizenship and naturalization services through the Cities for Citizenship initiative. By partnering with the City of Albuquerque and other local organizations, Jabez hopes to assist legal permanent residents of all nationalities from the citizenship screening and application process all the way to congratulating them at the naturalization ceremony.

Arifa Raza

Supervising Attorney

Arifa Raza joined NMILC in October 2018. She graduated from UCLA Law with a specialization in international and comparative law. While in law school she interned at various immigration non-profits and was a judicial extern at the Los Angeles Immigration Court. She was also the Editor-in-Chief of the UCLA Chicanx Latinx Law Review. She has a BA from UCLA and recently completed a Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, Riverside. She previously worked at the Central American Resource Center in LA as the supervising attorney for the Unaccompanied Children’s unit. Arifa is very excited for the opportunity to practice immigration law in New Mexico.

Quiana Salazar-King

Pro Bono Coordinator and Staff Attorney

Quiana Salazar-King is a native New Mexican and deeply committed to using the law as an instrument to advance social justice. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College, cum laude, in 2005, where she studied International Relations and Spanish. Quiana graduated from UNM School of Law, in 2013, where she served as the Professional Manuscript Editor of the New Mexican Law Review, awarded Community Lawyering Clinical Honors, and received the Dean’s Award for Significant Contribution to the Law School Community. She joins NMILC from the University of New Mexico School of Law, where she served as the Director of Career Strategies, and Adjunct Professor of Social Justice Lawyering and the Law Office and Judicial Externship Class. Prior to her beginning her legal career, Quiana worked in finance in Shanghai, China and Hong Kong. She is excited to join NMILC to leverage and continue to develop professional relationships to serve low-income immigrants

Carlos Rodriguez

Jesuit Volunteer 2019-2020

Carlos Rodriguez is a graduate of Seattle University where he earned
a B.A. in Public Affairs and is currently serving as a Jesuit
Volunteer. Carlos has experience advocating around immigration issues
and has been vocal about his status as an undocumented immigrant in
hopes of bringing awareness to the complexity of immigration in the
United States. In his first year of volunteering, he served in San
Antonio, TX as an Anti-Trafficking and Immigration Specialist with
Texas RioGrande Legal Aid. Now, Carlos is excited to join NMILC in his
second year of service and will continue his immigration advocacy.

Jasmine McGee

Supervising Attorney
Jasmine joined NMILC in April 2017. She is a 2011 cum laude graduate of the University of New Mexico School of Law. Upon graduation, she worked as an immigration attorney in Illinois at the Immigration Project, specializing in family-based immigration and providing services across 86 counties. She became the Executive Director of the organization in 2014 and left in March 2017. Prior to law school, Jasmine worked for five years at a Native American non-profit based in New Mexico. She has a M.Phil. in Creative Writing from Trinity College Dublin in Ireland and a B.A. in Playwriting and Philosophy from New York University. She is currently writing an awesome paranormal romance trilogy!

Linda Wilson

Staff Attorney
Linda is a staff attorney at New Mexico Immigrant Law Center where she specializes in providing immigration law services to domestic violence survivors and victims of violent crimes. Prior to working at NMILC, Linda was a staff attorney at Enlace Comunitario, a non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating domestic violence in the Latino community, where she represented survivors in complex family court proceedings. Linda attended the University of New Mexico School of Law (2014), and received the Thomas West Group Award for Domestic Relations Law. She was admitted to the State Bar of New Mexico in 2014. Linda worked as a bilingual educator prior to attending law school.

Martha Laura Garcia

Equal Justice Works Attorney Fellow

Martha Laura Garcia (Laura) is an Equal Justice Works Attorney Fellow for 2017-2018. She was born in Mexico and grew up in a couple different countries. She attended Saint Louis University-Madrid Campus where she studied Political Science and International Relations. After graduation, she spent time on the U.S.-Mexico border in Tijuana and later worked as an Education Outreach Intern at YES! Magazine. She attended Loyola University Chicago School of Law. During her time in Chicago she worked with various immigrant rights organizations. She plans to focus her career on empowering immigrant communities through both direct representation and community organizing.

Deshawnda Chaparro

Equal Justice Works Crime Victims Justice Corps Fellow
Deshawnda Chaparro is our Equal Justice Works Crime Victims Justice Corps Fellow for 2018-2020. She 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. During this time, she was involved in community organizing where she helped campaign for tuition equity and driver’s licenses for Florida’s immigrant population while also organizing citizenship and DACA clinics. 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.

Diana Torres

Equal Justice Works Crime Victims Justice Corps Fellow

Diana Torres-Valverde is one of two Crime Victims Justice Fellows at the New Mexico Immigrant Law Center. She graduated cum laude from Amherst College with a double major in Latin American History and Black Studies. Her study of Latin American revolutions and black people’s struggle for equal rights in the United States and throughout the world instilled within her a commitment to social justice work. This led her to work as a community organizer in an immigrant community in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  During that time she fought alongside immigrant women to fund adult education classes, defend undocumented immigrants right to driver’s licenses, and maintain college scholarships for New Mexico high school graduates. Her community organizing background inspired her work in immigration policy at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington DC and it inspires her work now as a soon to be attorney at the NMILC.

Christy Sobolik

Engagement Coordinator

Christy joined NMILC in May 2018.  Born and raised in Albuquerque, Christy loves New Mexico and is committed to working towards human rights and social justice in her home state.  She completed an MA in Spanish and Latin American Studies at American University in 2014, and prior to joining NMILC, worked with Spanish-speaking immigrant communities in Albuquerque at East Central Ministries.  Christy enjoys working in her garden, crossword puzzles, and geeking about Lord of the Rings.

Eduardo García

Equal Justice Works Fellow

Eduardo García is an Equal Justice Attorney Fellow for 2018-2020. He is a native of the El Paso, Texas-Juárez, México borderland. He received his B.A. in history in 2007 and M.A. in history in 2010, both from the University of Texas at El Paso. Eduardo graduated from the University of New Mexico School of Law in 2018. Before becoming an attorney, he was involved in community activism, organizing and taught courses in U.S. and world history, and Chicano Studies as adjunct faculty at the El Paso Community College, the University of Texas at El Paso, and the Central New Mexico Community College. During law school, Eduardo was a judicial clerk at the Pueblo of Isleta Appellate Court and legal intern at the New Mexico Immigrant Law Center. Also, Eduardo was the recipient of the Peggy Browning Labor Law Fellowship hosted by the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty working in the Labor and Workers’ Rights Division. Currently, he serves as the director and faculty for the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project at the UNM School of Law. Eduardo also currently sits on the board of the Immigrant Law Section of the State Bar of New Mexico.

Emma Kahn

Detention Program Coordinator/Legal Assistant

Previously an Americorps Public Ally, Emma now works as a legal assistant and NMILC’s Detention Center Program Coordinator. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology from Tufts University, where she was part of a student-administrative coalition working to recruit, admit and support undocumented undergraduate students. Energized by her belief that migration is a human right, Emma is thrilled to be expanding NMILC’s asylum advocacy and legal assistance capacities this year.

Melissa Gutierrez Lopez

Legal Assistant

Melissa is originally from Escondido in Southern California. She attended the University of Notre Dame and recently graduated with a degree in American Studies and a minor in Latino Studies. She has experience working with immigrant communities during her summers in Chicago, IL and Camden, NJ, which lead her to work at NMILC. Melissa is excited to learn as much as she can about the immigration system and discern how to utilize her skills to help her community. Melissa enjoys spending her spare time in the company of her friends, and also likes to journal and explore New Mexico’s outdoors.

Monica Newcomer Miller

Supervising Attorney

Monica is a graduate of the University of New Mexico School of Law where she received Clinical Honors and the Dean’s Award for Significant Contribution to the Law School. She most recently worked in private practice as an immigration attorney in Albuquerque, NM. Monica began her career in the field of immigration law, as a social worker at the S. Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project where she supported volunteer attorneys representing asylum seekers and provided “Know your Rights” presentations to detained adult and children immigrants. She went on to immigrant clients in Northern Indiana who were victims of crime and survivors of domestic violence. In her role at NMILC, she currently oversees the representation of juveniles in immigration proceedings and those seeking Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and continues to work with immigrant survivors of crime.  

Shalini Thomas

Legal Program Manager

Shalini began working for NMILC in 2019.  She grew up in Iowa and graduated cum laude from Georgetown University in 2008 with a major in International Relations. After graduating, Shalini worked for various non-profits in El Paso, TX, including as a community organizer with the Comité de Justicia Laboral, which focuses on fighting wage theft and other labor rights violations, leadership development, and community empowerment.  She also worked for Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services, where she was a BIA Accredited Representative for 5 years.  Due to her passion for social justice and deep desire to contribute to the fight for justice through non-profit capacity building, she decided to get an MBA from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, graduating in 2019 with a 4.0 GPA. Shalini is excited to be a part of the NMILC team and looks forward to getting to know the local immigrant advocacy community.