Our Staff

Adriel Orozco

Executive 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.

Vanessa Gonzalez

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.

Jazmín Irazoqui Ruiz

Staff Attorney
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.

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.

Flaviano Graciano

Communications Manager 
Flaviano Graciano is the new Communications Manager for the New Mexico Immigrant Law Center. Previously, Flaviano worked as the Communications Director for the immigrant youth organizations New Mexico Dream Team/United We Dream. There, Flaviano had the opportunity to use his writing and storytelling skills to develop a strong and commanding voice for the organizations that allowed for a successful narrative shift that placed them as one of the leaders in the state on immigration issues, and champions in local and state immigration policy. His writing and communications strategy focuses on aiming for the heart of people and are rooted in the stories of those directly affected. A former reporter, Emma Bowen scholar, and writer first and foremost, his experience in the field of communications expands for over a decade and covers a range of writing styles, media strategies, and immigration & queer social justice messaging and storytelling. Flaviano is also the world’s #1 Elvis and Selena fan!

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 | DOJ Accredited Representative

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 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. 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, creating legal processes for refugees, asylees and Cuban parolees to receive their green cards, and providing solutions for the needs of the Pan-Asian immigrant community of New Mexico. In his free time, Jabez directs his efforts in creating music with a number of bands in Albuquerque.

Arifa Raza

Supervising Attorney

Arifa 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 Chicana/o Latina/o Law Review. She has a BA from UCLA and recently completed a Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, Riverside. Arifa previously worked at the Central American Resource Center in LA as the supervising attorney for the Unaccompanied Children’s unit. She currently supervises NMILC’s detention and MPP work.

Nora Hernandez

EJW Paralegal Fellow 2019-2021

Nora Hernandez-Cordova was born and raised in Chihuahua, Mexico. After she graduated from college in Mexico, she moved to New Mexico in 2009 due to the violence. Her journey as an undocumented immigrant led her to learn how the immigration system works and affects the immigrant community. She worked as a community organizer and she was able to fight to stop deportations with the use of the immigrant community’s power.  She hopes to learn new skills as an Equal Justice Works paralegal fellow to stand up for the immigrant community.

Anna Sheridan

Jesuit Volunteer 2019-2020

Anna grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana and is currently serving as our 2019-2020 Jesuit Volunteer. She recently graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in International Economics. Anna worked with the immigrant population in South Bend during her time at ND through ENL classes. She also worked as a part-time legal assistant at a small law firm in South Bend, helping out with their immigration cases. At NMILC, Anna is eager to learn more about the immigration system and to gain experience working with the immigrant community. She is excited to be away from the humidity of New Orleans and explore all that the outdoors of NM has to offer.

Quiana Salazar-King

Director of Community Engagement 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 Mexico 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 passionate about developing strategic relationships and partnerships to advance NMILC’s work and mission.

Emma Race

Victim Advocate & Victim Services Program Coordinator

Originally from Boston, MA, Emma began working at NMILC in 2018 as an AmeriCorps Public Ally fellow. She graduated summa cum laude from Connecticut College with a B.A. in English and Latin American & Latino Studies. In Connecticut, she worked with a coalition of community organizations to start an immigration storytelling workshop series, and continues to dedicate herself to migrant justice. At NMILC, Emma focuses on improving our services for immigrant survivors of crime–especially domestic violence and sexual assault survivors–by creating partnerships with local service providers and assisting potential clients navigate the legal system.

Elizabeth Lake

Client Data Specialist 

Elizabeth began at NMILC as a volunteer and administrative assistant and is now the Client Data Specialist, maintaining our client database and legal files. Elizabeth is from the Los Angeles area and after living a short time in Oaxaca, Mexico ultimately relocated to New Mexico in 2015 in order to return to school and become an active participant in expanding access to immigration legal services. Outside of work Elizabeth enjoys exploring the river and watching the seasons change.

Jennifer Landau

Deputy 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.

Jasmine McGee

Managing 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!

Martha Laura Garcia-Izaguirre

Supervising Attorney

Martha Laura Garcia (Laura) is a Supervising Attorney at NMILC. 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

Staff Attorney

Deshawnda joined NMILC in 2018 as an Equal Justice Works Fellow. After completing her two-year fellowship, Deshawnda shifted into a staff attorney position and now provides immigration law services to survivors of human trafficking, domestic violence, and other violent crimes. Deshawnda studied political science and Latin American studies at Florida Gulf Coast University where she graduated cum laude. 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. Deshawnda moved to New Mexico to attend the University of New Mexico School of Law (2017) and received the Ann C. Scales Jurisprudence Award for commitment to moving the law forward in the service of humanity as well as Clinical Honors.

Abdiel Razo

Communications Associate  

Abdiel Razo grew up in Los Angeles and moved to Albuquerque when he was ten years old. The son of Mexican immigrants, Abdiel graduated from the University of New Mexico in 2016 with his Bachelors in Political Science and History. After UNM Abdiel volunteered with local social justice groups and also started his Masters at the University of Illinois Springfield in International Relations and Law. During his last year of graduate school Abdiel began working as NMILC’s Communications Associate and also served as an intern for the 1st Congressional District of New Mexico. In the Spring of 2019, Abdiel graduated with his Masters from UIS, the first in his family to do so. Much of Abdiel’s studies at UNM and UIS focused on understanding political conflict through a lens of civil war, interstate conflict, and the impact on human rights.

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.

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

Grants and Data Manager

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.

Melissa Gutierrez Lopez

Pro Se Affirmative Services Coordinator

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.  

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.

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.

Delaney Swink

AmeriCorps Public Ally/Assistant Director of Community Engagement 

Delaney Swink is an AmeriCorps Public Ally who will be serving at NMILC to build capacity for the organization through community engagement, volunteer coordinating, and development. Delaney holds a BA in International Nonprofit Management and Romance Languages from the Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon, and has experience in reproductive justice advocacy in Oregon and women/gender studies research abroad. She is committed to building community through intersectional social justice efforts. During her apprenticeship at NMILC, she looks forward to learning more about the immigration system/immigrant justice and about how to use her skills to contribute to shaping a welcoming and inclusive society.