Granger Office

  • Mirta Laura Contreras, Directing Attorney

    Mirta Laura Contreras became the Directing Attorney of the Granger Office after serving for 19 years in various capacities practicing public interest law in Washington State. She was born and raised in Toppenish and is the youngest in a family of Texas migrants/Tejanos who settled in Washington in the early 1930s. She has represented farm workers and immigrants in employment and family law cases, and is now directing the Granger office as well as representing clients in removal defense cases. She earned her law degree from the University of Oregon, and bachelor's degree from the University of Washington.

  • José García, Staff Attorney

    Jose is a staff attorney in the Granger office. His current work focuses on Citizenship, DACA, Removal Defense, and representation of immigrant survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault through U Visas, T Visas, and VAWA Self-Petitions. Jose obtained his J.D. from the University of Idaho College of Law and his B.A. from Eastern Washington University.

  • Tania Linares Garcia, Staff Attorney

    Tania represents clients in removal defense cases and is spearheading the notario fraud prevention project in collaboration with the Attorney General’s office. Tania obtained her J.D., magna cum laude, from Southern Illinois University. Prior to joining NWIRP, Tania interned with the National Immigrant Justice Center in Chicago, Illinois and with the ACLU’s Immigrant Rights Project in New York, NY.

  • Norma Gutierrez, Accredited Representative

    Norma is an Accredited Representative at the Granger NWIRP office who assists immigrant crime victims with the following petitions: U visa, I-192 and I-601 waivers, VAWA I-360 self-petitions, T visa, U & VAWA adjustment of status, employment authorization, DACA and consular process of derivative U visa family members. She has been employed at NWIRP for over 12 years and prior to that was a Legal Advocate / DV counselor for 4 years at Lower Valley Crisis and Support Services in Sunnyside, WA. She has over 16 years experience assisting crime victims.

  • Irma Ramos, Receptionist

    Irma has been the glue that holding the Granger office together since 1997. She is a caring liaison between community members and NWIRP legal staff, ensuring all people who come to our office are welcomed warmly and served effectively. She is also in charge of the office infrastructure we depend on, making sure everything runs as smoothly as possible.

  • Martha Rickey, Staff Attorney (Removal Defense)

    Martha has been a staff attorney at the Granger office since 2006. Her current work focuses on removal defense. Martha earned a BS in Fisheries and BA in History at the University of Washington, then after changing careers she graduated cum laude from the University of Minnesota Law School and was Attorney Advisor at the San Francisco Immigration Court. She is admitted to practice in Washington State, the United States District Court, Eastern District of Washington, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

  • Adela Ruiz, Accredited Representative

    Adela is an Accredited Representative responsible for her own case load and for any other needs that the Granger office might have. To stay up-to-date with immigration law, Adela attends trainings and webinars provided by other agencies and attorneys. She has been an accredited Representative for more than 20 years, and is very proud to serve the immigrant community.

Seattle Office

  • Matt Adams, Legal Director

    Matt works in Seattle, Washington as the legal director for Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP). He defends individuals before the Immigration Court, the Board of Immigration Appeals and the Federal Courts. Matt is a member of the King County Public Defenders Advisory Board and the National Immigration Project’s Board of Directors.

  • Glenda Aldana Madrid, Staff Attorney (Impact Litigation)

    Glenda is a staff attorney in our Seattle office. Her practice is focused on civil rights litigation designed to promote the rights of immigrants, as well as representation of noncitizens in matters before the immigration courts and USCIS. She earned her JD from Yale Law School and her AB from Harvard College. A self-defined “Guatefornian,” she’s a naturalized citizen born in Guatemala and raised in California. Glenda first joined NWIRP in 2013 as a Gruber Fellow in Global Justice and Women’s Rights.

  • Raul Alvarez, Development and Communications Coordinator

    Raul is a communications professional in the Development Department. Working under the Director of Development and Communications, he is responsible for managing our web and social media content, crafting and coordinating media releases and press conferences, and ensuring that all NWIRP's messaging is consistent with our mission, vision, and values. Raul earned an MFA from Columbia College Chicago and a BA from California State University Fullerton.

  • Claudette "Claudia" Antuña, Psy.D., LICSW, Forensic Evaluator

    In 2012, Ms. Claudette “Claudia” Antuña obtained her doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology from the Washington School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University in Seattle, her BA in Hispanic American Studies from the University of Miami in 1966, a Masters Degree in Social Work from Barry University in 1975 and in Health Services Administration in 1982. In her practicum and clinical internship with the Federal Way Psychology Clinic, she responded to referrals for forensic psychological evaluations requested by the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project where she continues to provide pro bono services.

  • Jorge L. Barón, Executive Director

    Jorge L. Barón has served as the Executive Director of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) since April 2008, having previously worked as a staff attorney with the organization for two years. Jorge’s passion in advocating on behalf of immigrants is firmly rooted in his own immigrant experience: he is originally from Bogotá, Colombia, and came to the United States at the age of thirteen. Jorge is a graduate of Yale Law School and Duke University and lives in Seattle with his wife Tyler and their three children, Isabella, Joaquin and Luca.

  • Miriam Cervantes-Gomez, Legal Advocate (FSU)

    Miriam is a Legal Advocate in our Family Services Unit. A long time employee of NWIRP, Miriam helps ensure immigrant rights are protected by keeping families together.

  • Malou Chávez, Staff Attorney (FSU)

    Malou is a staff attorney in the Family Services Unit in Seattle, where she directly represents people in family-based visa petitions and defends people in removal proceedings. Her prior work in NWIRP's Moses Lake and Wenatchee offices focused on representing survivors of violence in rural eastern Washington obtain immigration relief. Malou received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Los Angeles and she is a graduate of Seattle University School of Law

  • Maggie Cheng, Staff Attorney (Asylum)

    Maggie is a staff attorney in the Asylum Unit. She is also the dedicated attorney for Northwest Health and Human Rights, a partnership between NWIRP, Harborview Medical Center, and Lutheran Community Services NW International Counseling and Community Services to provide legal, medical, and mental health services to survivors of torture in WA. Prior to joining NWIRP, she was an Attorney Advisor with the US Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review. She earned her JD from the University of Michigan Law School and a BA from the University of Chicago.

  • Karla Davis, Legal Advocate (VAWA)

    Karla is a Legal Advocate within the VAWA Unit. She previously worked at NWIRP as a Lutheran Volunteer Corps year long fellow. She is a native of Kansas City and attended MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas. While studying Corporate Communications, Marketing, and Graphic Design, the unexpected occurred - Karla developed a passion for issues surrounding social justice. As a nontraditional and minority student, she recognizes the need to advocate for marginalized groups. She now hopes to dedicate both her personal and professional life to such individuals.

  • Margaret Gaffney, Staff Attorney (Citizenship)

    Margaret is a staff attorney who primarily handles citizenship cases. She joined NWIRP at our Granger (Eastern Washington) office in 2005 and transferred to the Seattle office in 2014. She joined NWIRP after fourteen years as an Administrative Law Judge. Margaret obtained her Bachelor's Degree from Seattle University and her Law Degree from University of Washington.

  • Ester Garcia, Accredited Representative (VAWA)

    Ester is an accredited representative in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Unit, where she provides direct representation and assistance to survivors of domestic violence and other violent crimes. The daughter of migrant workers, Ester grew up in Eastern Washington and moved to Seattle to pursue her education. She holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees in Anthropology and in Law, Societies, & Justice with a minor in Human Rights Law from the University of Washington. Ester first joined NWIRP as an undergraduate general intake volunteer in 2008.

  • Sefanit Ghezahegn, Legal Advocate (FSU)

    Sefanit is a Legal Advocate for the Family Services Unit. She earned her B.A. from Seattle Pacific University and is finishing up her Masters in Public Health at the University of Washington. Sefanit's research is primarily focused on the health of immigrants, she came to NWIRP with an interest in understanding the legal system that people have to navigate. Starting as a General Intake intern, she fell in love with the work in the process.

  • Kevin Haag, Administrative Director

    Kevin is an aspiring practical polymath who manages NWIRP's office systems, infrastructure and human resources. He supervises Seattle's front desk and the operations staff who ensure NWIRP runs smoothly behind the scenes. Kevin has a BA in Sociology, Spanish and International Development from Calvin College. He is honored to support our vision of a fair and equitable immigration system that respects all peoples' dignity.

  • Omar Haggag, Accredited Representative (Citizenship)

    Omar is a legal advocate and accredited representative at the NWIRP's Citizenship Unit. He performs Citizenship intakes for potential clients and represents those who have submitted naturalization applications.

  • Emily Headings, Staff Attorney (Citizenship)

    Emily is a staff attorney in the Citizenship Unit. She represents individuals with complex naturalization or citizenship cases, as well as those in removal proceedings. Emily presents on citizenship-related topics to community organizations and CLE. Prior to law school, Emily worked for 10 years as an ESL and citizenship teacher for various community and resettlement organizations in south TX, Washington DC, VA, and Seattle, WA. She received her JD from University of Washington, an MA from American University, and a BA from Goshen (IN) College.

  • A.J. Johnson, Accredited Representative (VAWA)

    AJ is an accredited representative in the VAWA Unit. He assists victims of domestic violence and other violent crimes in completing applications for various forms of relief. He also works with community partners at Skagit Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Services in receiving referrals and providing support.

  • Pragya KC, Administrative Associate

    Pragya is the Bilingual Administrative Associate at NWIRP, where she started on August 2015. She received her BA in Economics and Spanish from the University of Washington. Her work is focused within the areas of grant reporting, administration and operations support. At NWIRP, she maintains her strong passion to work in a non-profit organization which address key issues such as inequality, immigration rights violations and social injustices.

  • Erin Lunde Keenan, Director of Development and Communications

    Erin is responsible for leading and building the organization’s fundraising and communication efforts. and she enjoys engaging individuals and the wider community in NWIRP's work and mission. Prior to joining NWIRP in 2013, Erin led fundraising and community engagement efforts for nonprofits in Leavenworth and Wenatchee, WA. Erin earned her BA from Luther College and grew up in North Dakota.

  • Lindsay Lennox, Staff Attorney (Children & Youth)

    Lindsay is a Staff Attorney for Children and Youth. She represents children and parents who are currently in removal proceedings and typically works to obtain immigration relief for her clients through Special Immigrant Juvenile Status or Asylum. Lindsay was a Peace Corps Volunteer and Volunteer Coordinator in Bolivia, obtained her B.A. from Southern Oregon University, and her J.D. from the University of Oregon. Prior to coming to NWIRP, Lindsay was a public defender in King County for eight years.

  • Jenny Mashek, Supervising Attorney (VAWA)

    Jenny is the Supervising Attorney of NWIRP's Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Unit. The VAWA Unit represents immigrant survivors of violence with VAWA Self-Petitions, I-751 Waiver Petitions, U Visas, and T Visas, as well as removal defense. Jenny received her B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and her J.D. from the University of Iowa. She spent five years practicing law at Farmworker Legal Services of Michigan before joining NWIRP in May 2008.

  • Janice Murray, Bookkeeper

    Janice has been working with non-profit organizations as a volunteer and as a professional for thirty six years. She comes to NWIRP after working at the Northwest Regional Primary Care Association. Janice is in charge of the day-to-day bookkeeping operations for NWIRP.

  • Georgina Olazcon Mozo, Legal Clerk (VAWA)

    Georgina is a law clerk in the VAWA Unit. She was born in Puebla, Mexico and moved to Seattle when she was 15 years old. Georgina first joined NWIRP in the summer of 2013 as a law school intern. In her role current role, her primary focus is working with survivors of crime. She earned her JD in 2015 from Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon and a BA from the University of Washington Seattle.

  • Mozhdeh Oskouian, Directing Attorney

    Mozhdeh has practiced immigration law for the past ten years. In August of 2006, she became the supervising attorney of the Violence Against Women Act (“VAWA”) Unit. She became the directing attorney of NWIRP’s Seattle office in April 2015. Mozhdeh represents immigrant survivors of domestic violence affirmatively, before United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and defensively, before the immigration court and the board of immigration appeals. She also represents clients’ interest before federal courts. Prior to joining NWIRP, she worked with the Society for Protecting the Rights of the Child in Tehran, Iran to implement the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Iran ratified in 1994.

  • Daniel Pérez, Accredited Rep. / Intake & Outreach Coordinator

    Daniel has been on NWIRP's staff since 1997, and is currently the General Intake & Outreach Coordinator and BIA Accredited Representative in the Seattle office, where he supervises a team of general intake interns. He graduated from the Universidad Autónoma de Coahuila in 1987 with a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and Public Administration. He worked in different capacities in the Federal Department of Agriculture of Mexico from 1974-1988. He ran a private consulting office from 1988-1991. He is also a former professor at the Universidad Autónoma de la Laguna, in Torreón, Coahuila; México.

  • Roxana Rahmani, Staff Attorney (VAWA)

    Roxana is a Staff Attorney in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) unit, where she provides direct representation to immigrant survivors of violence. Prior to joining NWIRP as a legal fellow in the Children and Youth Unit, she was a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Catharine F. Easterly of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. She earned her JD from Harvard Law School and a BA from the University of Maryland, College Park.

  • Miguel Rivas Perez, Receptionist

    Miguel is the receptionist at NWIRP's Seattle office. He works under the supervision of the Administrative Director and is responsible for engaging our clients on the phone and at the front desk to ensure their needs are met according to NWIRP's mission and values. He earned his high school diploma from Shelton High School.

  • Tania Santiago, Legal Advocate (VAWA)

    Tania has been a legal advocate for the VAWA Unit since November 2014. She is responsible for working on many different types of cases including obtaining U visas for qualifying clients. In 2014, Tania graduated from the University of Washington majoring in sociology with a minor in education. As an immigrant herself, Tania is passionate about assisting community members through the immigration legal system. For her, nothing is more satisfying than letting a client know that their applications have been approved and that they now have legal status.

  • Kristen Shepherd, Staff Attorney (VAWA)

    Kristen is a staff attorney in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) unit, where she provides direct representation to victims of domestic violence and other serious crimes. Kristen earned a BS from Arizona State University and her JD from William Mitchell College of Law. She joined NWIRP in 2014 after practicing law in Minnesota.

  • John Sparks, Finance Director

    John has been a financial manager/controller for various educational, social service, and cultural organizations in the Seattle area for the past 20 years. John is a licensed CPA and lives with his wife in Issaquah, WA

  • Christopher Strawn, Staff Attorney (Asylum)

    Christopher is a staff attorney at the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project and the director of the asylum unit since 2006. Previously he was an associate at the law firm of Gibbs Houston Pauw in Seattle, Washington, and a clerk for the Honorable Marsha J. Pechman, U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington. He graduated from Harvard Law School and has a certificate in refugee studies from the University of Oxford.

  • Michele Suarez, Staff Attorney (DACA)

    Michele is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Staff Attorney. She provides direct representation to clients and coordinates the DACA clinics. As a child of immigrants, she is passionate about serving the immigrant community. Michele has two Bachelor of Arts degrees in Anthropology and Spanish from the University of Washington, where she graduated cum laude. She also earned her J.D. from the University of Washington. Before working at NWIRP, she worked in the juvenile and dependency units of the King County Department of Public Defense. She is a member of the William L. Dwyer American Inn of Court, and the Latina/o Bar Association of Washington.

  • Deniz Uysal-Ferré, Legal Advocate (FSU)

    Deniz Uysal-Ferré is a legal advocate at the Family Services Unit. She studied Spanish Language and Literature and received her Bachelor's Degree from Ankara University in Turkey and received her Advanced Paralegal Certificate from Edmonds Community College in Edmonds, WA.

  • Jordan Wasserman, Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney

    Jordan provides direct representation to detained and non-detained individuals who are seeking immigration status and who are trying to avoid deportation. In his capacity as Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney, Jordan manages NWIRP's pro bono program. His role includes, among other things, being the primary contact and support for the hundreds of attorneys who represent NWIRP-referred clients on a volunteer basis. Jordan has been a staff attorney at NWIRP since early 2007. In that time, NWIRP's pro bono program has doubled in size, and now refers out approximately 230 cases each year.

  • Ella Youtsey, Development and Events Associate

    Ella is the Development and Events Associate working under the Development and Communications Director, where she coordinates the successful execution of all fundraising events. She also oversees the donor database and manages relationships with event vendors, sponsors, and guests. With a BA in Spanish and minor in International Studies from Seattle University, she began at NWIRP as the Grants and Administration Associate in early 2015.

Tacoma Office

  • Elizabeth Benki, Staff Attorney

    Elizabeth received her B.A. from the University of Michigan and her J.D. from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. After completing her undergraduate degree, she spent several years as an Accredited Representative at Catholic Charities in Houston, Texas, and has also worked with Jesuit Refugee Service in Malta and the Women’s Refugee Commission in Washington, D.C. In 2012, Elizabeth relocated to the Pacific Northwest and is now a staff attorney in the Tacoma office, where she provides pro se assistance and direct representation to individuals detained at the Northwest Detention Center.

  • Meghan Casey, Staff Attorney

    Meghan is a staff attorney in NWIRP's Tacoma office. She provides legal services, including orientation and direct representation, to immigrant detainees in removal proceedings at the Northwest Detention Center. She graduated cum laude from Seattle University School of Law and received her BA from Boston College. Meghan previously practiced removal defense/immigration law in private practice for two years before joining NWIRP and also volunteered as a NWIRP pro bono attorney.

  • Virginia Cole, Legal Advocate / Office Manager

    Gina has been a staff member since 2006. She is part of the Legal Orientation Program (LOP) where she works to provide pro se legal assistance to individuals detained at the Northwest Detention Center. She also manages the office infrastructure, ensuring that the office runs smoothly and efficiently. Gina has a BA in Spanish and BS in Psychology from Arizona State University.

  • Maria Cordero-Miranda, Legal Advocate

    Maria is part of the Legal Orientation Program where she works to provide pro se legal assistance to detainees at the NWDC. Maria has a BA in Political Science and Spanish from the University of Texas and a BA in Urban Studies from the University of Washington. Maria is a native of Nicaragua and enjoys helping others navigate the immigration system by providing the tools and information necessary to do so.

  • Leila Kang, Staff Attorney (Detention & Removal Representation)

    Leila is a staff attorney at our Tacoma office. As part of the Defender Referral and Representation Unit (DRRU), she provides in-depth case assessments and direct representation to individuals detained at the Northwest Detention Center. Leila is a graduate of NYU School of Law and Brown University.

  • Andrea Lino, Staff Attorney (Legal Orientation Program)

    Andrea Lino is part of the legal orientation program in NWIRP's Tacoma office. She also provides individual representation for detainees. Andrea is an attorney in Guatemala and earned a LL.M at the University of Washington School of Law.

  • Bill Schwarz, Legal Advocate (Defender Referral & Representation)

    Bill Schwarz is a legal advocate in NWIRP's Tacoma Office. He is a part of the Defender Referral and Representation Unit (DRRU), where he works to provide direct legal services to individuals detained at the Northwest Detention Center.

  • Sara Sluszka, Staff Attorney

    Sara is a staff attorney in our Tacoma office. She also serves as the liaison between NWIRP and the community-based organization Advocates for Immigrants in Detention Northwest (AID NW); she coordinates referrals for social services, safe release from detention, and other services for asylum-seekers and other detained immigrants facing deportation. Sara earned her JD from Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, and is admitted to the New York State bar. Before joining NWIRP, she worked on the U.S.- Mexico border as an attorney at Casa de Proyecto Libertad, a community-based immigration legal services non-profit organization in Harlingen, Texas. She is fluent in Spanish and French, and speaks basic Khmer, Moroccan Arabic and Wolof. She is especially passionate about defending the rights of people with criminal records.

  • Chris Stanislowski, Staff Attorney (Defender Referral & Representation)

    Chris is a staff attorney in the Defender Referral and Representation Unit (DRRU) of the Tacoma office. Along with the rest of the DRRU team, he provides in-depth case assessments for individuals detained at the Northwest Detention Center who have clear ties to King County, WA. Following these assessments, Chris provides direct representation to those individuals who are eligible for immigration relief and cannot afford an attorney. DRRU also participates in outreach to public defender offices to ensure that a large number of individuals who are involved in the King County criminal justice system can receive representation in their subsequent immigration cases. Chris earned his JD and BA from New York University, as well a Masters of Science in Education from the City College of New York.

  • Tim Warden-Hertz, Directing Attorney

    Tim is the Directing Attorney for the Tacoma office of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project. Tim’s work at NWIRP focuses on representation and pro se orientation for individuals detained by immigration at the Northwest Detention Center. He is inspired each day by his coworkers and by people detained and fighting for their families and for their own safety. Prior to joining NWIRP, Tim was the Legal Director of the Immigration Law Programs at Catholic Social Services in Fall River, Massachusetts, a Staff Attorney with the Farmworker Division at Georgia Legal Services, and a Fellow/Attorney in the Immigration Unit at Greater Boston Legal Services. He received his undergraduate degree from Stanford University and his J.D. from New York University School of Law.

Wenatchee Office

  • Vanessa Arno, Staff Attorney

    Vanessa is a staff attorney in the Wenatchee office. She represents rural Washingtonians in their petitions for U and VAWA status. She earned a BA from the University of Colorado and a JD from Seattle University.

  • Vanessa Gutierrez, Directing Attorney

    Vanessa Gutierrez is the Directing Attorney in the Wenatchee office. Advocating for access to legal services in rural areas is particularly important to Vanessa, and she has worked in many capacities in under-served areas of Washington. She has been a part of NWIRP since 2010, and has previously worked in the Moses Lake and Seattle offices of NWIRP. Her practice spans a broad range of immigration relief, with a focus on Family, U Visa, VAWA and removal defense.

  • Camila Maturana, Staff Attorney

    Camila Maturana is a Staff Attorney in the Wenatchee office. Her caseload consists primarily of U visas and VAWA self-petitions. She also works with migrants in removal proceedings, unaccompanied children and asylum seekers. She received a JD from Washington University in St. Louis and a BA from University of Chicago.

  • Janet Moran, Legal Advocate

    Janet is a legal advocate in the Wenatchee office. Working with staff attorneys, she helps victims of crime in eastern Washington obtain immigration benefits. Janet grew up in the Yakima Valley before earning her BA from University of Washington. She is passionate about immigrant rights and serving her community.

  • MariRuth Petzing, Staff Attorney

    MariRuth is a staff attorney in the Wenatchee office. She provides direct representation to community members in rural central and eastern Washington in affirmative applications and in removal proceedings in Immigration Court. She has a BA from Hendrix College and a JD from the University of Washington.

  • Chloe Sugino, Intake Coordinator (JVC Intern)

    Chloe Sugino is the JVC Intern in NWIRP's Wenatchee office for the 2015-2016 year. She is working as the office's Intake Coordinator, screening potential clients and providing follow up. She graduated in May 2015 with a BA in International Affairs from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.