Maribel Cano (she/her)
Maribel is a legal assistant on the UC team in our Grand Rapid office. Her family immigrated from Durango, Mexico and decided to call Grand Rapids home which is where she was born and raised. She learned about racism and dicrimination from an early age and always wanted to do something about it. She worked for years in a children's camp that focused on racial reconciliation and other non profits with the same goal. Maribel loves to be able to help and advocate for those that don't know how to speak up for themselves or are afraid. Maribel is also fluent in English and Spanish and is new to the immigration field. In her free time Maribel enjoys cooking, karaoke, and camping.
Mayra Garcia (she/her)
Mayra Garcia is a Legal Assistant based in our Washtenaw office. She recently graduated from Eastern Michigan University with her B.A. in Business Administration and a minor in Communications. Mayra grew up in Southwest Detroit and was raised by immigrant parents who immigrated from Mexico. Her parents experience has encouraged her to learn more about immigration law. Mayra is fluent in Spanish.
Megan Kraus (she/her)
Megan Kraus is a staff attorney for MIRC’s unaccompanied children program. Megan first became interested in Immigration Law through her experience as an exchange student to Slovakia in high school and as a mentor to incoming exchange students in the following years. In May 2022, Megan received her J.D. From Michigan State University College of Law. During law school, Megan served as a student clinician for the Michigan State University Immigration Law Clinic, where she represented clients in various immigration matters.
Mel Moeinvaziri (she/her)
Mel Moeinvaziri is the Detroit Front Door staff attorney with the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center. She specializes in asylum, deportation defense, and detained cases. Prior to joining MIRC, Mel spent several years in private immigration practice and taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Utah College of Law. In her teaching role, she accompanied law students to the border to assist detained immigrants. Mel earned her J.D. from the University of Utah College of Law and her master’s degree in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies from the University of Oxford, Oxford England. Mel was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. When she is not jumping out of airplanes or scaling rock cliffs, Mel dedicates time to advocating with and for the immigrant and refugee community.
Meredith Luneack (they/them)
Meredith is a staff attorney at the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center’s Washtenaw office and focuses primarily on immigration relief available to victims of violence. They received their J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law, and their undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan. Meredith has worked in immigration law since 2013, including as a paralegal with a focus on family and humanitarian-based relief in Michigan, as a law student attorney and volunteer with low-income and detained migrants around Texas and at the US-Mexico border, and as a postgraduate legal fellow in detention centers in Louisiana.
Mohamed Slim (he/him)
Mohamed Slim is a Law Graduate with the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center’s Unaccompanied Children’s team. Mohamed studied Psychology at the University of Michigan-Dearborn and earned his law degree from The University of Toledo College of Law. Mohamed comes from a family of immigrants. This led to his pursuit of immigration law in order to help those searching for a better life overcome the hardships that are associated with immigration.
Mollison Espinosa-Thompson (she/her)
Molli is one of the Intake Coordinators for the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center. She has 20 years of experience as a bi-lingual advocate in Washtenaw County; working in the fields of domestic violence, sexual assault intervention/prevention and public health. Molli graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a B.A. in Social Science and Fine Art. She speaks fluent Spanish, loves to dance, take walks in nature, spend time with her family & friends, volunteer, and fight for social justice in our society.
Molly Huffaker (she/her)
Molly Huffaker is a Supervising Attorney with MIRC’s Unaccompanied Children’s Team in Grand Rapids. Molly received her B.A. from Bates College, where she focused her studies on maternal health care and gender-based violence. In May 2021, Molly received her J.D. from Cornell Law School. During law school, Molly worked as a student attorney in Cornell’s Juvenile Justice Clinic, Women’s Decarceration Practicum, and Asylum and Convention Against Torture Appellate Clinic. She also served as an Executive Editor for the Cornell Law Review, worked as an advisor for victims of sexual violence and prohibited discrimination at Cornell, and interned with the East Bay Community Law Center in Berkeley, California.
Paula Barberi Muss (she/her)
Paula Barberi Muss is a Data Coordinator on MIRC's Unaccompanied Children's team out of the Grand Rapids office.
Polina Hristova (she/her)
Polina Hristova is a Supervising Attorney with Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, where she is a part of MIRC’s unaccompanied children’s team. Polina received her B.A. from University of Michigan, where she was a part of the Undocumented Migration Project, a long-term anthropological study aimed at humanizing the migrant experience and raising awareness about the harsh reality of migrating north from Central America and Mexico. In May 2020, Polina received her J.D. from Michigan State University College of Law. During law school, Polina served as a student clinician for the Michigan State University Immigration Law Clinic, where she represented clients in a variety of immigration matters. Polina is originally from Sofia, Bulgaria and moved to Michigan with her family in 1998.
Rebeca Ontiveros-Chavez (she/her)
I am a Managing Attorney at the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center’s (MIRC) Washtenaw County office. I serve unaccompanied children who entered the United States and are detained in federal custody in facilities contracted by the Office of Refugee Resettlement or who have been released to sponsors in Michigan. I have also represented individuals in the metro Detroit area on various immigration matters. In 2019, I was appointed by the Michigan Supreme Court to the Foreign Language Board of Review as the Limited English Proficiency Populations Advocate. I am the co-founder of the Immigrant Justice Lab, an interdisciplinary lab that brings students together from different disciplines at the University of Michigan and MIRC attorneys to work on various projects that advance client needs and improve legal services. I also advocate for equity as a member of the Michigan Advocacy Program’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. I am committed to ensuring that all youth have access to higher education regardless of immigration status and help lead the Michigan Coalition for Undocumented Student Success.
As a law student, I was the Executive Articles Editor of the Michigan Journal of Race & Law and Co-President of the Latino Law Students Association. I was also a Student-Attorney for the Child Welfare Appellate Clinic and the Civil-Criminal Litigation Clinic. Prior to law school, I worked for United States Senator Michael Bennet and was the Communications Director for the Congressional Hispanic Staff Association in Washington, D.C. I am a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and Metropolitan State University of Denver.
Ruby Robinson (he/him)
Ruby is a managing attorney at the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center. He focuses primarily on humanitarian relief for victims of domestic violence/crime, as well as naturalization matters. He is also very familiar with the immigration consequences for criminal behavior, specifically Michigan offenses. Ruby graduated from Wayne State University Law School and the University of Michigan. Before joining MIRC, he worked for Lakeshore Legal Aid. During law school, Ruby was a student attorney with the school's Asylum and Immigration Law Clinic. Prior to law school, Ruby served as an AmeriCorps*VISTA in Brooklyn, NY.
Sadia Ghazi (she/her)
Sadia Ghazi is a staff attorney at Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, specifically working on the Unaccompanied Children’s Program. Sadia has experience working with children of all ages. Her experiences include teaching a semester at Hamtramck High School and East English Village High School, working with children with autism as a behavioral technician, and volunteering at a youth summer camp in Southwest Detroit. Sadia received her bachelor’s degree and her J.D. from Wayne State University. During law school, Sadia was a student attorney at the Asylum and Immigration Law Clinic, and Crime Victims Legal Assistance Project. After graduating law school, Sadia worked as a judicial advisory assistant in 7th Circuit Court of Genesee County.
Sara Afshar (she/her)
Sara Afshar joined MIRC's Afghan Arrivals team as a Staff Attorney in 2022. Previously, she practiced family and humanitarian-based immigration law in Massachusetts with a focus on representing unaccompanied minors in removal proceedings. In addition to her J.D., Sara has an M.F.A. in Poetry from the University of Michigan 's Helen Zell Writing Program. Sara writes about mental health topics particular to displaced populations, informed by her own family's experience of the refugee process. She owns and operates an urban flower farm in Ypsilanti alongside her cattle-dog/chihuahua mix, Daisy.
Sestina Real-Lule (she/her)
Sestina Real joined MIRC’s Unaccompanied Children’s Program as a Staff Attorney in March of 2022. Ses is a first generation college student and law student who is determined to dismantle existing structural inequities by any means necessary. Prior to receiving her JD from Michigan State University College of Law, Ses obtained a dual degree in Womxn Studies and African American Studies from the University of Georgia. Ses has committed her life to fighting for social justice through public interest, movement lawyering, community organizing, and various other means. She has been a grassroots organizer and activist for the last 10 years. She aims to be an effective part of building lasting and impactful mutual aid networks and coalitions within Black Liberation, Immigrant Rights, Queer Rights, Civil Rights/Liberties, and other social justice organizations and movements on a nationwide scale. Ses has interned with MIRC, and used her time at MSU’s College of Law to actively promote diversity and inclusion by taking on positions on the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, and the Multicultural Executive Council. After graduating, Ses established the “Empowerment Scholarship” award at MSU College of Law, dedicated to helping 3L’s from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds cover the expenses related to the bar exam.
Sierra Yslas (she/her)
Sierra Yslas is a Staff Attorney with the Unaccompanied Children’s team. She graduated from Wayne State University Law School in 2022. During law school, Sierra participated in the school’s Asylum and Immigration Law Clinic as a student attorney. She also volunteered and completed an externship with Southwest Detroit Immigrant and Refugee Center. She co-founded the Wayne Law Latinx Law Student Association and was an active student member of the Hispanic Bar Association of Michigan. Sierra earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology, cum laude, from the University of Arizona in 2016. She was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, where she has proud Mexican-American roots.
Silvia Huth (she/her)
Silvia is a legal assistant with our Unaccompanied Children's Program and is based out of the Ypsilanti office. She volunteered with Michigan United's legal services team where she discerned a call to assist immigrants with navigating the complexities of the US immigration system. She also volunteers with Episcopal Migration Ministries advocating for just immigration policy. She has a bachelor's degree in Spanish and International Relations from the College of William and Mary and a degree in Paralegal studies from Madonna University.
Sokainah Mahmutovic (she/her)
Sokainah Mahmutovic is a member of the Crime Victims Legal Assistance Project team in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Her focus is on immigration relief available to victims of domestic violence and crime. Sokainah graduated from Grand Valley State University with a degree in International Relations, concentrating on Middle Eastern Studies, and a minor in Political Science. She is a graduate from Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School where she received her Juris Doctor degree. While attending law school, Sokainah interned for MIRC’s Grand Rapids office which allowed her to advance her knowledge and expand her interest in immigration law. She is a passionate world traveler and has a strong devotion to human rights and social justice. Sokainah is fluent in Arabic.
Stephanie Solis (she/her)
Stephanie Solis is working as a legal assistant serving children on the unaccompanied team in Kalamazoo, MI. She recently obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice with a minor in Human Rights from Grand Valley State University. Stephanie was born and raised in Southwest Michigan with parents that immigrated from San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Prior to joining MIRC, Stephanie worked as a legal intern at the Diocese of Grand Rapids- Immigration Legal Services. Her responsibilities included assisting individuals in the process of filing for citizenship, work permits, asylum, and much more. In addition, she served as a Victim Advocate for the YWCA of Kalamazoo by providing support and resources to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. Stephanie has a passion for issues of social justice and enjoys working with families in need. She is a fluent Spanish speaker.
Susan E. Reed (she/her)
Susan E. Reed is an Attorney/Director with the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center. Susan is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School and Marquette University. Susan has practiced immigration and immigrant rights law since 2003. Susan has also served as a staff attorney at Farmworker Legal Services of Michigan and as a regional attorney for Justice for Our Neighbors, the immigration legal services program of the United Methodist Committee on Relief. Her particular interests include the intersection of family and immigration law, the rights of unaccompanied immigrant children, immigrant eligibility for public benefits and programs, and civil rights. In 2013, Susan was appointed by the Michigan Supreme Court to the Foreign Language Board of Review as the LEP Populations Advocate and served two terms. She also served as a committee member of the Court's Limited English Proficiency Implementation Advisory Committee. Susan is passionate about immigrant access to driver's licenses and identification and is the Michigan Department of State Liaison for the Michigan Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers' Association. Susan is a proud member of the first class of W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Network Fellows.
Tammi Cervantes (she/her)
Tammi Cervantes is a legal assistant for the unaccompanied minors program out of the Ypsilanti office. She recently graduated from Michigan State University with her Bachelors in Political Science and minors in Chicano/ Latino studies and Women and Gender Studies. Tammi is a Detroit native but spent some time in Lansing where she worked as an intern at the governor's office prior to starting this role. Tammi is fluent in spanish.
Tania Morris Díaz (she/her)
Tania is the Supervising Attorney for the Unaccompanied Children's team. She has a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies with a concentration in Latin American studies from the University of South Alabama. She also pursued her Master's degree in Political and Social Sciences at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM).
In 2017, she earned her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. As a student, she worked with the Human Trafficking Clinic, Unemployment Insurance Clinic and Community and Economic Development Clinic. She was a Geneva Extern Scholar at the International Services for Human Rights. Upon graduation she worked in the area of business immigration at ACA and later joined MIRC in 2018 as part of the Detroit Front Door Project focusing on removal defense and later the Immigration Court Helpdesk. She most recently worked at LGL focusing on family immigration and consular processing before returning to MIRC.
She grew up with a fascination for justice and the rule of law due to her father’s work as a social scientist. Her mother’s status as an immigrant motivated her to work in the field of immigration. She is bilingual and a dual citizen of Mexico and the U.S. She loves anime (Shingeki no Kyojin), video games (Borderlands), tacos (al pastor), and her dog (Marla).
Tera Loudon-Warn (she/her)
Tera Loudon-Warn was born and raised in Detroit, MI. Tera attended Michigan State University, and graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. During her time at MSU, Tera had the opportunity to study abroad in Ecuador and to volunteer in México. Upon graduating, Tera spent one year volunteering with an AmeriCorps Program. She then went back to school and obtained her Master’s in Social Work from Wayne State University. Tera has since worked in a number of different roles serving as a social worker in the Southwest Detroit community. She also previously worked as a case manager with the UC/URM foster care program at Samaritas. Most recently, Tera was living in Brazil and working as a Fulbright grantee, teaching English classes at a university there. Tera is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish. She is passionate about advocating for more just immigration and education systems, and spends her time engaging in community organizing efforts. Tera also enjoys dancing Zouk and playing roller derby in her free time.
Tony Salazar (he/him)
Tony is the son of 2 formerly undocumented immigrants from Gomez Palacio, DGO, Mexico. He is a first generation American. He has always wanted to be a lawyer, but growing up with undocumented parents, he became very passionate about immigration law in particular and decided to become an immigration lawyer. Tony received his J.D. from Ohio Northern University and his Bachelors in Legal Studies from Davenport University. During undergrad he was a paralegal/legal assistant for 3 years at various immigration law firms. During law school Tony was a summer associate at Barnes & Thornburg, DOJ's Office of Immigration Litigation-Appellate Division, and various immigration firms. He was also a Staff Editor on his school's law review.