Mizue Aizeki

Project Director of the Surveillance, Technology and Immigration Policing Project
& Senior Advisor to IDP

For over 15 years, Mizue’s work has focused on ending the injustices at the intersection of the criminal legal and immigration systems, and challenging the logics that justify incarceration, deportation, and other forms of perpetual punishment. She has led multiple campaigns to end the entanglement of local law enforcement and ICE policing—including the fights to end Secure Communities in New York State and to limit New York City law enforcement collaboration with ICE. In 2013, Mizue launched IDP’s ICE raids and community defense programs. More recently, Mizue founded the Surveillance, Tech & Immigration Policing project, which takes on the surveillance state at the intersection of the criminal legal system and migration control. These issues are explored in a book she has co-edited, Resisting Technologies of Violence and Control (forthcoming from Haymarket Books, Fall 2023). Mizue’s photography is featured in Dying to Live, A Story of U.S. Immigration in an Age of Global Apartheid (City Lights Books, 2008) and in Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter (Verso, 2016).

Jophiel Astorga

Operations Coordinator

Jophiel joins the Immigrant Defense Project as an Operations Coordinator and works to support development and program operations. An enthusiast of the arts, Jophiel was previously director of operations at a drama conservatory, where he gained experience in facilities management, operations, and support services. Originally from Guadalajara, Mexico Jophiel is excited to contribute to IDP’s mission.

Genia Blaser

Supervising Attorney

Genia works as part of IDP’s Padilla Support Center where she advises defense attorneys on the immigration consequences of criminal cases and provides trainings on the overlap of criminal-immigration systems. Genia leads IDP’s Community Defense team, which creates Know Your Rights materials and other resources on interactions with ICE.  She also leads IDP’s ICE raids monitoring team, which keeps track of and shares trends and tactics of ICE community arrests.  Genia came to IDP from the immigration practice at The Bronx Defenders, where she worked with attorneys on minimizing the immigration impact for non-citizens of contact with the criminal and child welfare systems and represented non-citizens in affirmative and defensive proceedings.  Genia received her law degree from Northeastern University School of Law and her undergraduate degree from Hampshire College.  

Gabby Dimaté


Gabby joins IDP as a hotline paralegal as of June 2021. Previously, she worked at the Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (CAIR) Coalition, a Washington D.C-based legal provider non-profit that offers pro-bono legal aid to detained adult and unaccompanied children immigrants. Gabby graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2021 with a B.A. in Public Policy and Political Science. Gabby speaks fluent Spanish and French.

Yasmine Farhang

Director of Advocacy

Yasmine joins IDP as Director of Advocacy managing mission-driven local, state and federal policy that seeks to end mass detention, deportation and criminalization. Prior to joining IDP, Yasmine was a Senior Policy Advisor at the NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs advising on access to justice for immigrant New Yorkers and the City’s federal policy interventions. Previously, Yasmine was a lead immigration attorney at Make the Road NY where she represented community members in removal proceedings and affirmative applications for relief, helped shape the organization’s response to ICE raids, and provided legal and policy support to the immigrant rights committee and TGNCIQ Justice project as they built power to achieve dignity and justice. She received her law degree from CUNY School of Law. Yasmine’s personal goals include perfecting her Iranian tahdig and her country western two-stepping.

Alli Finn

Senior Researcher

Alli joins IDP as the Senior Researcher for the Surveillance, Technology, and Immigration Policing Project, bringing a decade of experience at the intersections of organizing, participatory research, casework, and advocacy for immigration and labor justice. Prior to IDP, Alli was the Research Manager for the Moving Toward Justice coalition, guiding policy research to support a community-led legislative platform for the immigrant rights movement. They also advocated for migrant domestic worker rights for four years with the Anti-Racism Movement, a grassroots feminist organization in Beirut, campaigning locally and in UN forums. They founded ARM’s casework team, which combines community defense and organizing to fight labor abuse, detention, and deportation, in partnership with migrant activist collectives in Lebanon. Alli has been active in queer feminist organizing and currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors at FRIDA | The Young Feminist Fund, a member of Seachange Collective, and an Advisory Circle member to Root. Rise. Pollinate! Alli holds an MA in Sociology from the American University of Beirut.

Benita Jain

Supervising Attorney

Benita, formerly co-Director of IDP, now leads IDP’s work with the Defending Immigrants Partnership, a national collaboration that trains public defenders on immigration consequences of criminal convictions and assists defender offices in setting up office-wide immigration advisal programs. Benita also monitors and analyzes legislative proposals affecting immigrants who have interacted with the criminal justice system and has supported IDP’s litigation efforts. She has written several pro se guides for immigrants fighting deportation and is an original co-author of the “Deportation 101” curriculum. She is a past Board member of Families for Freedom and past Steering Committee member of the Detention Watch Network. She is a graduate of New York University School of Law.

Denise Grosman

Padilla Support Center Immigration Staff Attorney

Denise joins IDP as a Staff Attorney working as part of the Padilla Support Center where she advises defense attorneys on immigration consequences of criminal cases and develops resources on the overlap of criminal-immigration systems. Prior to joining IDP, Denise worked as a Post-Conviction Relief Attorney at Appellate Advocates, where she advocated on behalf of non-citizen clients facing negative immigration repercussions stemming from criminal convictions. Denise also provided direct representation to immigrants as a Legal Advocate at Make the Road New York. She earned her law degree from Universidad de Chile School of Law and her LL.M. degree from New York University School of Law, where she participated in the Global Justice Clinic.


Marie Mark

Deputy Director, Legal Support & Resources

Marie leads IDP’s work providing legal support and resources to immigrants, their loved ones, and their attorneys about the immigration consequences of contact with the criminal legal system. She came to IDP from the immigration practice at Brooklyn Defender Services where she advised clients and attorneys about the immigration consequences of criminal convictions and represented immigrants in removal proceedings and applications for immigration benefits. She received her law degree from New York University School of Law, where she participated in the Children’s Rights Clinic and Immigrant Rights Clinic. Marie received her undergraduate degree from Swarthmore College.

Amelia Marritz

Senior Litigation Attorney

 Amelia is a Senior Staff Attorney on IDP’s litigation team, working on litigation before federal courts to minimize the adverse consequences for non-citizens affected by the criminal legal system. Prior to joining IDP, she represented detained people in removal proceedings through the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project at Brooklyn Defender Services, first as an Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow and then as a staff attorney. Amelia received her law degree from New York University School of Law, where she participated in the Immigrant Rights Clinic, and her undergraduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh. 

Jonathan Monsalve

Executive Director

Jon is a nonprofit executive who has spent more than a decade fighting the injustices of the criminal legal system. Before joining IDP, he was the Director of Brooklyn Justice Initiatives, a project of the Center for Court Innovation, a national leader in criminal legal system reform. Jon was instrumental in establishing Brooklyn Justice Initiatives and led the expansion of its staff from a team of just ten to more than 100. Along with his significant professional accomplishments, Jon brings a personal understanding of how the criminal legal and immigration systems are designed to destroy lives and separate families. The son of immigrant parents from Colombia, Jon brings his lived experience and bicultural perspective to his work.


Ryan Muennich

Senior Staff Attorney

Ryan supports appellate defenders who are representing immigrants, providing assistance both on immigration consequences and appellate strategy, and consults with attorneys on post-conviction relief cases.  As part of IDP’s litigation team, Ryan also provides amicus support to courts regarding proper implementation of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Padilla v. Kentucky decision.  Prior to joining IDP, Ryan was in private practice, representing immigrants in administrative and federal courts.  Ryan is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University and The Ohio State College of Law.

Em Puhl

Senior Staff Attorney

Em Puhl joins IDP as a Senior Staff Attorney, working as part of IDP’s Padilla Support Center to advise attorneys on the immigration consequences of family and criminal court proceedings. Em also provides support to community members seeking legal information and advice through the IDP hotline. Prior to joining IDP, Em worked at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center in California’s San Joaquin Valley to give training, technical assistance, and legal advice to immigrant communities and advocates on issues related to ICE enforcement, family-based immigration, asylum, and public charge. Em also provided direct representation to immigrants as an Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow at Legal Services NYC and worked as an Attorney Advisor at the San Francisco Immigration Court. Em earned their J.D. from U.C. Berkeley School of Law, an M.A. in Latin American Studies from U.C. San Diego, and a B.A. from Iowa State University.

Jon Rodney

Narrative Strategy Director, Comm/Unity Network

Jon convenes the Comm/Unity network, a collaborative of communicators dedicated to ending the criminalization of immigrants, as part of a broader vision for liberation. With Comm/Unity’s partners, Jon works to expand narrative opportunities to humanize all immigrants, especially people with convictions, drawing upon both research and community creativity. Jon develops messaging guidance and provides advice to campaigns at the local, state, and national levels.

Jon brings over 12 years of battle-tested strategic communications experience to IDP.  He spent nine years at the California Immigrant Policy Center, leading the communications team for six years. During that time, Jon helped develop and execute communications strategy for key state legislation, including the California Values Act and the TRUST Act,  as well as strong local “Sanctuary” policies. He has also supported many deportation defense campaigns for people with past arrests or convictions.

Tony, Jon’s chihuahua, maintains an extensive network of reporter relationships.

Nabilah Siddiquee

Supervising Litigation Attorney

Nabilah works as part of IDP’s litigation team, focusing on litigation before federal courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals in support of challenges to adverse immigration consequences of criminal convictions and arrests. Prior to joining IDP, Nabilah worked in the Immigration Intervention Project of Sanctuary for Families, where she represented non-citizens in affirmative and defensive immigration matters and supervised the asylum practice. Previously, Nabilah was a litigation associate at a law firm in New York focusing on federal criminal defense and served as a law clerk in the Southern District of New York and the Central District of Illinois. Nabilah earned her J.D. from U.C. Berkeley School of Law, her A.M. in Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and her B.A. from Yale University.

Manny Vargas

Senior Counsel

Manny founded IDP in 1997 (in conjunction with our original sponsor, New York State Defenders Association). A nationally known expert on the immigration consequences of criminal convictions, he is the author of several legal resource materials for advocacy on behalf of immigrants accused of crimes, including Representing Immigrant Defendants in New York (5th ed, 2011) and the Removal Defense Checklist in Criminal Charge Cases, and provides training and immigration law backup assistance on criminal/immigration issues.  Manny has also engaged in and supported litigation defending the legal rights of immigrants placed in removal proceedings based on criminal charges. Prior to his work with IDP, Manny represented and counseled immigrants for eight years as a staff and supervising attorney of the New York City Legal Aid Society Immigration Unit.  Manny has received numerous awards for his advocacy work on behalf of immigrants, including, most recently, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and a Jack Wasserman Award for Excellence in Litigation in the Field of Immigration Law from the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Andrew Wachtenheim

Supervising Litigation Attorney

Andrew is the supervising attorney in IDP’s litigation practice on cases before federal and state courts and agencies to defend the rights of immigrants impacted by the criminal legal system. He previously worked as an immigration attorney at The Bronx Defenders, advising noncitizens with pending cases in criminal and family courts and representing Bronx residents in immigration proceedings, and as a staff attorney at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center collaborating with public defenders around California. He is a commissioner on the ABA’s Commission on Immigration, and graduate of Fordham Law School where he was a Stein Scholar for Public Interest Law and Ethics.

Lee Wang

Deputy Director, Strategic Initiatives

Lee leads the development of IDP’s strategic vision, working across program areas to ensure that the organization advances its goals and mission. Previously, she was the founding director of the Envision Freedom Fund’s immigration bond fund, which fights to free immigrants from detention. She started her legal career at IDP as a Skadden Fellow and played a key role in building the organization’s ICE Out of Courts campaign. Lee is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, and Yale College. In a previous life, she was a journalist and documentary filmmaker.