Liane Aronchick, Executive Director

Liane Aronchick is currently serving as VIAA’s Executive Director. She is a Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney with KIND in New York.  Prior to joining the team at KIND, Liane was a staff attorney at Human Rights First in New York, where she represented Central American families and children in removal proceedings, and mentored pro bono attorneys in pursuing asylum and SIJS for their clients.  Liane also spent four and a half years on defense teams representing individuals charged with international human rights violations in The Hague, Netherlands, both at the International Criminal Court and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Before moving to The Hague, Liane served as a clinical intern and of counsel at Catholic Charities’ Department of Immigrant and Refugee Services, where she pursued family based petitions, T/U-visas, asylum and other relief for clients. Liane also served in the Peace Corps in Quito, Ecuador from 2003 to 2006, where she spearheaded a number of adult literacy, anti-domestic violence, and anti-trafficking-in-persons campaigns. She graduated from Barnard College in 2003 and graduated from St. John’s University School of Law in 2009.

Camille Mackler, Board of Directors / Co-Founder

Camille J. Mackler, Esq. is the Director of Immigration Legal Policy at the New York Immigration Coalition, where she works with NYIC members and a variety of stakeholders on issues relating to immigrants access to justice, including access to counsel, in New York State and nationally. Before joining the NYIC in March 2013, Ms. Mackler worked in private practice representing immigrants before US Immigration Courts and Federal Courts of Appeals. She focused primarily on asylum and refugee, deportation proceedings, immigration detention, and family-based immigration issues.

Ms. Mackler is currently the chair of the New York State Bar Association Committee on Immigration Representation. She has a Juris Doctor. from New York Law School and a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service. She is also a frequent lecturer on immigration law and advocacy issues surrounding the practice of immigration law.

Carmen Maria Rey, Board of Directors / Co-Founder

Carmen Maria Rey is the Deputy Director, Immigration Intervention Project at  Sanctuary for Families. She is the former Senior Immigration Attorney at Her Justice, an organization that provides free legal services to thousands of low-income women in New York City every year.  Carmen is a former Equal Justice Works Fellow and a 2006 graduate of Brooklyn Law School. She had previously worked representing noncitizen survivors of gender violence at Sanctuary for Families’ Immigration Intervention Project, which she has rejoined. Carmen has also taught immigration law in the Continuing Education program at Queens College, and was a long-term volunteer at New York City’s Immigrant Defense Project.  She is an active member of the American Lawyer’s Association, most recently part of the New York City Chapters’ Comprehensive Immigration Reform Committee, and loves to spend her Saturdays as a volunteer with CUNY Citizenship Now!

She was admitted to the Bar in New York State and in the Eastern District of NY in 2007.

Elizabeth (Betsy) Plum, Board of Directors

Elizabeth (Betsy) Plum is the Vice-President of Policy at the New York Immigration Coalition where she oversees the organization’s Policy Department. Betsy joined the NYIC in 2013 as the DACA Outreach Coordinator following a tenure in the direct legal services field at Central American Legal Assistance (CALA) in Brooklyn, New York. During her time at CALA, Betsy honed her knowledge of immigration policy, federal programs, and administrative advocacy. She sits on CALA’s Junior Board as well as the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center’s Emerging Leaders and Outreach Committees. 

Betsy holds a B.A. in Political Studies from Bard College, a Certificate of International Relations and Global Affairs from the Bard Globalization and International Affairs program, and an M.Sc. in Comparative Politics and Conflict Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Margo Paz, Board of Directors

Margo Paz is the Senior Federal Policy Advisor with the Government and External Relations Department of United Jewish Appeal-Federation of New York. For the past 20 years, she has represented the federal human service agenda of UJA- Federation and the nearly 100 social service agencies it helps to fund.Margo works on behalf of a wide array of issues ranging from refugee and immigrant access to benefit programs, affordable housing, non-profit advocacy, nutrition programs and other safety net services.Margo earned a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from The George Washington University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and English from SUNY Albany. She also completed a certificate program in Non Profit Management at Georgetown University.

Maureen Schad, Board of Directors

Maureen Schad is Norton Rose Fulbright LLP’s Pro Bono Attorney, litigating and supervising immigration and family law cases and managing the firm’s pro bono initiatives.  She partners with The Legal Aid Society’s Immigration Law Unit to staff their regular juvenile docket.  She was most recently a Senior Staff Attorney/KIND Fellow at The Door’s Legal Services Center, where she represented youth for nearly five years in a wide range of immigration and family court proceedings.  Maureen graduated from New York University School of Law, where she worked with NYU’s Immigrant Rights Clinic, Make The Road New York, and The Legal Aid Society’s Immigration Unit. From 2001-2004, Maureen worked at The Legal Aid Society as a public benefits and housing advocate.  Before that, she was a founding program coordinator of Project HEALTH/ Health Leads, creating resource centers for adolescents and families at public hospitals in Boston and New York.  She is a graduate of Harvard College.

Neena Dutta, Board of Directors

Neena Dutta is the principal attorney at the Dutta Law Firm, with a focus on corporate immigration. She represents a wide variety of employers who wish to sponsor individuals, advising them on business-related immigration matters involving the recruitment, hiring, transfer, and retention of foreign nationals in the United States. She also has a number of foreign born entrepreneurs as clients, as well as, artists and extraordinary ability individuals in the arts, entertainment, science and business. As well as business immigration, she has experience with family based cases and appeals. Ms. Dutta has also represented Pro Bono clients in asylum, deportation and special immigrant juvenile cases. Currently she serves as the Chair of the American Immigration Lawyers Association of New York City. 

Oriana Sanchez, Board of Directors

Oriana Sanchez is the screening and data coordinator with Public Health Solution’s Healthy Start Program serving African American and immigrant mothers and infants in Southeast Queens. Her experience working with the immigrant community expands over ten years. Ms. Sanchez begun her work in 2006 at a private law office in Jackson Heights, Queens, as a legal assistant helping clients with a wide range of immigration issues. After nearly seven years, Ms. Sanchez left the private sector and joined the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) in 2013 where she coordinated statewide trainings aimed at maximizing low cost legal resources for immigrant communities in New York State. While at the NYIC, Ms. Sanchez also organized monthly legal clinics to serve low income immigrants in New York City before leaving and joining the CARA Pro Bono Project (currently Dilley Pro Bono Project) in Dilley, Texas. An on the ground coalition of national organizations, the Project offers legal assistance to mothers and children seeking asylum while being arbitrarily detained after crossing the southern border. Ms. Sanchez worked as CARA’s advocacy coordinator liaising with ICE and correctional staff to see that clients’ needs were met while tracking trends to support efforts aimed at ending family detention.
Ms. Sanchez originates from Colombia and is a native Spanish speaker. She is currently pursuing a Master’s in Sustainability Science and Education at the CUNY Graduate Center and holds a B.A. in Political Science from Baruch College.

Susan Timmons Marks, Board of Directors

Susan Timmons Marks is the associate director of Practice and Professionalism at the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).  In this role, she specializes in assisting AILA attorneys with practice management issues, ethics questions, meeting their pro bono obligations and providing community education and resources to combat the unauthorized practice of immigration law. Susan has been at AILA for ten years and developed AILA’s Pro Bono Program “from scratch.”  She is integrally involved with AILA’s work on family detention and developed the infrastructure for two innovative pro bono projects in Artesia, New Mexico and Dilley, Texas.  Susan also manages all of AILA’s work surrounding consumer protection and efforts to stop the unauthorized practice of law. She is a 2006 graduate of CUNY School of Law.  Outside of her professional life, Susan enjoys teaching a meditation practice called iRest® Yoga Nidra and is an active member of the New York Junior League.

trash_3h9zv003STAFF & BOARD