Karla V. Garcia
Karla V. Garcia is a Supervising Attorney at the South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (ProBAR) -- Children Project. ProBAR Children's Project provides pro bono legal services to unaccompanied minors that are detained in the Rio Grande Valley. Karla graduated from the University of Houston Law Center in 2015 where she served as a student attorney in the Immigration Clinic assisting clients seeking asylum, crime victim status, trafficking victim status, and special immigrant juvenile status. On her free time, Karla volunteers at the Community Justice Project which provides free legal services and night court to low-income residents in the Rio Grande Valley.
Claire Doutre is the Managing Attorney for the Houston office of Kids In Need of Defense (KIND). Prior to working for KIND, Claire represented detained and released unaccompanied minors with Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. She received her Bachelor of Arts in both Political Science and History from New York University. After graduating, Claire worked for Legal Aid Society in Queens and Brooklyn with The MICA (Mentally Ill, Chemically Addicted) Project. She then graduated from Pace Law School with a focus on International Law. During law school, Claire worked with refugees at Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston as an International Human Rights Fellow. Through Pace’s Immigration Justice Clinic, she represented asylum seekers. Upon moving to Houston, Claire took her first pro-bono Special Immigrant Juvenile Status cases while working for a private immigration law firm, where she primarily represented immigrants in family petition cases.
Jeff Stocks is an attorney, entrepreneur and senior business leader. He most recently worked as CFO of PSC, a private-equity backed industrial services company based in Houston. Before that, he was the CEO and owner of two commercial construction firms. Jeff practiced corporate and securities law with Baker Botts. A passionate advocate for children in immigration proceedings, Jeff has provided pro bono legal services for many years to these vulnerable clients.
Danielle Escontrias is a Staff Attorney and Pro Bono Coordinator at Diocesan Migrant & Refugee Services, Inc. (DMRS). Ms. Escontrias is a graduate of the New York University School of Law and a recipient of both the Truman Scholarship for students dedicated to a career in public service and the Root Tilden Kern Public Interest Scholarship at NYU Law. Ms. Escontrias is experienced in the areas of Mental Health Law, Public Defense, and Immigration.
Rebecca Rosenberg is a Staff Attorney at Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON) in Austin, TX. Ms. Rosenberg works with unaccompanied minors who are in removal proceedings or who are applying for special immigrant juvenile (SIJ) status. A graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, Ms. Rosenberg was previously a court- appointed family law attorney for children and parents involved in child abuse and neglect proceedings. Her background also includes about two years working for Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid in their Austin and Edinburg, TX offices. Prior to law school, she was an AmeriCorps volunteer at La Puente Home, a homelessness organization in rural southern Colorado. There Ms. Rosenberg was a case manager serving families as they transitioned out of homelessness.
Elizabeth (Chiqui) Sanchez Kennedy
Elizabeth (Chiqui) Sanchez Kennedy is the Director of Immigration Legal Services at the YMCA International Services. Prior to joining the YMCA, she was the Assistant Director of the Cabrini Center (Catholic Charities) Unaccompanied Children Program in Houston. Before moving back to Texas, Chiqui was the Supervising Attorney of the Unaccompanied Minors Project at Catholic Charities Legal Services of Miami (CCLS), which included the Vera Unaccompanied Children Program, LOPC, and justice AmeriCorps. At CCLS, Chiqui represented minors and adults before the Immigration Court, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). Previously, Chiqui was a staff attorney at South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (ProBAR) in Harlingen, Texas and a pro bono coordinator at Kids In Need of Defense (KIND) in New York City. Chiqui received her J.D. from South Texas College of Law in Houston, Texas and her B.A. from Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina.
Gregory J. Guarino, Jr.
Attorney Gregory J. Guarino, Jr. is a fourth generation Houstonian. After graduating Stratford High School, he attended the University of Texas at Austin. While at Texas, Mr. Guarino studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain where he learned Spanish. After college, he lived in Arequipa, Peru for a month where he volunteered at an orphanage. Mr. Guarino went on to obtain his law degree at South Texas College of Law. After law school, he worked as an assistant District Attorney at the Galveston County District Attorney’s Office. Mr. Guarino handled misdemeanor cases as an ADA trying cases to jury verdict. Mr. Guarino later worked as an associate attorney at Regent and Associates. In February 2015 Mr. Guarino started working with Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston as a supervising attorney and is now the Assistant Director for the Unaccompanied Minors Program at Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.
Marcela D. Evans
Marcela joined HRI in November 2014 as the Children’s Attorney. She represents children who come from backgrounds of various harms including abuse, neglect, and abandonment. Marcela works with children and pro bono attorneys who provide aid to children who have not had people to help and support them in the past. Marcela graduated in 2005 from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Arts in Latin American Studies, with concentrations in Spanish and Business. In 2009 she earned her Juris Doctor from Oklahoma City University School of Law. Marcela traveled to The Hague, Netherlands, and Freiburg, Germany to study Human Rights and Humanitarian law. Marcela has been active in her communities serving in positions with educational, governmental, and nonprofit organizations in Texas and Oklahoma. Through her volunteer work, Marcela experienced the richness that immigrants bring to US communities and has worked to help these individuals feel welcome in their new home. Prior to joining HRI, Marcela spent several years in private practice where she worked on family, civil, and immigration cases. Marcela is licensed to practice law in Texas, and bilingual in English and Spanish.
Elissa Steglich currently teaches and supervises students at the Immigration Clinic of the University of Texas School of Law. In her almost 20 years advocating for immigrant rights, especially the rights of immigrant children, she has provideddirect representation to asylum seekers, immigrant children, and immigrant victims of violence and human trafficking. In addition, Professor Steglich has trained to pro bono attorneys, state court judges and child welfare workers and administrators on legal protections available to immigrant children.
Professor Steglich previously served as Legal Services Director at the American Friends Service Committee’s Immigrant Rights Program in Newark, New Jersey. She has worked with the National Immigrant Justice Center and conducted extensive field research on trafficking in Latin America and the Caribbean at DePaul College of Law. She is board member of the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights and serves on the advisory committee of the ABA Children’s Immigration Law Academy.
Angela A. Stout
Angela A. Stout was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 2007. Ms. Stout has practiced law since 2007, with an emphasis on representing clients in family law matters including contested custody disputes and high-asset divorce suits with complex property issues. She earned her J.D. degree from South Texas College of Law Houston, in May of 2007. Prior to her legal education, Ms. Stout attended Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Ms. Stout graduated magna cum laude from Vanderbilt where she double majored in Political Science and Human & Organizational Development, focusing primarily on Community Development and Social Policy. A Texas native, Ms. Stout grew up in San Angelo, TX and moved to the Houston area in 2004. She is active in the legal community, the community at large and is a member of many organizations including the Family Law Section of the Houston Bar Association, Burta Rhoads Raborn Family Law American Inn of Court, Association of Women Attorneys and the Junior League of Houston. Ms. Stout also serves on the Board of Directors for the Family Law Section of the Houston Bar Association.
Liz Shields joined Tahirih in 2017 as the Deputy Director of the Houston office. As Deputy Director, she supervises programmatic staff, supports strategic growth, oversees grant management and ensures programmatic management embodies Tahirih’s overarching values. Prior to joining Tahirih, Liz served as the Houston Managing Attorney at Kids In Need of Defense (KIND) from 2015-2017 after serving the same role in KIND’s Baltimore office from 2009-2015. Liz joined KIND at the birth of the organization. In addition to overseeing daily management of the office and maintaining a caseload, she substantially grew both the Baltimore and Houston offices, focusing on identifying key partners, collaborating with stakeholders, developing pro bono networks and creating collaborations. Liz has a long history of pro bono legal representation pre-dating her time with Tahirih and KIND. She also worked within the Community Services Team of Holland & Knight LLP in Washington, D.C., where she worked collaboratively to provide pro bono immigration representation, focusing mainly on refugee resettlement and complex asylum claims.
Mayra Jimenez is the Children’s Program Director at RAICES. She has been dedicated to the Children’s Program and the work of unaccompanied minors for over 5 years. She attended Baylor University for her undergraduate studies where she received a Bachelors in Business Administration in Economics and International Business and went on to graduate from St. Mary’s University Law School. Prior to joining RAICES, Mayra clerked at Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid specializing in family and property law. She also worked at the Bexar County Court House District Court Division clerking for Civil County Judges.
Aimee Maldonado is a Public Interest Attorney with the Randall O. Sorrels Legal Clinics at South Texas College of Law Houston where she teaches and supervises students in the Immigration Clinic. She graduated from South Texas College of Law Houston in 2004 and obtained her B.B.A. from Baylor University where she majored in International Business and Marketing in 2001. Before returning to work at her Alma Matter, she was the Supervising Attorney of the Unaccompanied Minors Program at the Cabrini Center for Immigrant Legal Assistance at Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Previously, Ms. Maldonado had her own practice for five years, which focused on removal proceedings, and family-based immigration, as well as family law. As part of her family law practice, the family court regularly appointed her to serve as amicus attorney and attorney ad litem for children in custody and child protective services cases. Prior to having her own practice, Ms. Maldonado worked in immigration firms in Houston and Dallas. Ms. Maldonado is an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the local community where she presents at Continuing Legal Education courses and community outreach events.