Rev. Patrick J. Keating
Chief Executive Officer
Reverend Patrick J.Keating is the Chief Executive Officer of Catholic Migration Services, where he coordinates and plans the work of the agency along with the dedicated board of directors and his colleagues in the agency.
In 2011, Father Keating joined Catholic Migration Services to strengthen and grow an agency dedicated to welcoming, empowering and assisting immigrants in Brooklyn and Queens through a variety of programs that include: immigration legal services, immigrant housing legal services and immigrant workers rights legal services.
Father Keating has a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Baruch College of the City University of New York as well as a Master of Arts in Theology and a Master of Divinity from the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception.
In addition to being the CEO at Catholic Migration Services, Father Keating is the Associate Vicar for Human Services for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn.
Director of Legal Services
David Colodny oversees the agency’s legal services programs after joining Catholic Migration Services in 2016.
David has spent more than fifteen years in the legal services community providing legal representation to, and advocating for, recent immigrants. Immediately prior to joining Catholic Migration Services, David was a supervising attorney in the Community Development Project at the Urban Justice Center (UJC) where he managed UJC’s workers’ rights program. During his eleven years at UJC, David represented immigrant workers with a variety of employment related claims in federal and state courts and administrative agency investigations. Before working at UJC, David was the Deputy Director and Director of Legal Services at the D.C. Employment Justice Center (2001-2005) and an associate at the Washington, D.C. based law firm Patton Boggs LLP (1995-2000). David also was an adjunct professor of clinical law at the New York University School of Law.
David received his B.A. from Duke University and his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. He first became a member of the bar in 1995 in Maryland, and has been a member of the New York bar since 2006.
Managing Attorney – Workers’ Rights
Magdalena is the managing attorney for the Workers’ Rights Project at Catholic Migration Services. Over the last nine years, Magdalena has worked on behalf of low wage and immigrant workers.
Prior to joining Catholic Migration Services, Magdalena worked at the labor/employment firm, Gladstein, Reif & Meginniss. She also worked as a supervising attorney at Make the Road New York, a leading New York community organization that builds the power of working class and immigrant communities. At Make the Road, Magdalena oversaw employment legal services at its offices in three boroughs and provided support to campaigns to combat workplace exploitation. She also maintained her own active caseload primarily involving cases of unpaid wages. Prior to her work at Make the Road, Magdalena worked in the employment law units at MFY Legal Services and Legal Services of New Jersey, where she handled wage and hour, discrimination, unemployment matters and represented clients in administrative proceedings, and state and federal courts. She is a graduate of Davidson College and Rutgers-Newark Law School.
Magdalena is admitted to practice in both New York and New Jersey and the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.
Alice Davis is a staff attorney in the Immigrant Workers’ Rights Program, where she represents workers in wage and hour claims and other employment matters. She received her B.A. from New York University in 2009, and her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2012. During law school she performed clinical work, providing low-income clients with legal assistance in employment, immigration, and housing matters. Prior to joining CMS in 2013, she served as a fellow at Legal Services of New Jersey in their Workers’ Legal Rights Project.
Alice is admitted to practice in New York and New Jersey.
Christopher Holtz is a staff attorney in the Removal Defense Project, where he defends asylees and non-citizens in removal proceedings in U.S. Immigration Court and before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. He also represents clients who are affirmatively filing for immigration benefits in our Immigration Legal Services Program. In his work, Chris strives to help clients who otherwise cannot afford legal representation to navigate the complex immigration laws of the U.S.
Prior to joining our staff in 2012, Chris served as a legal intern in CMS’ Immigrant Tenant Advocacy Program from 2009-2010. He graduated from St. John’s University School of Law in 2011, and earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University at Buffalo in 2008. During law school Chris worked with Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, where he provided legal services to low-income artists.
Chris is admitted to practice law in New York.
Megan E. Jordi
Supervising Attorney – Removal Defense Project
CMegan E. Jordi joined CMS in 2015 as the Supervising Attorney of the Removal Defense Project.
She oversees the work of all attorneys, interns and volunteers preparing cases before the Immigration Court and the asylum office. She has represented a wide range of clients, but specializes in complicated humanitarian cases for asylees and victims of crimes and human trafficking. Prior to law school, Megan worked as a high school Spanish teacher in Indiana and an AmeriCorps paralegal at ProBAR (Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project) of South Texas. There, she provided Know-Your-Rights presentations for recently apprehended immigrants in detention and assisted attorneys in preparing cases before immigration court.
In 2010, Megan obtained a master’s degree in Latin American Studies and graduated from University of New Mexico School of Law. Throughout law school, she worked as an immigration paralegal at Catholic Charities, assisting victims of domestic violence. In 2010, she co-founded and became the Legal Director of the New Mexico Immigrant Law Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the first non-profit in the state to provide legal services to indigent immigrants in removal proceedings. In 2015, Megan moved to New York and worked with Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) as a pro bono coordinating attorney before coming to CMS. Megan is fluent in Spanish and proficient in Portuguese.
Megan is admitted to practice in New Mexico and New York.
Sharone Schwartz Kaufman
Supervising Immigration Attorney
Sharone Kaufman joined CMS in 2008 as a staff attorney in the Immigration Legal Services Program where she represented clients in a wide range of immigration matters, with a particular focus in removal defense litigation. In 2012, she became the supervising attorney of CMS’ Immigration Legal Services Program. She currently oversees the Removal Defense Project, which represents asylees and noncitizens in removal proceedings in U.S. Immigration Court and before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the Citizenship Project, which assists legal permanent residents with completing applications for naturalization. Prior to joining CMS, Sharone worked for several private law firms, where she represented clients in immigration matters as well as a range of civil litigation.
Sharone earned her bachelor’s degree in history at Rutgers University in 2003, and is a 2006 graduate of the Seton Hall University School of Law. Sharone is admitted to practice law in New York, New Jersey, and Florida.
Managing Attorney – Housing
Andrew joined CMS in 2016 as the managing attorney of its expanding Housing Program. In that capacity, he supervises the CMS housing attorneys and tenant organizers in both the Queens and Bushwick offices, oversees the housing clinics in both locations, and provides legal representation for tenants and tenant associations.
Andrew began his legal career as an attorney with the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice. He later became a staff attorney and then a supervising attorney with the Legal Aid Society’s Housing Development Unit and Community Development Project. He also served as a Housing Court judge and court attorney.
Andrew received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan, where he majored in Urban Studies. He earned his law degree from New York University School of Law and received a Master of Public Affairs degree from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
Andrew is admitted to practice in New York.
José M. León
José M. León works as a staff attorney in the Removal Defense Project, which represents clients in removal proceedings in Immigration Court. He helps clients with defensive asylum claims,defensive Violence Against Women Act petitions, Cancellation of Removal for Non-Permanent Resident applications, U-Visa Petitions, T-Visa Petitions, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals applications, and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status Petitions in Family Court and with US Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Jose is a graduate of Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and holds a BA in Economics and History from Northwestern University. Prior to joining CMS, Jose interned at Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project in Arizona, The Immigration Unit at Legal Aid Society in Manhattan, and completed the year-long Immigration Justice Clinic at Cardozo Law.
Jose grew up in San Jose, Costa Rica, and Barcelona, Spain, and speaks Spanish, Catalan, French and German. Jose is admitted to practice in New York.
Mariam Magar joined CMS in 2010 as a student attorney with the Immigrant Tenants Advocacy Project where she assisted the staff attorney of ITAP provide free legal counsel to low-moderate income immigrants tenants in Queens and Brooklyn. Currently in her role as a Catholic Migration legal Fellow and staff attorney she represents clients in housing court. She is also the outreach coordinator for the Arabic-speaking community within the Brooklyn Diocese. This role requires her to assess the legal needs of the Arabic-speaking community and move to resolve their housing, labor and immigration concerns. Mariam is fulfilled in her work because it keeps her in close communion with her community and enables her to use her skills as an attorney to educate and protect people who are not accustomed to pursuing their rights. She enjoys raising awareness about legal rights and teaching people how to self-advocate.
Mariam graduated from St. John University School of Law in 2012. While in law school Mariam was a Legal Intern with the Queens D.A. office. This experience taught her the importance of always being prepared to face a tough judge and instilled within her an appreciation for the application of the law. She was also a member of the Frank S. Polestino Trial Advocacy Institute (PTAI) where she was able to participate in mock trail competitions.
Mariam is admitted to practice law in New York and New Jersey and she speaks Arabic.
Hector R. Rojas Olivo
St. John’s University Fellow Staff Attorney
Hector R. Rojas Olivo is a St. John’s University School of Law Immigration Law Fellow in our Removal Defense Project, where he represents asylum and noncitizens in removal proceedings in U.S. Immigration Court and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status Petitions in Family Court. He also represents clients who are affirmatively filing for immigration benefits before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services through CMS and St. John’s Bread and Life: Immigration Clinic.
Hector graduated from St. John’s University School of Law in 2015. In 2011, he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies and Political Science from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Prior to joining our staff in 2015, Hector served as a Legal Intern at St. John’s Bread and Life: Immigration Clinic. From 2011 until 2015, Hector served as a Community Associate for the NYC Department of Homeless Services.
Hector grew up in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and speaks Spanish and French. Hector is admitted to practice law in New York.
Carla Taveras joined CMS in 2014 as an Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow in the Removal Defense Project. Carla provides legal advice and representation to children in removal proceedings. She represents clients before the Immigration Court, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and State Court.
Prior to joining CMS Carla worked as a Bilingual Hotline Associate at Legal Information for Families Today (LIFT), providing legal information regarding family law and New York Family Court procedure. While in law school, Carla participated in legal clinics and interned at various non-profit legal services organizations throughout New York City that focus on the rights of immigrants and underserved communities. Through these experiences Carla witnessed the importance of providing quality legal services to vulnerable populations.
Carla graduated from St. John’s University School of Law in 2013 and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from New York University. Carla is admitted to practice law in New York and speaks Spanish.
Sr. Joan Anzalone
Immigration Counselor, BIA Accredited Representative
Sr. Joan Anzalone is an Immigration Counselor. She assists clients by preparing applications for Adjustments of Status, Naturalization,Green Card and Visa extensions. She also participates in outreach activities in parishes and community organizations. Prior to working at CMS Sr. Joan was a social worker for communities in the South Bronx, the Lower East Side of Manhattan and in the Dominican Republic . Her work with these communities motivated her desire to work directly with immigrants because she wanted to help them feel welcomed in their country. Sr.Joan attended Fordham University where she studied Sociology and Education. She received her Masters in Social Work from Fordham University . Sr. Joan is fluent in Spanish.
Yuritza Arroyo-Sanchez is an Immigration Counselor at CMS. For her undergraduate education, she stayed in her hometown Chicago where she attended Saint Xavier University. She graduated in December of 2015 and eared her B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Spanish. After graduating from college, she joined Mercy Volunteer Corps where she committed to a year of service. This then led her this organization. As an Immigration Counselor, Yuritza helps immigrants apply for citizenship, renew green cards, and apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). After her year of service, she hopes to go back to school to either pursue law or social work.
Xiomara Bustamante is an Immigration Counselor. She assists clients by preparing applications for Adjustment of Status, Citizenship,Petitions for the Freedom of Information Act disclosure and Removal of Conditional Residence. For clients who qualify Xiomara ensures that they understand their right to access to public social benefits. Prior to becoming an Immigration Counselor Xiomara was an administrative assistant at CMS for 4 years. Xiomara enjoys the variation in her day that comes for the diversity of cases she manages. She delights in giving clients thorough explanations of their rights during their consultations. She is inspired by her client’s perseverance during times of difficulty and she uses this as motivation to exhaust all of her efforts to help enhance each client’s experience with CMS. Xiomara attended Brooklyn College where she studied Computer Science. Xiomara is fluent in Spanish.
Immigration Counselor, BIA Accredited Representative
Marisol Canales is an Immigration Counselor. She assists clients by preparing applications for Adjustments of Status, Naturalization, Green Card, VAWA,DACA,RI Visa extensions. She also participates in outreach activities in parishes and community organizations.Prior to working at CMS Marisol was a receptionist and later an immigration counselor at Emerald Isle Immigration Center. She also worked as an assistant to the Director of Faith Formation at St. Bartholomew Parish in Elmhurst. She enjoys providing direct assistance to immigration because the information and resources give them the chance to live a less restrictive life. She is inspired by the personal connections she feels with her clients and by their hard work and perseverance. Her dedication to her clients is fostered by the knowledge that she will be an everlasting part of their life. Marisol attended Universidad del Istmo in Panama where she studied Information Systems. She is currently awaiting her B.I.A accreditation and is in training to be a paralegal . Marisol is fluent in Spanish.
Amy is our Community Outreach Coordinator under the LEAP coalition. She is an Americorps volunteer serving a 2nd year term with CMS through the Public Allies program. Amy is passionate about the housing in NYC and hopes to make a difference in her community through the apprenticeship program and with CMS. Amy provides other support to our housing department through interpretation, designing outreach materials and much more.
Stephani Espinal-Suero is a community organizer working primarily in the Bushwick and Ridgewood communities. Stephani was born in Dominican Republic and graduated in October 2014 with a Business Administration degree from the Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo (UASD). In February 2015 Stephani started doing community organizing work as a volunteer with Yolanda Coca in the Bushwick and Ridgewood communities. Stephani joined the CMS staff in May 2016, and then in September 2016 became a Pulic Ally. Under the Public Ally program for developing leaders, Stephani continues to work in the Bushwick and Ridgewood communities with a focus on tenant organizing to address problems with housing.
Luz Marina Guerra
Luz worked as an elementary school teacher for 21 years and retired 2 years ago and is now volunteering a year of mission work with MVC working at Catholic Migration Services with Linea Laboral. Luz Marina Guerra is originally from Colombia and has been living in the USA since 1973. Luz worked as a Radiologic Technologist for 12 years in Houston, then went back to school and graduated from St. Thomas University in Houston as a Bilingual teacher.
Anna Johnson came to CMS this year as a Jesuit Volunteer Corps volunteer, where she works as an Immigration Counselor. She recently graduated from Gonzaga University with a B.A. in Political Science and International Relations and a minor in Spanish. She is a native of the Pacific Northwest, she grew up in Oregon and attended college in Washington, so she is excited about transitioning to the East Coast and living in New York. Anna hopes to pursue a law degree in the future and commit herself to a career of public service.
Tenant Organizer, Public Ally Fellow
Lorena Lopez is a Tenant Organizer for Catholic Migration Services. She sustains and develops membership for the coalition by providing informative and educational meetings which empower community members. Lorena also serves as a translator during the monthly housing clinics.She enjoys working with tenants because it satisfies her desire to work towards improving the living conditions of immigrants and enriching their understanding of their rights as tenants. She is motivated by tenants who become self-advocates and beacons of knowledge for other tenants in their buildings or in their communities. Working with the tenants of the Queens Housing Coalition has reinforced her belief in the tenacity of immigrants communities. She is fulfilled in her work because she understands that she plays a small role in a greater movement towards eradicating housing inequality. Prior to CMS Lorena worked as a realtor for 4 years with The Mauro Brothers. This opportunity gave her a comprehensive understanding of housing issues from the perspective of landlords in NYC. Lorena attended BMCC where she studied Business Administration. Lorena is fluent in Spanish.
Carlos Ortiz is a Tenant Organizer. His work, which takes place mostly in the Borough of Queens, is devoted primarily on the Stabilizing NYC campaign, a city-wide effort led by a coalition of 14 organizations of which CMS is a member. The main focus of Stabilizing NYC is fighting Predatory Equity, and to this effect Carlos engages in tenant outreach, education, meeting facilitation, leadership development and other forms of organizing for both immediate tenant needs as well as more long-terms goals. He also provides support in other aspects of CMS’ Tenant Advocacy program, as for example providing translation and interpretation during clinics, meetings and court appearances, as well as mobilizing for actions. He is motivated by a deep commitment to social justice and a firm belief in community empowerment, which he strives to help facilitate. Carlos attended Columbia University, where he studied Philosophy and Political Science and organized around diverse issues including economic justice, gentrification and immigrant’s rights. Carlos is fluent in Spanish.
Poverty Justice Solution Fellow
Thomas Power is a Poverty Justice Solutions Fellow with the Immigrant Tenants Advocacy Project, where he helps ITAP provide free legal counsel to low-moderate income immigrant tenants in Queens and Brooklyn. In his role at Catholic Migration Services, he enjoys and prioritizes building tenant power in the communities with which he works, and in the legal system.
Thomas graduated from CUNY School of Law in 2016 and is awaiting admission to practice in New York. While in school, he participated in the Workers’ Rights Project and the Economic Justice Project, two clinics that advance the rights of working class people in New York City. Tom was also the managing editor of the CUNY Law Review, a law journal dedicated to promoting social justice scholarship. During law school, he interned as a Peggy Browning Fellow with the Workers Defense Project in Austin, Texas and as an Ella Baker Intern with the Center for Constitutional Rights.
Rebecca is the Outreach Assistant for CMS operations. In this capacity she informs the parishioners of the Brooklyn Diocese about upcoming events and existing programs at CMS. She joined CMS in 2011 as a Mercy Volunteer with the labor and immigration department as well as serving as an interpreter for all three CMS departments. As a Mercy Volunteer she helped develop the Linea Laboral hotline to reach a wider range of people through different outreach events and she helped improve the format of the hotline. Rebecca’s past experience at CMS have enhanced her understanding of the importance of connecting the immigrant community to the different resources which CMS offers. She enjoys reaching out to the community about the work of CMS. Prior to CMS Rebecca attended Gordan College in Massachusetts where she graduated with a B.A. in Spanish. She is enrolled in a certification program for court interpretation at NYU. She hopes one day to be a professional interpreter.
Immigration Counselor, BIA Accredited Representative
Jeanne Sanon is an Immigration Counselor. She assist clients by preparing applications for Adjustment of Status, Naturalization, Green Card, VAWA and DACA, RI Visa extensions. For 3 years prior to working at CMS Jeanne taught civics and adult literacy at the Empowerment Centre for Caribbean Immigrants. Jeanne was exposed to the immigrant experience from a very young age. This exposure fostered a deep sense of responsibility to empower the immigrant community and especially the Haitian community. Her passion for her work is sustained because of her belief that individual achievement is most satisfactory when a community has access to the same opportunities. Jeanne is motivated to reach her highest potential only if her community can achieve theirs as well. Jeanne is fulfilled in her work because she knows that she is leaving an everlasting life changing impact on the people she meets. Jeanne attended CUNY York where she received a B.A in English Literature. Jeanne is fluent in Haitian Creole.
Immigrant Justice Corp Fellow
Amandeep Singh, the youngest child of immigrants from Punjab, India, grew up between California, India and North Carolina. His first exposure to immigrant rights advocacy came as an intern at the Sikh Coalition, campaigning and organizing among the Punjabi community in Queens. Afterwards, he spent several years in the Middle East studying Arabic and researching issues of equality and inclusion at a human rights NGO in Cairo, Egypt. As a law student he took part in representation of detained immigrants in removal proceedings with the Legal Aid Society and Iraqi refugees seeking admission into the US with the International Refugee Assistance Project. Amandeep is a graduate of New York University School of Law, a practitioner of Kundalini Yoga, and proficient in Arabic, Punjabi, Hindi, and Urdu.
Immigrant Justice Corp Fellow
Noelle Yasso is an Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow in the Removal Defense Project. Noelle obtained her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 2016. During law school, Noelle interned at the National Immigrant Justice Center in Chicago, where she represented detained immigrants with criminal convictions and conducted know-your-rights presentations at detention centers throughout the Midwest.
Prior to law school, Noelle worked at Sanctuary for Families in the Bronx, where she helped undocumented survivors of domestic violence and trafficking obtain immigration relief. Later, as a program analyst at the Vera Institute of Justice, she researched ways for police departments to improve their relations with local immigrant communities.
These experiences convinced her to dedicate her career to safeguarding and advancing the rights of people impacted by the criminal and immigration legal systems. Noelle graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in 2010. She speaks French, Spanish, and Arabic.
Erin Fitzgerald is the Operations Coordinator for Catholic Migration Services where she enhances the organization’s policies,programs and practices as a human resource office and accounting officer. Erin is responsible for preparing pay budgets,operational budgets and maintaining employees records. She enhances programs at CMS by planning and coordinating fundraising events for CMS. Erin joined CMS in 2008 because she wanted to be a part of an organization that provides services which enhances the freedom of others. Her work at CMS has been a humbling experience because of the insight she has gained into the experiences of immigrants in New York City.
Executive Assistant to the Associate Vicar for Human Services and
Chief Executive Officer Nancy Pardo joined Catholic Migration Services in March of 2014 as the Executive Assistant to the Associate Vicar for Human Services and Chief Executive Officer of Catholic Migration Services. In this role, she works directly with Rev. Patrick Keating in the day to day operations which are essential for the mission of CMS to assist clients with immigration, housing and workers’ rights legal services. Nancy is a very important part of CMS from staff support to her diverse responsibilities. Prior to coming to CMS, Nancy worked for 13 years at St Bartholomew Parish and as a legal assistant with a Manhattan law firm. Nancy is fluent in Spanish.
Executive Secretary, Office of the Vicar for Migrant and Ethnic Apostolates
Nanette Morales is the Office Assistant at CMS’ Queens location where she ensures day to day operations. She is the crucial point of reference for answering client’s initial questions and scheduling and assigning client appointments. Nanette joined CMS in 2012 where alongside her general administrative tasks she occasionally serves as an interpreter for Spanish speaking clients. In her work Nanette succeeds in creating a positive and welcoming community for both clients and staff to efficiently resolve issues and maintain work flow. Prior to joining CMS Nanette was an Office Assistant at Brooklyn Psychiatric Center where for 17 years she provided organizational support to psychiatrists, therapists and psychiatric patients. She aspires to become an immigration counselor.
Aida Ocasio is the Administrative Assistant at CMS’ Brooklyn location. She is responsible for performing administrative and office support activities which facilitates the advancement of the organizations. She combines her patience and discretion to answer client’s questions, schedule appointments and direct clients to supportive resources and organizations that can enhance their quality of life. Aida joined CMS over 15 years ago and has been a crucial point of reference for clients given her ability to communicate effectively and because she supports clients self-advocacy. Since joining CMS Aida has implemented an organized approach toward coordinating day to day operations. In her time at CMS Aida has been inspired by the positive attitude of staff and clients, and Aida has maintained a helpful and familiar dynamics in the CMS Brooklyn office. Aida is fluent in Spanish.
Ellen Ryan is the development officer for Catholic Migration Services. She is responsible for developing the funding sources needed to keep Catholic Migration Services in operation, as well as reporting to existing funding sources on the work accomplished through their funding.Since joining Catholic Migration Services in late 2012, she has helped our organization’s grant and government portfolio increase. New funders include two city agencies and several foundations. Ellen practiced law for over twenty years and brings an understanding of our organization’s legal services program and operations not common among development officers.She earned a J.D. and M.A. from Columbia University and a B.A. from New York University.Her hobbies include hugging trees, skating (ice and inline), and hiking in the great outdoors. When stuck indoors, her favorite pastimes are reading, cooking and looking for whatever she misplaced last week.