Staff Biographies

Angela Bouliakis, Esq.

Angela Bouliakis, Esq. is a member of the Children's Legal Program team. Ms. Bouliakis represents unaccompanied immigrant children living in the community or in immigration shelters, before the Immigration Court and the Department of Homeland Security.  She received her law degree at American University Washington College of Law where she was President of the Latino/a Law Students Association.  Ms. Bouliakis was also a Student Attorney in the Immigrant Justice Clinic, where she co-authored a report on abuses experienced by H-2B workers (temporary workers) in the fair and carnival industry and successfully obtained asylum for a client on the basis of sexual orientation while overcoming the one-year bar to asylum.  

Ms. Bouliakis served as a guardian ad litem and interned for The Honorable Scott J. Silverman in the Family Division of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida. She received a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations with a minor in Communication Studies from the University of Florida.  She was born and raised in Miami to a Mexican mother and a Greek father.

Cassandra Capote, Esq.

Cassandra Capote, Esq. is a member of the Children’s Legal Program team. Ms. Capote represents unaccompanied immigrant children living in the community or in immigration shelters, before the Immigration Court and the Department of Homeland Security. Prior to joining Childrens' Legal Program worked as a Certified Legal Intern with the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s office in the misdemeanor domestic violence division, interned with the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s office in the Child Abuse & Sexual Battery Unit, and interned with AI Justice in the LUCHA: Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking program.

Ms. Capote received her law degree at the University of North Carolina School of Law where she was Vice President of the Hispanic/Latino Law Student Association. While in North Carolina Ms. Capote was a Research Assistant working on projects related to immigration and separation of powers. She received a Bachelor of Business Administration in International Business from Florida International University. She was born and raised in Miami to Cuban parents. 

Andrea Crumrine, Esq.

Andrea Crumrine, Esq. is The Holly Skolnick Greenberg Traurig Fellow and a member of the Detention Program team. Andrea advocates for detained asylum-seekers held in ICE custody at the Broward Transitional Center in Pompano Beach, Florida. At BTC, Andrea conducts weekly Know Your Rights presentations and individual intakes for direct representation to prepare detainees for removal proceedings before the immigration court and credible fear interviews with the USCIS Asylum Office. Andrea’s work on the ground at BTC will inform the national Detention Watch Network and other advocacy organizations as to trends and conditions in immigration detention. Andrea is sponsored by the Holly Skolnick Greenberg Traurig Fellowship and Equal Justice Works. 

Andrea graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School in May of 2016. Andrea was a Student Director and Student Attorney with the Federal Immigration Litigation Clinic at the Center for New Americans. Andrea also was a Minnesota Justice Foundation Pro Bono Law Clerk at Maslon LLP, an Outside Articles Editor for the Journal of Law and Inequality: A Journal of Theory and Practice, Judicial Law Clerk for Judge M. Jacqueline Regis for the Fourth Judicial District of Minnesota, Civil Division Law Clerk for the City of Minneapolis Attorney’s Office, Committee Member of Minnesota Women Lawyers, Research Assistant to Professor June Carbone of the University of Minnesota Law School, Board Member for the University of Minnesota Law School Women’s Law Student Association and Member of the Minnesota Justice Foundation. Andrea is originally from Eden Prairie, Minnesota. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota with honors and double majored in political science and Spanish studies. Andrea speaks Spanish fluently. She studied abroad in Cotacachi and Quito, Ecuador during undergrad where she assisted indigenous women with microfinance planning and advocacy. 

Thais De La Cuba, Esq.

Thais De La Cuba, Esq. is a member of the Children's Legal Program. Ms. De La Cuba represents unaccompanied immigrant children living in the community or in immigration shelters, before the Immigration Court and the Department of Homeland Security. 

Ms. De La Cuba received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Miami School of Law, where she was Secretary of the Hispanic Law Students Association. While at the University of Miami, Ms. De La Cuba received numerous awards including the University of Miami HOPE Pro Bono Challenge Outstanding 2L Award as well as the Dean's Certificate of Achievement in Civil Procedure. While in law school, Ms. De La Cuba worked as a legal intern for the Detention and Law Enforcement Program at AI Justice, the Honorable R. Fred Lewis at the Florida Supreme Court, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and was a Student Intern and Student Fellow at the University of Miami Investor Rights Clinic. Prior to joining AI Justice, Ms. De La Cuba worked as a private immigration attorney in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Ms. De La Cuba received her undergraduate degree in Political Science and International Affairs from Florida State University. She was born in Lima, Peru and raised in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Alexandra De Leon, Esq.

Alexandra De Leon is a Staff Attorney for the Detention Program. Prior to joining AI Justice, Alexandra was a Robina Public Interest Scholar Fellow with Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid’s Immigration Law Project. There, she represented clients on a variety of immigration cases and provided Know Your Rights advocacy.

Alexandra received her J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School. During law school, she was a Student Attorney for the Center for American’s Immigration & Human Rights Clinic, the Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Service’s Family Law Unit, and the St. Paul City Attorney’s Office – Criminal Division. Prior to law school, Alexandra received her B.A. from Columbia University and worked as a paralegal for Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen and Loewy, LLP.

Maite Garcia, Esq. 

Maite Garcia, Esq. is a member of the Children's Legal Program team.  Ms. Garcia represents unaccompanied immigrant children living in the community or in immigration shelters, before the Immigration Court and the Department of Homeland Security.  

Prior to joining AI Justice, Ms. Garcia worked as private criminal defense counsel handling matters in State and Federal Court. She received her law degree from Florida Coastal School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Affairs from Florida State University. She was born in Miami, FL. to a Cuban-American mother and a Venezuelan Father and was raised in Chicago, IL. She is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese. 

Tatiana Hernandez, Law Graduate

Tatiana Hernandez is a member of the Lucha team.  She received her law degree from American University Washington College of Law, where she was on the board of the Latino Law Student Association, Women's Law Association, and Immigrant Rights Coalition.  

Ms. Hernandez is dedicated to being an immigrants rights advocate.  Prior to joing AI Justice, Ms. Hernandez interned at the Central American Resource Center, helping victims of violence apply for humanitarian relief.  She then worked as a student attorney for American University Washington College of Law's Domestic Violence Clinic. After graduating from American University, she participated in a year long post-graduate fellowship working at Ayuda, an immigration legal services organization, where she practiced general immigration, with a focus on helping victims of violence and unaccompanied minors gain legal status. Ms. Hernandez received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Affairs with a concentration in Spanish and minor in religion from Florida State University. She was born in Miami, FL and raised in Orlando, FL to a Colombian mother and Cuban father. 

Megan Humphreys, Esq. 

Megan Humphreys is a Staff Attorney for the Family Defense Program. Ms. Humphreys earned her J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School. During law school, she worked as a clinical law school student in the Immigrant Justice Clinic representing clients in affirmative and defensive proceedings, volunteered at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas for a week, and interned for a summer at the Department of State in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. She received a Public Interest Law Fellowship and a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship. Ms. Humphreys also earned a Master of International Public Affairs from the La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin. 

Before law school, Ms. Humphreys served for two years as a Community Economic Development Volunteer in Peace Corps Costa Rica. She earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. Ms. Humphreys was born and raised in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Lisa Lehner, Esq.

Lisa Lehner is Senior Litigation Attorney at AI Justice, where she focuses on litigation of immigrants’ rights.  Ms. Lehner served as Legal Advisor to Dade County State Attorneys Janet Reno and Katherine Fernandez Rundle from 1989-1995, advising the State Attorney on various issues including the constitutionality of state statutes.  She also participated in numerous jury trials, including capital cases, assisting the trial lawyers with jury selection, motions, jury instructions and other legal matters. Ms. Lehner is a Martindale Hubbell Preeminent Attorney in appellate practice and has extensive experience in appeals in State and Federal courts.  She has taught appellate advocacy as an Adjunct Professor at St. Thomas University School of Law. Ms. Lehner has served as Director of several voluntary bar associations, including the Dade County Bar Association, where she served on the Executive Committee and the Florida Association for Women Lawyers, where she was the Chair of the Political Action Committee and Chair of the Community Outreach Committee.  She has also served on several Florida Bar Committees, including the Standing Committee on Professionalism.  Mrs. Lehner was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1983. She is also admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida (1985), the Eleventh Circuit United States Court of Appeals (1984) and the United States Supreme Court (2000).  Ms. Lehner earned a B.A. in History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she graduated with honors, and a J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law, where she was on the Dean’s List.  Ms. Lehner has received Florida Trend’s Legal Elite Award in 2009 and 2015.

Cheryl Little, Esq. 

Cheryl Little has been a tireless advocate for immigrant rights for about three decades and has established herself as one of this country’s leading experts in the immigration field. Cheryl’s extensive involvement in immigration dates from 1985 when, upon her graduation from law school with honors, she began working at the Haitian Refugee Center. In January 1996, she co-founded the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, Inc. (FIAC), now Americans for Immigrant Justice (AI Justice), and serves as its Executive Director. She has received numerous honors and awards for her work, including the 2008 Morris Dees Justice Award as well as the 2012 Legal Legend award from HistoryMiami and the 11th Judicial Circuit Historical Society. Poder Magazine named her one of the Miami's 100 Most Influential People in 2011 and in 2014 she was named one of the "Top 20 Women Lawyers in South Florida" by the Daily Business Review. In 1995 she was named "Person of the Week" by ABC News. Ms. Little has authored many publications in the area of immigration, including law review articles and reports. She has testified many times before Congress and appears regularly on television. Her appearances include 60 Minutes, Nightline, PBS’s News Hour, Frontline, The Oprah Winfrey Show and CNN. 

Allison Norris, Esq.

Allison M. Norris, Esq. is a member of the Children's Legal Program team. Ms. Norris represents unaccompanied immigrant children living in the community or in immigration shelters, before the Immigration Court and the Department of Homeland Security.

She earned her Juris Doctor degree at the University of Miami School of Law where she was Vice President of the UM chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers and a Clinical Fellow in the Investor Rights Clinic, where she represented under-served investors in securities arbitration claims against their brokers.

Prior to coming to AI Justice, Ms. Norris served as a clerk for the Honorable Judge Ellen Sue Venzer in the Circuit Criminal Division of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida. She was also an Honors Legal Intern at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. As an attorney, Ms. Norris practiced civil litigation in the areas of medical malpractice and commercial litigation.

Ms. Norris received her undergraduate degree in International Studies and Spanish from the University of Miami. She also studied as an exchange student at Universidad Torcuato di Tella in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She speaks Spanish fluently and is licensed to practice law in Florida and before the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Michelle Ortiz, Esq. 

Michelle Ortiz is AI Justice's Deputy Director and the Program Director for the Lucha: Domestic Violence & Human Trafficking Program. The Lucha: Domestic Violence & Human Trafficking team represents survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking.  Ms. Ortiz has presented at numerous conferences and provided  trainings on immigration relief available to survivors of violent crime and human trafficking.  She represents AI Justice as a member of The Freedom Network, an internationally recognized organization devoted to issues of human trafficking.  

Prior to joining AI Justice, Ms. Ortiz worked at Gulfcoast Legal Services in St. Petersburg, Florida where she represented low-income immigrants, specializing in assisting survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking. She received her Juris Doctor from Stetson University. She was granted two judicial internships with U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Kovachevich of the Middle District of Florida and received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Barry University. The daughter of Cuban immigrants, Michelle was born and raised in Miami.

Carson Osberg, Esq.

Carson Osberg is a member of AI Justice's Lucha: Domestic Violence & Human Trafficking team.  A Public Interest/Public Service Scholar at the American University's Washington College of Law, she focused on immigration law and workers' rights, participating in the Immigrant Justice Clinic.  Ms. Osberg also spearheaded the WCL Equal Justice Foundation and co-chaired the Immigrants' Rights Coalition.

Prior to law school, Ms. Osberg worked for the International Organization for Migration, managing a family reunification program providing assistance for human trafficking survivors opting to remain in the U.S.  She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University.  She speaks Spanish and has lived in Spain, Mexico, and Ecuador.

Jennie Santos-Bourne, Esq. 

Prior to joining AI Justice, Jennie Santos-Bourne was Litigation Senior Counsel at Warner Norcross & Judd LLP in Southfield, Michigan where she worked for nearly seven years.  She has extensive advocacy experience in both state and federal court and complex litigation matters.  In 2014 she was recognized as a Rising Star by Florida Super Lawyers Magazine.  Before entering private practice, Santos-Bourne served as a federal judicial clerk in the Department of Justice's Executive Office for Immigration Review at the Chicago Immigration Court, where she dealt exclusively with immigration issues.  She has a public interest background as a law clerk for the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) in Washington, D.C., and Justice, an international human rights organization in London, England.  Additionally, she worked as a student attorney for both the Legal Assistance Bureau in Waltham, Mass. and the Boston College Immigration and Asylum Project.

She holds a dual bachelor's degree summa cum laude in Sociology and Latin American Studies from Spelman College in Atlanta, where she was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society and Sigma Delta Pi Spanish Honor Society. She also holds a Master's Degree magna cum laude in International Relations and Intercultural Communications from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.  As part of her graduate program she studied and worked in Chile, Argentina and Uruguay and in projects related to democratization efforts, public policy and advocacy.  She holds a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Boston College Law School, where she focused her studies on immigration and international law and served as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for a practical ethics and professional responsibility course entitled Lawyering and Professional Responsibility.  Santos-Bourne was an Equal Justice America Fellow (2003 and 2004), and a recipient of a Public Interest Law Foundation Grant, Champy Public Interest Fellowship Scholarship and the 2005 Clinical Student Achievement Award at Boston College Law School.  And before attending law school, Santos-Bourne was a paralegal with the nascent Children’s Project at the then Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center.

Jessica Shulruff Schneider, Esq.

Jessica Shulruff Schneider is the Program Director for the Detention and Asylum, Residency and Citizenship programs.  Ms. Shulruff speaks at conferences regarding immigration laws and procedures, and provides training and technical assistance to other attorneys. Before working at AI Justice, Jessica worked at Catholic Charities Legal Services of Miami where she provided representation to low-income immigrants and helped spearhead the Legal Orientation Program for Custodians of Unaccompanied Alien Children (LOPC) in South Florida.

The daughter of Cuban immigrants, Ms. Shulruff received a Juris Doctor and Masters of Art in Cultural Anthropology from Duke University. While there, she completed an externship at the Battered Immigrant Project and an internship with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Peru, where she worked with indigenous children in the Peruvian Amazon basin. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Florida.

Adonia R. Simpson, Esq.

Adonia R. Simpson is the Director of the Family Defense Program at AI Justice. Ms. Simpson has substantial experience in both private practice and legal services.  Ms. Simpson started her legal career as the Fellow for the Center for Law and Social Responsibility providing representation on Special Immigrant Juvenile cases at Greater Boston Legal Services.  During her Fellowship, she also participated in a trial observation in Colombia with the support of Rights and Democracy and Lawyers without Borders of Canada. Following her fellowship, she worked in private practice providing representation on defensive immigration and criminal matters.  Before AI Justice, Ms. Simpson was the Managing Attorney at Catholic Charities of Baltimore’s Immigration Legal Services at the Esperanza Center.  Ms. Simpson has frequently lectured, written and been interviewed on immigration topics. She is licensed in Massachusetts and the United States Supreme Court.

Ms. Simpson grew up overseas and is a graduate of New England Law | Boston and the University of Kansas. 

Jennifer Anzardo Valdes, Esq.

Jennifer Anzardo Valdes is the Program Director for the Children’s Legal Program at AI Justice. The Children’s Legal Program represents unaccompanied immigrant children, living in the community, the state foster care system and immigration shelters, before the Department of Homeland Security.  Before AI Justice, Mrs. Anzardo Valdes worked at Sanctuary for Families' Immigration Intervention Project in New York City. Her work focused on the immigration legal needs of survivors of domestic and other forms of gender violence as well as representing immigrant youth in Family and Immigration Courts.  Mrs. Anzardo Valdes has trained and written on legal matters related to immigrant families, with particular emphasis on immigrant youth and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status.  She published articles for Practising Law Institute (PLI) and the National Association of Counsel for Children (NACC) Children's Law Manual, regarding immigrant youth and families facing domestic violence. She also conducted several trainings and presented at conferences on immigration relief available to immigrant youth and survivors of domestic violence.  

Ms. Anzardo Valdes is the daughter of Cuban immigrants and raised in Miami. She is a graduate of New York Law School and the University of Florida. 

 

 

MAIN OFFICE
3000 Biscayne Blvd, Suite 400
Miami, FL 33137
T 305-573-1106
F 305-576-6273
E-Mail: info@aijustice.org

WASHINGTON D.C. OFFICE
10 G Street NE.
Suite 710
Washington, DC 20002
T 202-248-5080

About Us:

AI Justice is an award-winning non-profit law and advocacy firm that protects and promotes the basic human rights of immigrants. In Florida and on a national level, we champion the rights of unaccompanied immigrant children; advocate for survivors of trafficking and domestic violence; serve as a watchdog on immigration detention practices and policies; and speak for immigrant groups who have particular and compelling claims to justice.