OUR BOARD 

  The Founding Board of the OCJF is comprised of bar association leaders, immigration law professors, and grassroots community leaders. 

Carlos Perea

President

 

Carlos Perea is a public policy consultant, strategic thinker and immigration advocate with 10 years of experience working in immigration policy change, advocacy campaigns, coalition building and community organizing. Carlos has worked on landmark policy advocacy and campaign organizing efforts along with community and system stakeholders to address immigration enforcement, deportations and due process for immigrants. Some of these policies include Santa Ana Sanctuary Ordinance and Santa Ana Universal Representation Program.

Norma Garcia Guillen

Norma Garcia Guillen

Vice-President

 

Ms. Garcia is a business litigation attorney and founding partner at Garcia Rainey Blank & Bowerbank LLP.  Ms. Garcia has been practicing law for 15 years and has remained active in her community.  Ms. Garcia proudly served as president of the Hispanic Bar Association of Orange County in 2008, as Chair of KidWorks between 2013 and 2015, and a member of the UCI Law School’s Dean Executive Committee.  She currently serves on the board of the Alzheimer’s Family Center in addition to Orange County Justice Fund. Ms. Garcia earned her J.D. from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law and her B.A. in Government and Latin American Studies from Smith College.

Lisa Ramirez

Lisa D. Ramirez

Co-Treasurer

 

Lisa is a California State Bar Immigration and Nationality Law Specialist and notably one of the first women and the first Spanish speaking specialist in Orange County. Her practice focuses on Department of Homeland Security I-9 investigations and audits, establishing compliance programs for companies, and obtaining various visas for professional athletes, artists, scientists, and religious workers. Additionally, she supports family-based immigration through petitions and waivers, naturalization, and removal (deportation) defense in Federal Immigration Court.

Before co-founding U.S. Immigration Law Group, LLP, Lisa established a solo practice representing individuals through all aspects of the immigration process. She began her legal career serving as the Director of Legal Services and Advocacy for Catholic Charities of Orange County, and served at the Public Law Center, where she developed the legal immigration services program.

Lisa is most proud of her pro bono work on behalf of the poorest and most vulnerable immigrants, including asylum seekers, trafficking victims, and battered women and children. She is a past president of the Hispanic Bar Association of Orange County and serves on the Hispanic Advisory Commission for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

Deisy Kim

Co-Treasurer

 

Deisy is a therapist working towards obtaining her license as an LPCC (Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor). She obtained her MA in Counseling in 2019 from Chapman University and is currently working at a community mental health clinic providing therapy to residents in Orange County. She obtained her BS at CSULB where as an undocumented student, she helped establish the first undocumented support group on campus. Deisy continued her work within the immigrant community as a grassroots organizer in California. In 2012, she helped design and coordinate one of the first Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) legal clinics in the country. Deisy went on to work at a nonprofit legal organization where she provided assistance to survivors of crime and abuse, with particular attention to survivors of domestic violence. Deisy then relocated to the state of Nevada where she served as the Outreach Coordinator for the legislative department at the ACLU.

Tim Burns

Tim Burns

Secretary

 

Tim Burns is a volunteer, local activist, and community advocate for universal representation for immigrants facing deportation. As a volunteer with Friends of Orange County Detainees he has worked with numerous detainees in Orange County, attends immigration hearings, and works with local attorneys, activists, and nonprofits in trying to find representation for detained immigrants and asylum seekers.

jennifer koh

Jennifer Lee Koh

Immediate Past President

 

Jennifer Koh is a law professor whose research focuses on the federal deportation system and an immigrants’ rights attorney who has represented individuals in a variety of matters.  Her legal scholarship has been (or will be) published by a range of law journals, including the Yale Law Journal, Stanford Law Review Online, Southern California Law Review, and Washington University Law Review, and has been cited by the United States Supreme Court and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  She is currently a visiting faculty member at the University of Washington School of Law (where she is directing the Immigration Clinic) and a Visiting Professor of Law at UC Irvine School of Law.  She is also an Associate Director of Teaching Collaboration for Border Criminologies (an international network of researchers, practitioners and those who have experienced border control based at the University of Oxford), a member of the Board of Editors for the Clinical Law Review (a law journal devoted to lawyering theory and clinical legal education) and on the Board of Directors for the Public Law Center.  She received her JD from Columbia Law School and BA from Yale University.

Stephanie Barrera

Board Member/Bond Fund Committee Chair

 

As the daughter of immigrants, Stephanie’s passion for immigration law began at an early age. Stephanie’s zeal continued to grow while working in a disability rights firm, where she observed countless people unable to effectively fight for their rights, especially those that did not have status in the U.S. She had the fortune of working at Western State College of Law’s Immigration Clinic as a certified law clerk, where Stephanie was able to utilize a client-centered approach to legal counseling for individuals experiencing severe trauma.  She successfully represented an asylum seeker before the immigration court and was part of a team of students representing a client before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. She also worked as the Deportation Defense Field Coordinator for Orange County Justice Fund, where she served as a point of contact for detained individuals facing deportation. She graduated cum laude, and went on to pass the bar exam and join CARECEN as a staff attorney.

Outside of the office, Stephanie enjoys hikes with friends and family, devouring pizza, and watching reruns of The Office.

faby jacome

Faby Jacome

Founding Board Member/Universal Representation Committee Co-Chair

 

Faby Jacome is a Litigation Paralegal 

Karina Gutierrez

Board Member/ Universal Representation Committee Co-Chair

 

Karina Gutierrez is an immigration attorney running her own firm to advance the legal needs of immigrants vulnerable to deportation proceedings. Prior to opening her own firm, she was the first full-time immigration attorney for the University of California Immigrant Legal Services Center. Ms Gutierrez also served as a staff and interim-lead attorney for Public Law Center’s Immigration unit where she handled a wide-range of immigration petitions and provided technical assistance to pro bono attorneys. Ms Gutierrez has served as a guest speaker for social justice symposiums, and an inspirational guest speaker at various high schools, community colleges, and universities. Ms. Gutierrez is also a past board member of the Orange County Hispanic Bar Association. She received her J.D. from Golden Gate University School of Law, and completed her undergraduate studies at California State University, Fullerton where she double majored in Psychology and Political Science.

Felicity Figueroa

Board Member/ Advocacy Committee Chair

 

Felicity Figueroa is a community advocate, activist and organizer working to promote human and civil rights. She is a founding board member and current co-chair of the Orange County Equality Coalition
(OCEC), an organization that came into being after the passage of Prop 8 and is dedicated to protecting the rights of OC’s LGBTQI community with a special focus on trans rights and on the rights of gay and gender-nonconforming school children in the county. Felicity also serves on the board of Women For: Orange County, where she chairs the Great American Write-In, an annual event that brings together non-profit/progressive organizations and the general public to write letters to legislators and corporate heads on pressing social issues.


Felicity lived in Mexico City for twelve years, so immigrant rights are a major area of concern for her. She has worked with the Friends of OC Detainees since 2012, supporting immigrants and asylum seekers in confinement in Orange County, and has also volunteered with the Haitian Bridge Alliance, Freedom for Immigrants and the OC Rapid Response Network. She is the Ministries Board chair of her church, Irvine United Congregational, and is very involved with interfaith work as a board member of the Newport Mesa Irvine Interfaith Council; she is also an active member of CLUE-OC (Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice). She is VP of Membership for the OC chapter of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, the PR co-chair for the OC NAACP and the current chair of the 2020 OC AIDS Walk. She also loves dancing, Zumba class and getting her hands dirty in the garden.

Sameer Ashar

Sameer Ashar

Founding Board Member

 

Sameer Ashar is Vice Dean for Experiential Education and Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law. He was previously Clinical Professor of Law at UC Irvine School of Law and co-director of the UC Irvine Immigrant Rights Clinic. He served as Associate Dean for Clinical Programs at City University of New York School of Law.

Ashar focuses both his clinical practice and scholarship on the relationship of law to racial and economic subordination. He has defended individuals before the Executive Office for Immigration Review, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second and Fifth Circuits. He has represented immigrant workers in litigation against exploitative employers in state and federal court, as well as before the National Labor Relations Board, Equal Employment Opportunities Commission, and California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.

Ashar has worked on policy advocacy and community education projects with numerous immigrant organizations including the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, UNITE HERE Local 11, Warehouse Workers Resource Center, Orange County Immigrant Youth United, Resilience OC, Colectivo Tonantzin, Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York, Domestic Workers United, Andolan Organizing South Asian Workers, New York Taxi Workers Alliance, Families for Freedom, and the Workplace Project. He is a member of the boards of the Orange County Justice Fund and Chispa.

Ashar’s publications have appeared most recently in UCLA Law Review and California Law Review. He has served on the board of editors of Clinical Law Review and on the boards of trustees of the Clinical Legal Education Association and Swarthmore College.

Ashar earned his B.A. with high honors in political science from Swarthmore College, and his J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law school where he was Lead Articles Editor for the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review and co-chair of the Coalition for Civil Rights.

Eric Dominguez

Eric Dominguez

Founding Board Member

 

Mr. Dominguez is a partner at David Hirson & Partners, LLP, where his team focuses on immigrant and non-immigrant visas for families, small, mid-size, and large multi-national clients in industries including entertainment, fashion, real estate, and technology. Prior to joining David Hirson & Partners, Eric gained considerable experience with employment and family-based immigration matters with a large business immigration firm. In addition to his practice, Eric has served as President of the Orange County Hispanic Bar Association, Chair of the Orange County Bar Association’s Immigration Section; and as a Congressional Liaison for the Southern California chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Annie Lai

Annie Lai

Board Member

 

Annie Lai is a Clinical Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Immigrant Rights Clinic at the University of California, Irvine School of Law. The Immigrant Rights Clinic specializes in providing direct representation to immigrants on matters ranging from detention and deportation defense to workplace exploitation and protection of civil and constitutional rights of immigrants. The clinic also provides legal support to grassroots organizations working on critical issues affecting low-income immigrants in the region. Prior to joining the faculty at UCI, Professor Lai served as a Clinical Teaching Fellow and Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School and practiced as a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Arizona and the Urban Justice Center Community Development Project in New York. Professor Lai received her JD from the NYU Law and her BA from Duke University.

Sabrina Rivera

Sabrina Rivera

Board Member

 

Sabrina Rivera is the incoming supervising attorney at the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) for the California State University (CSU) Project that provides immigration legal services to the CSU’s in Southern California. For the past five years, Ms. Rivera served as the staff attorney at Western State College of Law’s (WSCL) Immigration Clinic in Irvine where she directly represented clients in a range of matters, including deportation defense, humanitarian visas for survivors of violence, citizenship and asylum. She also supervised and mentored law students enrolled in the Immigration Clinic on cases and community-based education initiatives throughout Orange County. Ms. Rivera also served as adjunct faculty at WSCL, where she taught a lawyering skills class for the past four years. Ms. Rivera currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Orange County Hispanic Bar Association, Orange County Justice Fund and the Sanctuary Policy Advisory Group for the City of Santa Ana. She is the former chair of the Orange County Bar Association’s Immigration Section. She received her JD from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, and her BA in Chicana/o Studies and Political Science from California State University, Dominguez Hills.

Erik Garcia

Board Member

 

Erik Garcia is a community organizer. He is currently a Policy Advocate and Organizer with ACLU SoCal combatting detentions and deportations in Orange County, and has been a part of the migrant justice movement combatting detentions and deportations for 6 years.

As Policy Advocate and Organizer for ACLU SoCal,  Erik works with diverse communities within Orange County and Statewide to build coalitions to advocate for policy changes and expand the local infrastructure to respond to detentions and deportations. He currently serves on Santa Ana’s Sanctuary City Advisory Board, which advises city agencies, including the police department, on how they should comply with the Sanctuary City Ordinance. Erik has been instrumental in the development of the Orange County Rapid Response Network and continues to work as a close partner to help community members to organize around their individual circumstances.

Prior to joining ACLU So Cal, Erik organized at the grassroots-level in Santa Ana, a city which has always expanded the understanding of what is possible when we organize. The connections he has built with some of the most resilient and creative people this movement has to offer inspire him to continue to do what he can to build this movement and to contribute to our collective liberation.

Peggy Thompson

Peggy Thompson

Board Member

 

Margaret A. (“Peggy”) Thompson proudly serves as Chair of the Leadership Team at Friends of Orange County Detainees.  Founded in 2012, FOCD volunteers have made well over 9,000 individual visits to men and women being detained by ICE and held in Orange County jail facilities.  Since 2015, FOCD has also provided post release transition services, picking up over 300 asylum seekers at point of release and providing food, clothing, cell phones, temporary housing and assistance with transportation arrangements to safely reach family, sponsor, or another safe place.  Ms Thompson has also worked closely with volunteers, legal clinics and pro bono law firms to connect detainees with available legal resources.  Ms. Thompson was honored in 2016 by the LGBT Center OC for her support of the Latina transgender community and in 2017 at the Women For: Orange County annual luncheon.   She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California at Berkeley.

Don Daucher

Don Daucher

Board Member

 

Don is a retired attorney and law professor.  He was a civil litigation attorney for 36 years with the Paul Hastings firm and was managing partner of that firm for 7 1/2 years.  When he retired from Paul Hastings in 2007 he became a full time professor of law for 8 1/2 years.  For the last few of those years he held the faculty conferred title Distinguished Professor of the Legal Profession.  Since his retirement as a law professor he has remained active teaching CLE courses at the Public Law Center in Santa Ana where he holds the title of Senior Counselor.

During his time with Paul Hastings Don served as chair of its litigation department and on various law related boards, including the Los Angeles County Bar Foundation (where he served a term as President) and the predecessor to what is now known as the Public Law Center.

Don holds a B.S. degree from the University of Rochester and a J.D, degree from Duke University where he was an elected editor of the Duke Law Journal and Order of the Coif.  Don has been married 51 years to Lynn, a former California Assemblywoman.  They have four children and 11 grandchildren who they would like to see grow up in a country known for its fairness and compassion.

Henoc Preciado

Board Member

 

Henoc Preciado’s work has served the needs of undocumented students and supported university campuses in creating experiences, programs, and services that were responsive to their needs. He served as the inaugural Coordinator of the first Dreamers Resource Center in the California State University system (the second center of its kind in the nation), and then as the inaugural Director of the first endowed center at a sibling campus. As a scholar-practitioner, Henoc is active in publishing and presenting work related to the undocumented student experience. Henoc received his Master of Science degree in Higher Postsecondary Education from Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York, and his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from California State University, Fullerton.