Our Executive Committee is the strategic leadership body of the Collaborative and includes representatives from our community of service providers, advocacy organizations, educators, and funders that support immigrants in the greater Houston region. 

Lubabah Abdullah

Tahirih Justice Center

Lubabah Abdullah, Esq. brings over 20 years of experience at nonprofits, and is committed to consensus-building, rooted in values of transparent decision-making and communication. As a long-time attorney, Ms. Abdullah worked and led many non-profits around the United States. Much of her work has focused on creating a holistic approach to client’s problems. She firmly believes that in helping a family address not just their legal problems, she is able to provide them the tools necessary to heal themselves, their children, their families, and their communities making us all stronger and more resilient.

Francisco (Pancho) Argüelles

Living Hope Wheelchair Association

Pancho Argüelles was born in Mexico City and has lived in the U.S. since 1997. He began working in popular education in 1983 in Chiapas as a rural teacher, later studied Pedagogy and was part of the student movement in UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico). For more than thirty years he has worked on human rights issues in Mexico, Central America, and the United States: supporting Guatemalan refugees in Mexico, co-founding Universidad Campesina in Nicaragua, and with rural cooperatives in Central Mexico. In Houston, he co-founded Fe y Justicia Worker Center, a community organization for low-wage immigrant workers. Pancho served on the board of the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights where he co-authored the popular education curriculum, BRIDGE: Building a Race and Immigration Dialogue on the Global Economy. Currently he serves on the board of the Highlander Research and Education Center and lives in Houston TX where he is on his seventh year serving as the executive director of Living Hope Wheelchair Association, a community-based organization of migrants with spinal cord injuries. Through Colectivo Flatlander first and with PazyPuente LLC now, he provides training and consulting services to social and racial justice organizations across the country. Pancho holds a BA on Education from UNAM and a Masters on Multicultural Education from University of Houston Clear Lake.

Jill Campbell

BakerRipley

Jill Campbell is the Managing Attorney at BakerRipley, where she is responsible for managing the program’s client cases and supervising the program’s DOJ Accredited Representatives. Jill’s immigration work covers naturalization, DACA, humanitarian cases, and family reunification. Jill also supports the Immigration & Citizenship Program’s Naturalization services through the development of materials for and ongoing legal support of NCI’s Immigration Forums and Naturalization Workshops. Jill previously served as a Clinical Supervising Attorney at the University of Houston Law Center Immigration Clinic. Jill graduated from the University of Texas School of Law in 2010.

Dalia Castillo-Granados

ABA’s Children’s Immigration Law Academy (CILA), HILSC Executive Committee Chair

Dalia Castillo-Granados is the Director of the American Bar Associations’s Children’s Immigration Law Academy. She is a 2008 graduate of the University of Houston Law Center. Prior to working at CILA, Dalia was a Senior Attorney at Kids in Need of Defense, a Staff Attorney at Tahirih Justice Center, a Clinical Supervising Attorney at the University of Houston’s Immigration Clinic, and began her public interest career as an Equal Justice Works Fellow with Catholic Charities’ Cabrini Center in Houston. She is currently the Grants Committee Chair of Latino Giving Houston, a giving circle devoted to promoting philanthropy in Houston’s Latino community.

Amanda Cloud

The Simmons Foundation

Amanda Cloud is the President & CEO of The Simmons Foundation. She is responsible for overseeing the Foundation’s four million dollar annual investment in the Houston community in the areas of health, education, advocacy and human services. Amanda is active in the nonprofit sector, serving as a board member for Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees, and on advisory councils for Out in the South, The UH Graduate College of Social Work, Mental Health America’s School Behavioral Health Initiative and the Rice University Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Management. Amanda is a native Houstonian and graduate of The University of Houston and The Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University.

Terry Cody

Cabrini Center for Immigrant Legal Assistance of Catholic Charities

Terry Cody is the Legal Director with Catholic Charities of Galveston-Houston, Cabrini Center for Immigrant Legal Assistance providing legal services for Crime Victims, Family Immigration, Unaccompanied Children, General Immigration – Citizenship, DACA and “Charla” community outreach education and evaluation, and through pro bono attorneys. Terry has practiced immigration law since 1999 and is Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law. She currently serves on the SIRE Therapeutic Horsemanship Board and has served as Chair of the American Immigration Lawyers (AILA) Texas Chapter for Texas New Mexico and Oklahoma and Board Member for the U.S. Mexico Bar Association.

Paola Copeland

Memorial Assistance Ministries (MAM)

Paola A. Copeland is the Managing Attorney for the Immigration Legal Services Program at Memorial Assistance Ministries (MAM). MAM is a non-profit whose mission is to assure that families have the means to meet their basic needs. The immigration program handles many types of immigration relief including citizenship, family-based petition cases, adjustment of status applications and humanitarian-based relief. Paola has been licensed for ten years and prior to working in immigration she worked for the Attorney General’s Office in the child support division and at Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse (AVDA) helping to get protective orders for survivors of domestic violence.

Jade Flores

LaUnidad11

Jade Flores was born in Monterrey Mexico and raised Houston, Texas. She is a mother of two and a volunteer organizer at LaUnidad11, a group of migrant families supporting each other in immigration matters and more. Jade is also a co-director of West Street Recovery, where she works many migrant families who are still trying to recover from Hurricane Harvey, which made vulnerable people even more vulnerable. Jade’s personal experience with family and community members facing deportation, as well as her work with LaUnidad11 and West Street Recovery are a constant reminder of how isolated her community is. This keeps her motivated to continue to walk alongside her community and to fight against the cruel immigration system and other institutions that divide and oppress communities. Jade is proud, lucky, and happy to be able to work with her community.

Meghna Goswami

Houston Endowment

Meghna Goswami is a Program Officer at the Houston Endowment, where she oversees the foundation’s work on domestic violence, homelessness and immigration, among other emerging issue areas. Meghna has extensive experience in working with cross-sectoral collaboratives to address complex social problems. Prior to joining the Houston Endowment in 2010, Meghna worked at Daya, an organization addressing gender based violence in the South Asian community in Houston. Her previous experience includes international development work specifically in the areas of social justice and gender equity. Meghna has an undergraduate degree in economics from Delhi University, India and a graduate degree in social work from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in India; she is a licensed social worker in the state of Texas.

Aimee Maldonado

South Texas College of Law Houston

Aimee Maldonado is a Public Interest Attorney and Adjunct Faculty with the Randall O. Sorrels Legal Clinics at South Texas College of Law Houston where she teaches and supervises students in the Immigration Clinic since 2015. Before returning to work at her Alma Matter, she was the Supervising Attorney of the Unaccompanied Minors Program 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. 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. Ms. Maldonado also serves as faculty for Advocacy in Immigration Matters trainings presented by the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. and the National Institute of Trial Advocacy as well as serves on the Advisory Board of the Children’s Immigration Law Academy.

Pamela Nickell

Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights

Pamela Nickell is a Staff Attorney in the Young Center’s Houston office. Pam has worked in the Houston office since 2016. Since then, she has served directly as Child Advocate and supervised volunteer Child Advocates on more than 70 cases. Pam has assisted child survivors of human trafficking, children with complex medical needs, youth who are pregnant or parenting, children who are at risk of aging out into adult detention, and other particularly vulnerable children. Outside of her work with the Young Center, Pam has volunteered as a mentor through the Texas Law Mentoring Program. Pam received her J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law. She graduated summa cum laude from Southern Methodist University with her B.A. in Spanish and International Studies.

Ola Osaze

Black LGBTQ+ Migrant Project (BLMP)

Ola Osifo Osaze is a trans masculine queer of Edo and Yoruba descent, who was born in Port Harcourt, Rivers State and now resides in Houston, Texas. Ola is the Project Director for the Black LGBTQ+ Migrant Project and has been a community organizer for many years, including working with Transgender Law Center, the Audre Lorde Project, Uhuru Wazobia (one of the first LGBT groups for African immigrants in the US), Queers for Economic Justice and Sylvia Rivera Law Project. Ola is a 2015 Voices of Our Nation Arts workshop (VONA) fellow, and has writings published in Apogee, Qzine, Black Girl Dangerous, Black Looks, and the anthologies Queer African Reader and Queer Africa II.

Laura Perez-Boston

Workers Defense Project

Laura is the Organizing Director for Workers Defense Project (WDP). WDP is a statewide membership-based organization that empowers low-income workers to achieve fair employment through education, direct services, organizing and strategic partnerships. Laura is deeply committed to movement-building and brings 14 years experience building people power, economic power and political power with immigrants and communities of color in Houston. Prior to WDP, Laura led a successful economic justice campaign at the Texas Organizing Project targeting corporate tax breaks, and served as the Executive Director of Fe y Justicia Worker Center where she built a strong membership base and coalition which won the City of Houston’s Wage Theft Ordinance. Laura is originally from the Philadelphia area and received her B.A. in Political Science and Spanish from Davidson College in North Carolina.

Carolina Rodriguez-Neufeld

Kids In Need of Defense (KIND)

Carolina Rodriguez-Neufeld is Senior Attorney with the Kids In Need of Defense (KIND) Houston office where she is one of the senior attorneys in the released program. KIND is a non-profit organization that provides legal representation through direct representation and pro bono mentoring to unaccompanied children who are released and detained in Houston. Prior to joining KIND in 2015, Carolina represented both detained and released unaccompanied children as a Staff Attorney at Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Carolina was also previously in private practice in San Francisco, California where she represented adult clients in front of the San Francisco Immigration Court and USCIS. She received her J.D. from Creighton University School of law and her B.A. from Baylor University.

Gislaine Williams

The Alliance

Gislaine Williams serves as the Community Relations Director for The Alliance, a nonprofit organization empowering refugees, immigrants, and underserved communities in Houston. Prior to joining The Alliance, she worked as the Texas Grassroots Organizer for Refugee Council USA, leading refugee advocacy campaigns throughout Texas. She has also worked with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Immigrants’ Rights Project and ACLU of Texas. Gislaine is a social worker with experience in program management, providing social services to refugee and immigrant communities, and in community organizing related to immigrant and refugee rights. She serves on the Board of Directors of Grassroots Leadership, a nationwide advocacy organization dedicated to ending for-profit incarceration and reducing the reliance on criminalization and detention. Gislaine holds a Masters of Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. in History from Rice University.