Staff Attorney, Immigration Practice
Michelle joined the Brooklyn Defender Services (BDS) as a Staff Attorney with the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP) in August of 2017. She is admitted to practice in Texas and Washington, D.C.
Prior to joining BDS, Michelle worked as a Refugee Officer with USCIS for two years. During this time she interviewed refugees in Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Iraq. She also conducted protection screening interviews at sea on U.S. Coast Guard cutters and she conducted credible and reasonable fear interviews with detained immigrants in Arizona. Before working as a Refugee Officer Michelle worked for nearly three years along the U.S.-Mexican border at ProBAR Children’s Project. At ProBAR she provided direct representation to detained, unaccompanied immigrant children before USCIS, EOIR and state courts. She also worked briefly as an immigration attorney with Catholic Charities in Washington, DC.
Michelle has her Master’s Degree in International Human Rights and her Juris Doctor from the Sturm College of Law. During her graduate studies she worked with immigrants, refugees, farm workers and other vulnerable populations while working at various non-profit organizations and at UNCHR’s Caribbean Protection Unit. Michelle served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala from 2005-2007.