Kristina McKibben, Esq.
Kristina McKibben is a graduate of Boston University School of Law (J.D.) and University of California at Davis (B.A.) As a member of the California state bar, Kristina regularly represents clients in state court proceedings as well as the U.S. Department of Justice – Executive Office of Immigration Review, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the Board of Immigration Appeals. After returning home to California’s Central Valley in 2011, Kristina fought for systemic changes to language access for Spanish speaking victims of crime, planning for statewide implementation of immigration services, and in assisting with large scale group processing workshops for applicants of naturalization and DACA. Kristina's current work includes building removal defense strategies for Central Valley residents, serving as Attorney-of-the-Day in immigration court, representing detained immigrants in writs of habeas corpus, and bringing Federal Torts Claims Act (FTCA) suits on behalf of families separated at the border under the "Zero Tolerance" policy.
Jason Obra Sias, Esq.
Director of Litigation
Jason O. Sias is a graduate of Loyola Law School - Los Angeles, and licensed in both California and Louisiana. Mr. Sias is a fierce and compassionate defender of civil rights, working to right social wrongs in state and federal courts alike. Mr. Sias’ work focuses on accountability, dignity, and respect. His clients have been everyday people taken advantage of by big banks, victims of excessive force by government officials, and children in administrative proceedings. Mr. Sias often takes cases to trial, and fights tenaciously for the full results his clients deserve. Named as a Super Lawyers Rising Star, a Top 40 under 40 most influential African Americans, and recognized by the California Assembly for his legal work, Jason has proven to be a champion of community.
At Community Justice Alliance, Jason often leads post-conviction relief efforts to restore our community members' access to full opportunities. He serves as a supervisor to multiple externs on police misconduct cases as well as FTCA suits on behalf of families separated at the border, and invests in budding attorneys for social justice movement work.
Birdiet “Viviana” Villa
Birdiet Viviana, or “Viviana” as clients affectionately call her, is a native of Guatemala. Viviana is trained for formal court interpretation in Spanish and English, but shines in speaking to community members from all walks of life. Viviana is a vital member of the legal team: interpreting during Spanish language interviews before the asylum office, preparing clients for testimony before both Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice, and supporting detention conditions investigations. Viviana has participated in country conditions monitoring in Guatemala as an attendee at the Cristosal Global School, completed CLINIC's Immigration Fundamentals course, and is currently undergoing rigorous training for DOJ Accreditation so that she can continue to support our communities in an advocacy role.
Jessica Martinez-Siliezar, Esq.
Attorney Jessica Martinez-Siliezar represents Central Valley community members in their removal ("deportation") proceedings before the immigration court, ensuring fundamental due process and family unity. Jessica also joins our inaugural team of attorneys conducting shelter visits for unaccompanied youth arriving to Sacramento County for know-your-rights and legal screenings. Jessica's prior experience includes direct representation on an array of immigration matters, including DACA, naturalization, family-based petitions, and humanitarian relief: U Visas, T Visas, VAWA, and, Asylum. Jessica has also coordinated Know Your Rights presentations throughout Northern California, Family Emergency Preparedness Assistance, and UndocuAlly Trainings.
Monica Ortega, Esq.
Attorney Monica Ortega is focused on ensuring the newly arriving youth have access to strong holistic services from the moment they arrive in California. Monica leads a project tracking newcomer youth to the Central Valley region and ensuring comprehensive representation in their legal and social services needs. Monica ensures youth receive quality representation in their immigration relief while activating a stellar social services team to meet youth where they are. Monica's prior experience includes worker's rights, mental health support, and indigent legal aid.
Osvaldo Hidalgo Otamendi, Esq.
Attorney Osvaldo Hidalgo Otamendi grew up in Madera, CA and is the son of two parents from Mexico. He graduated from UCLA (B.A.) and from Santa Clara University Law School (J.D.). At Santa Clara, he hosted multiple free immigration-related legal assistance clinics, from San Jose to his hometown of Madera. Osvaldo represents clients in their removal proceedings before the immigration court, Board of Immigration Appeals, and 9th Circuit. Osvaldo is passionate about immigration and criminal justice reform, and building capacity for indigent communities in California's Central Valley and Central Coast.
Removal Defense Fellow
Natalia Osorio-Elizondo joined CJA with experience in both private and nonprofit immigration legal services. Natalia was born and raised next to the ocean on the Monterey Peninsula where she enjoyed the peace derived from omni-present nature. Her parents taught her the values of determination and perseverance despite facing adversity from every angle in their own journey immigrating to the U.S.
Natalia's passion for immigrants’ rights and racial justice shine through in her work as a certified law student providing holistic services to youth newly arriving to the United States. She provides poise and brilliance in representing community members before the immigration court and in their state court proceedings, and gifts her inner peace to community by hosting nature trips for unaccompanied youth.
Social Services Director
Ana Palomares is a proud daughter of immigrant farmworkers and first-generation college graduate. She received her Bachelor of Art in Business Administration from Fresno Pacific University and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Organizational Leadership Management. She is a devoted community servant with an extensive background in family advocacy. She brings over fourteen years of experience in community advocacy, case management, team building, grant administration, policy and systems change.
Tania Castillo leads the Enhanced Services for Asylees and Vulnerable Noncitizens (ESAVN) Program, offering deep case management and social services support for newly approved asylees or humanitarian relief applicants in California's Central Valley. Tania has a passion for data and for building opportunities for equity, as she did in her past work with the Mexican Consulate of Fresno - Department of Protection. Tania has a Masters of Science in Criminology from California State University - Fresno.
Removal Defense Fellow
Adriana immigrated to the United States with her parents and became a lifelong Fresno resident. She graduated from California State University of Fresno (B.A.) and obtained her J.D. from San Joaquin College of Law in Clovis. Adriana's interest in lending dignity in representation catalyzed her to join the New American Legal Clinic at San Joaquin College of Law, support immigrants in private practice, and support at the Fresno Public Defenders Office. With Community Justice Alliance, Adriana works to stregthen access to representation for Central Valley residents in immigration courtrooms.
Jessica Emigdio Griffith
Jessica is a recipient of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, whose journey began in Guerrero, Mexico and led her to Fresno, California. At Community Justice Alliance, Jessica creates opportunities for Central Valley youth to explore their own potential, engage in art therapy, and link with partners for long-term success regardless of immigration status. She is an eager advocate for positive, inclusive change in the immigrant community. Jessica previously worked with the non-profit Fresno Immigrant youth in Action (FIYA) to develop immigrant youth leadership in in partnership with non-profit organizations and schools.
Jessica’s pursued education to lift up youth, and she strives to provide a safe space for youth to organize for a stronger future. She has a BA in liberal studies from California State University, Fresno with a focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and child development. Jessica’s educational and professional career has spanned multiple positions which have allowed her to make meaningful connections with youth of varying ages and backgrounds. Jessica has worked as an educator in Fresno for the past seven years. She has created lesson plans and written curriculum for her students every term, often drawing back to her personal lived experiences to guide her understanding of others. Her years spent working with youth have fostered a passion to help youth have equal and fair access to resources and tools they can use to be successful.
Gabriela Solano Hernandez
Gabriela Solano Hernandez hails from León, Mexico, and has since relocated to California's Northern and Central Valley. Gabriela is a fierce advocate for immigrant and children's rights, and has most recently contributed to multiple border projects to protect migrants in vulnerable circumstances. In Texas, Gabriela assisted father and sons in obtaining release from family detention so that they may pursue their asylum claims. She connected Spanish speaking families with services they had waited months to access, and followed up post-release to connect them to local resources. At the California border, Gabriela assisted migrant children in arts projects to work through stressful situations and express their needs to policymakers in the U.S.. At Community Justice Alliance, Gabriela finds novel ways to elevate migrant issues on the local and national levels so that we can support a responsible immigration reform.
Co-Founder / Executive Secretary
Co-Founder / Board Member
Jorge Diaz is an Latinx actor and joy amplifier. Jorge is actively engaged in the LIMA Coalition, comprised of media personalities and artists striving to equalize Latinx representation. In 2019, Jorge helped a family of asylum-seekers in California's Central Valley elevate their story of fighting for safety and legal access in the United States. Jorge is known for roles in the films Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones and The 33, as well as the drama miniseries The Long Road Home. Jorge also has been known to cameo in recurring roles for Days of Our Lives, Jane the Virgin and the Hulu drama East Los High, and has provided voice work for the animated shows Elena of Avalor, The Lion Guard, and Lost in Oz. His guest appearances include roles in Arrested Development and The Good Place.
Ashley Jackson, Esq.
Ashley Jackson is a graduate of Boston University School of Law, and a member of the California, Illinois, and Massachusetts bars. Mrs. Jackson leads Community Justice Alliance's development as it launches legal access programs in rural areas, and currently serves as Senior Privacy Counsel for GE's US and Canada Healthcare Group, and named a 2019 Super Lawyers Rising Star. Mrs. Jackson is an International Association of Privacy Professionals certified information privacy professional who advises domestic and international clients on issues of breach response, litigation, employee training, risk assessment and management, policies and procedures, table top exercises, data privacy and information security due diligence during corporate transactions, and data protection clause review for contract negotiations. Mrs. Jackson serves as a strong mentor to young people of color.