Administrative Staff

About CUNY Citizenship Now


DIRECTOR

Allan Wernick, Esq.


Deputy Director

Monique Francis


Senior Staff Attorney

Thomas Shea, Esq.




Communications and College Relations Specialist

A. Sofia Carreño


Legal Coordinator

Tamara R. Bloom, Esq.


Administrative Specialist

Joseph Anthony Ransom


Special Events Manager

Vacant




Administrative Staff Bios


Allan Wernick, Esq.

Allan Wernick is a professor at Baruch College, City University New York (CUNY), and the Director of CUNY Citizenship Now!.  His weekly column, "Immigration and Citizenship" is syndicated by King Features Syndicate, and his column "Immigration Advice" appears twice weekly in the New York Daily News.  Professor Wernick has taught immigration and policy at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and at California State University at Dominguez Hills.

Professor Wernick has served on the National Board of Directors of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), as Chair of the Immigration Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and as President of the New York Chapter of AILA.  He has appeared on numerous national and local television and radio programs, including CNN's Crossfire and The Phil Donahue Show.

Monique Francis

Monique Francis is the Deputy Director for CUNY Citizenship Now!.  She is a graduate of Baruch's School of Public Affairs where she obtained a master's degree in Higher Education Administration.  In addition, she holds an Advanced Certificate in Immigration Law Studies from the CUNY School of Professional Studies.  Her experiences as an international student are the reason for her commitment and dedication to the mission of CUNY Citizenship Now!.

Thomas Shea, Esq.

Thomas J. Shea, Esq. is the Senior Staff Attorney for CUNY Citizenship Now!. Before coming to CUNY Citizenship Now!, Tom was the Director of Training and Technical Assistance for the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC). Tom provided trainings on various immigration law topics such as Citizenship and Naturalization, Adjustment of Status, Family-based Immigration Law, Unlawful Presence, and Relief from Removal. Tom also provided technical assistance (i.e., legal support) to the staff of authorized nonprofit immigration legal service organizations to help them better serve their clients. Before working with the NYIC, Tom worked for 10 years with CLINIC – the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. in Washington, DC, El Paso, and New York City. Tom is a graduate of The American University Washington College of Law and is admitted to practice in Massachusetts and Washington State.

A. Sofia Carreño

Sofia Carreño is the Communications and College Relations Specialist for CUNY Citizenship Now!.  She holds a master’s degree in Corporate Communications from Baruch College, and an associate’s degree in Business Management from LaGuardia Community College.  She is a native of Colombia, where she completed a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications and Journalism from Universidad de la Sabana.

Tamara R. Bloom, Esq.

Tamara R. Bloom, Esq. is the Legal Coordinator at CUNY Citizenship Now!.  She has been an advocate for the rights of under-represented people since 1999 and has worked in private practice, non-profits and legal services agencies providing advocacy on behalf of immigrants and people with disabilities.  She is a graduate of Binghamton University and CUNY School of Law.  While a student at CUNY,  she represented battered immigrant women in the Immigrant and Refugee Rights Clinic.  Tamara is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the New York City Bar Association.

Joseph Anthony Ransom

Joseph Anthony Ransom is the Administrative Specialist for CUNY Citizenship Now! He holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration/Non-Profit Management from Baruch College. He completed his undergraduate work at Michigan State University. Prior to coming to CUNY, he was the Executive Director at St. Raymond Community Outreach, working with Bronx City Council Members Annabel Palma and James Vacca on many immigration and social service issues. He also worked for various NYC Departments and nonprofits in fund allocation and senior management positions.


Staff Attorneys

Mabel Bejar, Esq.
with CUNY Citizenship Now!

Stephanie Delia, Esq.
with CUNY Citizenship Now!

Elinor Drucker Rahmani, Esq.
with CUNY Citizenship Now!

Rosanna Eugenio, Esq.
with CUNY Citizenship Now!

Midori Hills, Esq.
at York College

Maggie Kawinski, Esq.
at Medgar Evers College

Euna Kim, Esq.
at Flushing Immigration Center

Alexandra Lee, Esq.
at York College and CUNY Express Immigration Center

Luz Medrano, Esq.
at Hostos Community College

Matthew Merrick, Esq.
with CUNY Citizenship Now!

Erick Myssura, Esq.
at the College of Staten Island, El Centro, and Project Hospitality Immigration Center

Andrés Perches Lemons, Esq.
at CUNY Express Immigration Center

Susan Thorn, Esq.
at the City College Immigration Center

Patricia Meng-ling Tsai, Esq.
at the Tenement Museum and Council Member Margaret Chin's District Office



Attorney Bios

Mabel bejar, Esq.

Mabel Bejar is a part time Staff Attorney for CUNY Citizenship Now. She is a graduate of Loyola Law School. Her passion for immigration law dates back to law school, where she participated in pro bono immigration clinics and worked for a prominent immigration attorney in Los Angeles, California. After moving to New York City, Mabel volunteered for Safe Horizons and was a member of our Volunteer Corps for two years before joining our staff. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and is fluent in Spanish. She is admitted to practice in New York and California.

 

Stephanie Delia, Esq.

Stephanie Delia is a staff attorney at CUNY Citizenship Now. While attending Thomas Cooley Law School, she clerked for the Oakland Family Friend of the Court in Michigan and during her final year of law school she interned at the Queens District Attorney’s office. Prior to joining CUNY, Stephanie worked as a Research assistant at Columbia University, where she discovered her calling; immigration law. She has been practicing immigration law ever since.

 

Elinor Drucker Rahmani, Esq.

Elinor Drucker Rahmani is a part time Staff Attorney for CUNY Citizenship Now. A graduate of New York Law School, she has more than twenty years of experience as an immigration attorney. Elinor has lectured on immigration issues and has participated in many pro bono immigration clinics. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and is fluent in Spanish.  She is admitted to practice in New Jersey.

 

Rosanna Eugenio, Esq.

Rosanna Eugenio is a part-time Staff Attorney for CUNY Citizenship Now. During law school, Rosanna clerked at the Loyola University Immigration Clinic, helping address the legal needs of immigrant populations in New Orleans. She worked on cases involving asylum and refugees, domestic violence, human trafficking, and other crimes. She also participated in “Know Your Rights” presentations advising detained immigrants about possible immigration relief. Rosanna also clerked at the New Orleans Independent Police Monitor’s office documenting community concerns and complaints about the New Orleans Police Department. As a member of La Alianza - Latino Law Student Association, Rosanna engaged fellow students in community service and encouraged them to participate in pro bono opportunities. She is a graduate of Tulane University Law School and Brown University and a member of the New York State Bar Association and the American Bar Association.

 

Midori Hills, Esq.

Midori Hills is the Staff Attorney at York College Immigration Center.  She is a graduate of the CUNY Law School and has worked in Immigration Legal Services since then.  Prior to CUNY, she was a Staff Attorney at a legal services office in New York working in employment based immigration for nonprofit organizations and teachers.  Midori has provided trainings on a wide variety of immigration issues to lawyers, paralegals and other professionals.

Maggie Kawinski, Esq.

Maggie Kawinski is a Staff Attorney at the Medgar Evers College Immigration Center in Brooklyn and at the College of Staten Island, El Centro, and Project Hospitality Immigration Center in Staten Island. She is a graduate of CUNY Law School, Class of 2005.  Her immigration law experience includes working as a student intern with CUNY Law School's Immigrant Initiatives Project and its Immigrant and Refugee Rights Clinic.  Born in Poland, she immigrated with her parents to the United States.  She was raised in Buffalo, NY, and received her Bachelors Degree from SUNY Buffalo.

Euna Kim, Esq.

Euna Kim is the Staff Attorney at the Flushing Immigration Center in Queens.  She interned with The Bronx and Queens District Attorneys' office and Legal Aid Society and she worked for The City of New York as a Corporation Counsel and for Children's Law Society as a law guardian.  She is a graduate of Hofstra School of Law and of the City College of New York.

Alexandra Lee, Esq.

Alexandra Lee is a part-time Staff Attorney at York College and CUNY Express Immigration Centers.  After working in finance, determined to follow her passion for social justice, Alexandra decided to pursue a career in public interest law.  During law school, she provided anti-eviction representation to clients through the Western Massachusetts Legal Services Clinic, and interned at the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.  Prior to CUNY, Alexandra worked in a family based immigration law practice researching asylum issues.  She is a graduate of Western New England School of Law and Queens College.

Luz Medrano, Esq.

Luz Medrano is the Staff Attorney at Hostos College Immigration Center in the Bronx.  She is a graduate of The CUNY School of Law and Amherst College.  While a student at CUNY, Luz represented battered immigrant women with their VAWA applications through the Immigrant and Refugee Rights Clinic.  Also during law school, she was awarded the Thurgood Marshall Fellowship through the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, where she worked in the Refugee Assistance Program interviewing potential asylum applicants.  Originally from Brooklyn, Luz is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Matthew Merrick, Esq.

Matthew Merrick is a part-time Staff Attorney for CUNY Citizenship Now! working at Council Member district offices throughout the city, focusing on Naturalization and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, as well as other family-based immigration issues. Matthew obtained his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 2000. Prior to joining CUNY, Matthew was a Litigation Counsel at O’Melveny & Myers and an in-house litigation counsel representing at a global financial institution. Throughout his career, Matthew has been an active pro bono counsel on immigration matters and has successfully obtained asylum status for a number of Latin American clients and for a VAWA self-petitioner. Matthew is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and its LGBT Committee. He also served for five years as a board member on the LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York. He is fluent in Spanish.

Erick Myssura, Esq.

Erick Myssura is a part-time Staff Attorney for CUNY Citizenship Now! He is also the Staff Attorney at the College of Staten Island, El Centro, and Project Hospitality Immigration Center. Erick is a graduate of SUNY University at Buffalo Law School and earned a Bachelors of Science in Chemistry from SUNY Buffalo. During Law School, he was the Executive Managing Editor of the Buffalo Intellectual Property Law Journal as well as the Systems Editor of the Buffalo Environmental Law Journal. Erick was raised in Brooklyn and Staten Island. Both his parents are immigrants from Poland and he is also fluent in Polish. He is admitted to practice in New York and New Jersey.

Andrés Perches Lemons, Esq.

Andrés Perches Lemons is a Staff Attorney at CUNY Express Immigration Center.  He is a graduate of the University of Arizona College of Law.  Andrés has provided training on immigration issues and pro bono services to the immigrant community since 2005. Andrés is fluent in Spanish and proficient in Portuguese.

Susan Thorn, Esq.

Susan Thorn is a Staff Attorney at the City College Immigration Center. Prior to joining CUNY, she worked with refugees and asylum seekers in London, United Kingdom as Projects Manager for a refugee community organization. In New York, Susan practiced immigration law as an associate with Bretz & Coven, LLP and as a Staff Attorney with Legal Services NYC.  Susan is a graduate of Brooklyn Law School and Sarah Lawrence College.

Patricia Meng-ling Tsai, Esq.

Patricia Meng-ling Tsai is a part-time Staff Attorney at the Tenement Museum and Council Member Margaret Chin’s District Office. During law school, she interned at the law firm of Baker & McKenzie in Taipei, Taiwan. After law school, she interned at the office of the Honorable Bob Livingston at the United States Congress. Since 2007, she has been an advocate for the rights of Chinese-American immigrants in New York through her work at Friends of the Community Unite and Serve in Flushing and the Lin Sing Association in Chinatown. She also served as campaign advisor for candidates running for the New York State Assembly, City Council, and Manhattan District Attorney. She is a graduate of Tulane Law School. She is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.