Our Team

Rev. Paul Fleck

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Rev. Paul Fleck, Executive Director, is an ordained Elder in The New York Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church and a former litigation attorney.

Prior to coming to Immigration Law & Justice New York, Rev. Fleck served as Pastor of New Milford United Methodist and Hamden Plains United Methodist Churches in Connecticut. While at Hamden Plains UMC, Rev. Fleck helped co-found New Sanctuary CT, a coalition of eleven faith communities throughout Connecticut committed to providing physical sanctuary to immigrants facing deportation.

Rev. Fleck has his Master’s of Divinity from Yale Divinity School and J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law.

TJ Mills

MANAGING ATTORNEY

Our Managing Attorney, TJ Mills, has over 20 years of experience in the field of immigration law. Before coming to Immigration Law & Justice New York, TJ worked for 7 years as an Asylum Officer for the Department of Justice in Los Angeles and New York. Since 1999, TJ has represented our clients before the courts, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), consular offices, and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) with ILJNY. He has Federal Circuit, District Court, and agency appellate experience, including representation of an asylum seeker in precedent-setting 9th Circuit decision and representation of a US citizen in a precedent-setting BIA ruling.

Samantha Blecher

SENIOR STAFF ATTORNEY

Samantha Blecher has been a Staff Attorney with ILJNY since February 2018, and was promoted to Senior Staff Attorney in February 2022. Since her time at ILJNY she has represented numerous clients in a wide variety of Immigration matters including Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), Asylum, Naturalization, DACA Renewal, U-Visas, VAWA (Violence Against Women’s Act), Green Card Renewals, Family Based Petitions, and Removal Defense. Before coming to ILJNY, Samantha worked at a small firm in Long Island that handled mostly Asylum and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status cases. Samantha graduated Cum Laude from the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University with both distinction and a concentration in Family Law. Samantha’s interest in Immigration Law started even before she was formally admitted to the State of New York to practice law. Throughout law school, Samantha represented clients in three different Immigration clinics (one helping clients through the naturalization process, one where she represented clients as they applied for asylum both affirmatively and defensively and one where she represented clients who were applying for special immigrant juvenile status).

Nneka Okpara

ASYLUM ATTORNEY

Nneka Okpara is the Asylum Attorney at Immigration Law & Justice New York, bringing with her an experienced background in immigration law. Previous to her position at ILJNY, Nneka worked as an Immigration Staff Attorney at the Urban Justice Center’s Youth Project and the Sex Worker’s Project, representing clients affirmatively and defensively in varying immigration matters such as Asylum, SIJS, T & U Visas, Naturalization, Adjustment of Status, amongst others. She has also worked in Los Angeles as a Law Clerk for Immigrant Defenders Law Center representing unaccompanied minors and interned in Popayan, Colombia for an NGO committed to raising awareness and stopping the practice of human and labor trafficking. Nneka is the Visiting Senior Fellow at Immigration ARC (I-ARC) for the Black Immigrant’s Initiative Program. Nneka is committed to providing legal representation to those who need it the most and cannot afford it on their own. Nneka received her J.D. from Maurice A. Deane School of Law in 2017.

Reyadh Nagi

 STAFF ATTORNEY

Reyadh Nagi joined ILJNY as a Staff Attorney in September 2022. During law school, he became involved in immigration law through an asylum clinic run by Professor Lauris Wren. His compassion for helping vulnerable populations achieve legal status comes from his experience growing up in Brooklyn. Reyadh was born in Yemen and immigrated to the US when he was eleven years old. He recalls the impact of social issues in his community, many in regards to immigration, and was motivated to help those seeking the opportunity to live a better life. Reyadh is a graduate of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, where he studied criminal law and political science, and Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University

Board of Directors

Ms. Raji Kalra, Board Chair (New York, NY)

Ms. Kate Boyd, Vice Chair (Sente Partners, Brooklyn, NY)

The Rev. Dr. Marjorie Nunes (NY)

Ms. Gail Douglas-Boykin, Secretary (New York Annual Conference of the UMC, New York, NY)

Mr. Jason Fachler, Treasurer (JPMorgan Chase, New York, NY)

The Rev. Claire Hojung Wu (Farmingdale United Methodist Church, Farmingdale, NY)

The Rev. Dr. Hugh Hamilton (Grace United Methodist Church, St Albans, NY)

Mr. Eric Zhu (New York, NY)

Mr. Oumar Rachid Kante (Pricewaterhouse Coopers, New York, NY)

The Rev. Ximena Varas (White Plains, NY)

Jean Montalvan (Lockheed Martin, Long Island City, NY)

Donna Akuamoah (JP Morgan Chase, New York, NY)

Volunteer Attorneys

S. Yan Sin

Jonah Spivak

Clinic Coordinators

Manhattan: Sue Lee & Amanda Lin

Brooklyn: Diane Larrier

Queens: Revs. Chanyoung Choi & Eunice Kim

Long Island: Joan Hamilton

Thank you!

This vital work with immigrants is not possible without the support of donors, volunteers, churches, and communities that believe in immigrant rights.

Proudly supported by The New York Annual Conference and The United Methodist Church, The United Methodist City Society, and The New York State Interest on Lawyer Account Fund.