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Our Team

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Joy Green, Executive Director

Joy Green received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Policy Studies from Rice University and her Juris Doctor from Tulane University Law School.  While in college, she spent a semester abroad at the University of Havana in Cuba. 

Prior to working with JFAI, Joy spent four years in private practice in Dallas with a law firm that exclusively specializes in immigration law.  There she gained valuable experience representing individuals across the United States with family-based immigration, removal defense, naturalization, and humanitarian relief.  During law school, Joy was a legal intern with Immigration and Refugee Services at Catholic Charities. 

Joy is a member of the State Bar of Texas and the American Immigration Lawyers Association.  She serves on the Executive Committee of the Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative.  Prior to starting her legal career, Joy was a public school teacher.  She is proficient in Spanish.

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Gabriela Lopez-Compean, Managing Attorney


Gabriela Lopez-Compean received her Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Hispanic Studies from Rice University and her Juris Doctor from the University of Houston Law Center.  Gabriela was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 2016. 

Prior to working with JFAI, Gabriela worked three years in private practice in Houston. She represented clients before immigration services and immigration court. She has experience in a variety of cases, including family-based immigration, naturalization, humanitarian relief, and removal defense. While in law school, she participated in both the civil and immigration clinics representing underprivileged clients, who were often victims of abuse.

Because she was born in Mexico and spent her early childhood there, Gabriela has personally experienced the immigration process and understands its toll on immigrant families. She is passionate about helping others successfully navigate the immigration system. She is fluent in Spanish.

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Karina Espinoza, Receptionist

Karina Espinoza received her Associates degree in Business Management from Houston Community College, and has six years of experience in the nonprofit field.

Karina has lived in Houston all her life, but many childhood summer vacations were spent in Mexico.  Most of her family lived in Mexico, and throughout her life, she has heard many stories about the sacrifices her family made and the struggles it took to come to the United States.  She is passionate about assisting immigrants who are looking for a better life here.

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Jana Friðfinnsdóttir, Managing Attorney

Jana Fridfinnsdottir received her graduate law degree from the University of Iceland in 2005 and her Juris Doctor from Penn State Dickinson Law in 2013. Jana comes to JFAI with a broad range of experience, having practiced law both in Iceland and the United States. Before joining JFAI, she worked for Iowa Migrant Movement for Justice. She has experience in a variety of cases, including family based immigration, naturalization and humanitarian relief. At JFAI Jana works primarily with Asylum seekers. 

Because Jana is an immigrant herself, she has personal experience and empathy with the challenges of navigating the immigration system.


Jana is fluent in Icelandic, proficient in German and is learning Spanish.

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Sandra Kitchen, Legal Assistant

Sandra Kitchen started her immigration career in 2007 working for five years at the National Visa Center (NVC) in New Hampshire where she acquired vast knowledge in Consular Processing with the Consulates/Embassies.  In 2011, she moved to Houston, Texas, and continues working in the Immigration Field, as her passion is to assist immigrant people (just like her) to be able to live legally in the United States.  She has more than 12 years of experience in the Immigration Field working on family and employment-based visa petitions. She possesses a Paralegal and Human Resource Certificates from the Houston Community College, and continues her Legal studies at the Stratford Career Institute.

Sandra is from Peru and immigrated to the United States in 2005. Being an immigrant, Sandra has first hand experience about the immigration process, and being in this field gives her the opportunity to help people to achieve their "American Dream."

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Daniella Salas-Chacon, Staff Attorney

Daniella Salas-Chacon received her Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Philosophy and Spanish from the University of Dallas, and her Juris Doctor degree from St. Mary's University Law School in 2019. Throughout her collegiate career, Daniella worked with nonprofit organizations that served Texas' low-income families, including the immigration community. While in law school, Daniella published a comment titled Effects of Senate Bill 4 on Wage-Theft: Why All Workers Are at Risk in Low-Income Occupations. Through this publication, Daniella explained the negative effects that anti-immigrant laws can have on other low-income communities.  

Prior to working with JFAI, Daniella spent two years in private practice in San Antonio with a law firm that specializes in immigration law. While in private practice she represented the immigrant community and their families in family-based immigration and removal defense.

As a daughter of immigrants, Daniella is able to zealously advocate for the immigrant community, as she has witnessed first-hand their needs and struggle in navigating the United States immigration system. Daniella is eager to continue serving the San Antonio immigration community.

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Miriam Trujillo, Legal Assistant

Miriam Trujillo began her immigration journey in late 2018 as a Legal Assistant for a private firm in Houston where she quickly adapted to her newfound calling in the immigration field. In early 2020, she took a break to go to school. Miriam continued her education at Center for Advanced Legal Studies and graduated in February 2022. A month prior to graduation, she decided to continue on her journey as a Legal Assistant specializing in helping in Asylum and Refugee applicants.


Since she witnessed from a very young age her grandparent’s struggles in navigating the immigration system in the United States, Miriam knew she wanted to make a difference in her community and help those who had little or no knowledge of the Asylum and Deportation Process.

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Abbie Carlson, Program Assistant

Abbie's journey to the world of immigration began after a service trip to help families in temporary housing along the border in Tijuana. She returned to the U.S. with a desire to become fluent in Spanish and use her language skills to serve the immigrant community long-term. She became a legal assistant for a solo practitioner in Minnesota, where she worked on family-based petitions. She later moved to Houston and worked on employment-based cases at Fragomen. In late 2018, she became a regular volunteer for JFAI. As our office has continued to grow, Abbie's role evolved and she now supports JFAI as the Program Assistant.


Abbie earned a bachelor's degree in Psychology and a Spanish minor from Eastern Illinois University. In 2022, she completed training in Immigrant Accompaniment and Immigrant Advocacy through Villanova University College of Professional Studies. 

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Nicolas Moncada, Legal Assistant

Nicolas received his Bachelor of Science in Sociology with a minor in Mathematics from the University of Houston. During his time there, he interned for several non-profits where he furthered his passion for humanitarian efforts.

Prior to working for JFAI, Nicolas spent five years working in private practice for an Immigration Law Firm in Houston. This allowed him to gain experience assisting individuals with their legal status applications and their court proceedings.

Having been a child of immigrants himself, Nicolas’ first language is Spanish and he lived through a low-income childhood. Given the struggles that he saw his family face at an early age, Nicolas made it his mission to aid under-represented communities throughout his career.

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