Staff

Amy Torres, Executive Director 

Amy Torres serves as the Executive Director of the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice. In this position, they lead the NJAIJ coalition of over 42 member organizations and Alliance staff to direct the policy and organizational priorities. Prior to NJAIJ, Torres served for over seven years in immigrants’ rights policy advocacy and leadership in New York City, most recently as the Policy and Advocacy Director at the Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC). They also bring strong experience in coalition-building and advocacy in low-income, immigrant, and Asian and Pacific American communities, and in grassroots organizing in Hudson County. Torres’s work ethos is informed by their experience as a second-generation Filipinx immigrant tracing their roots from the Philippines to New Jersey.

 

Viri Martinez, Movement Building Coordinator  

Viri Martinez is the Movement Building Coordinator with the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice (NJAIJ). She is responsible for supporting NJAIJ’s members and partners through capacity-building and providing resources. Prior to becoming a staff member, she was a Policy Intern with NJAIJ where she was responsible for policy research, monitoring state legislative activity, and uplifting the work of coalition members. Viri graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Policy and Latino & Caribbean Studies from Rutgers University-New Brunswick, and holds an Associate’s degree from Raritan Valley Community College.

 

Katy Sastre, Campaign Strategist 

Katy Sastre is the Campaign Strategist for the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice (NJAIJ), responsible for coordinating and supporting the NJAIJ’s campaign priorities, ensuring members and partners are actively engaged. Prior to joining the NJAIJ, Katy worked as the Program Coordinator for the Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights, providing programmatic support to both the legal services and education programs. Katy’s professional experience includes working for a legal recruitment firm in NYC and as a Program Coordinator for the Middle East North Africa region at the International Center for Transitional Justice. She has held various roles at the International Rescue Committee, including Program Manager for the CASAMENA Region and Syria Regional Response in NYC, Senior Grants Manager in Erbil, Iraq, and then Grants Coordinator for the Ebola Response Consortia Coordination Unit in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Katy is a graduate of Cornell University (BA, Sociology & Government) and SOAS, University of London (MA, Gender Studies, focus on migration and the intersections of gender, class, and race).

Hera Mir, Communications and Operations Coordinator

Hera Mir is the Communications and Operations Coordinator at the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice (NJAIJ), ensuring that the values and priorities of the NJAIJ are communicated with the public. Prior to this position, Hera has several years of experience as a Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault response advocate, specifically working with South Asian immigrant women in New Jersey at Manavi where she coordinated the Legal Services and Economic Empowerment programs. She completed the Seeding Change Fellowship working with Asian American Youth on civic engagement and community organizing in 2015 and organized with East Coast Solidarity Summer, to educate South Asian youth about social justice and community building in the diaspora. Hera holds a Masters of Public Policy from the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy with a focus on social and migration policy, and a BA in Women and Gender Studies and Middle Eastern Studies, both from Rutgers University.