Staff

Aidee Pascual, Administrative Assistant

Aidee Pascual (she/her) is the Administrative Assistant with the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice (NJAIJ) where she serves as first point of contact for members of the public to engage with our work. Daughter of immigrant parents from Mexico, she was born and raised in New Jersey. Pascual graduated from New Jersey City University with a B.A in Media Arts. She is thoroughly impassioned with the work led by coalition members at NJAIJ and supports the critical infrastructure the coalition needs for our work ahead.


Amy Torres, Executive Director 

Amy Torres (they/them or she/her) serves as the Executive Director of NJAIJ. In this position, they lead member organizations and staff to direct policy and organizational priorities. Prior to NJAIJ, Torres served for over seven years in immigrants’ rights and policy advocacy in New York City, with a focus on Asian American and Pacific Islander empowerment. Torres brings depths of experience in coalition-building, civic engagement, and from their personal life, grassroots organizing in Hudson County. Firmly rooted in Torres's identity is their experience as a second generation Filipinx American and the core belief that human rights and liberties should not be subject to change because of something as arbitrary as birthplace, border, or paperwork.


Kat Phan, NJAIJ Intern 

Kat Phan (she/her) is an anti-detention organizer and graduate student at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. Kat is NJAIJ's 2022 intern. Prior to joining our team, Phan led policy and demographic research on language access and local immigration policies at San Francisco’s Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs. She is the proud daughter of Vietnamese refugees and is committed to the liberation of all migrants from institutional and structural oppression.


Laura Bustamante, Policy & Campaigns Manager

Laura Bustamante (she/her) is the Policy & Campaign Manager with the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice (NJAIJ). Bustamante heads NJAIJ's advocacy efforts by crafting, managing, and executing strategy for NJAIJ’s core campaigns. Prior to joining NJAIJ, she was the Chief of Staff to Jersey City City Councilman James Solomon where she managed and maintained the day to day operations and helped lead and coordinate key progressive initiatives like affordable housing, social justice issues, and improving government efficiency. Bustamante is currently pursuing a dual Masters in Public Administration and Protection Management from John Jay College and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and National Security from New Jersey City University.

 

Michelle Ancil, Communications Coordinator

Michelle Ancil (she/her) raises the profile of NJAIJ's core issues by crafting and managing all facets of our communications. Ancil graduated from Rutgers-New Brunswick's Bloustein School where her studies focused on policy making and the impact it has on the health outcomes of immigrant populations. She brings past communications experience from Rupande Mehta's State Senate campaign and as a former NJAIJ intern. Outside of work, Ancil tries to be active in any way she can, including hiking along the Delaware River and taking Bharatanatyam dance classes, a form of Indian classical dance, with her mom. 

Viri Martinez, Movement Building Coordinator  

Viri Martinez (she/her) is the Movement Building Coordinator with the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice (NJAIJ). Martinez supports NJAIJ’s members and the larger immigrant justice movement through capacity-building and providing resources that empower communities. Prior to becoming a staff member, Martinez worked with in the office of a New Jersey state legislator. She was also a Policy Intern with NJAIJ where she was responsible for policy research, monitoring state legislative activity, and uplifting the work of coalition members. Martinez 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.