NYC Immigration Attorneys
The associate attorneys at Bretz & Coven work hard to uphold the rights of immigrants who want to live and work in the United States:
- Michele Wolgel
- Disha Chandiramani
- Diecelis Escaño
- Tiffany A. Javier
- Shari Astalos
- Chastity Maquilon Rodriguez
- Robert J. Mackle
- Patricia Camuzzi Luber
- Amanda E. Gray
Our goal is to help you find ways to remain in this country lawfully.
Contact our NYC immigration attorneys to learn more.
Michele Wolgel, Of-Counsel
Michele Coven Wolgel has been a member of the New York State Bar since 1984, and is also admitted to practice law in Israel. She has been practicing Immigration and Naturalization Law for over 20 years, commencing with the law firm of Lebenkoff & Coven and continuing in Israel when she relocated there.
Mrs. Wolgel works regularly with the Consular Offices in both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, Israel. She has resolved difficult cases involving complex legal issues not only for her own clients in Israel, but also for the clients of Bretz & Coven and of other immigration law offices in the United States.
She has a very high success rate in all of her dealings with everyday applications to the Consulate. When dealing with cases filed in the United States, Mrs. Wolgel works closely with Bretz & Coven.
Disha Chandiramani is an associate attorney with Bretz & Coven, LLP and is a member of the New York and New Jersey state bars. Disha has represented clients before the United States Immigration and Citizenship Services and the Executive Office for Immigration Review. Ms. Chandiramani completed her undergraduate studies at Penn State University, receiving a B.A. in the Administration of Justice and Psychology with a minor in the Spanish language, which she completed at the University of Salamanca in Spain.
Disha received her J.D. from the City University of New York School of Law where she took part in the well-recognized Immigration and Refugee Rights Clinic and successfully litigated a VAWA Cancellation of Removal case before the Executive Office of Immigration Review in New York. Disha also conducted a five-week training session for Latina survivors of domestic violence at SEPA Mujer, an organization for the advancement of Immigrant women. She has working knowledge of both Hindi and Spanish.
Prior to working at Bretz & Coven, LLP, Disha worked at CONNECT, a nonprofit organization in New York dedicated to the prevention and elimination of gender violence. There, she worked on numerous immigration applications helping survivors of domestic violence obtain legal status in the U.S. Disha also acted as a liaison for CONNECT by being an active member of the VAWA advocates group in NYC. She attended quarterly meetings at the New York Bar Association, keeping up-to-date on changing immigration laws and practices in NY.
Ms. Chandiramani's dedication to her clients and the practice of Immigration law is evident. She hopes to continue to provide exceptional services to her clients as an associate with Bretz & Coven, LLP.
Diecelis N. Escaño, originally from the Dominican Republic, graduated from Seton Hall University School of Law in 2007. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at Boston College. She is admitted to the New Jersey Supreme Court and to the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the Dean's Diversity Council at Seton Hall University School of Law. She also serves on the advisory board of Creating Your Legacy Foundation, which pairs inner-city high school students with mentors in the New York City area and awards an annual academic scholarship.
Ms. Escaño joined Bretz & Coven, LLP in 2011. She has extensive experience representing clients in removal proceedings before the Immigration Courts, Board of Immigration Appeals, and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. She has been successful in preventing the removal of many long-term residents, including domestic violence victims who fear persecution by their husbands in their native home country and homosexual men HIV positive, and fear persecution in their home country because of their sexual orientation and their disease.
While in law school, she interned at the Superior Court of New Jersey, Hudson County Criminal Division and the Essex County's Prosecutor's Office. She also served as a research assistant in the Legal Research and Writing Program and volunteered as a Spanish translator for the Immigration Clinic at the law school. Ms. Escaño is fluent in Spanish.
Tiffany A. Javier is an associate attorney with Bretz & Coven, LLP. Ms. Javier was born in the Dominican Republic. Her family immigrated to the United States when she was 6 years old. Ms. Javier graduated from California Western Law School in 2008. She holds a Masters degree in Social Work from New York University. She completed her undergraduate studies at Binghamton University, receiving a Bachelors Degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology.
While in law school, Ms. Javier studied abroad in Santiago, Chile, where she worked at the public defenders office representing juveniles in criminal court proceedings. Also during law school, she did volunteer work at Catholic Charities where she helped victims of domestic violence who needed immigration services. Specifically, she helped them with VAWA applications
Ms. Javier clerked at the San Diego Public Defenders Office for two years and did a post-bar clerkship there representing minors in juvenile delinquency proceedings. After law school, she practiced immigration law as a solo practitioner in San Diego, California. Her practice focused on representing individuals in deportation proceedings, assisting individuals in obtaining legal immigration status, and representing victims of domestic violence and violent crimes. In addition, she provided pro-bono services at the Immigration Justice Project in San Diego, California.
Ms. Javier was admitted to the California Bar Association in 2009. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, national and local chapters.
Shari Astalos is an associate attorney who joined Bretz and Coven in 2011. Ms. Astalos is a graduate of the University of Miami School of Law and a member of the New York, New Jersey, and Florida state bars. Ms. Astalos completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania, where she received a B.A. in Middle Eastern Studies and Political Science. While in law school, Ms. Astalos clerked for Ira Kurzban and the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, where she focused on deportation defense and federal litigation on behalf of immigrants. Prior to working at Bretz and Coven, Ms. Astalos served as a law clerk to the Hon. David J. Issenman, J.S.C.
Ms. Astalos is a volunteer with the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society and a mentor at Upwardly Global. Ms. Astalos is conversational in Spanish, has a working knowledge of French and Hebrew, and has studied Arabic, Farsi, Russian, Italian, and Latin to varying degrees.
Chastity Maquilon-Rodriguez joined Bretz & Coven, LLP in December 2010. She is a first-generation American from Ecuadorian parents and is fluent in Spanish. Ms. Maquilon-Rodriguez received her Juris Doctor from the Appalachian School of Law in May 2006. She received her Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 2000. Ms. Maquilon-Rodriguez is admitted to the Georgia State Bar and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).
While in law school, Ms. Maquilon-Rodriguez interned for the Queens County District Attorneys Office and the Atlanta Legal Aid.
Prior to joining Bretz & Coven, LLP, Ms. Maquilon-Rodriguez worked at an immigration law firm in Atlanta, Georgia, where she focused her work on removal defense and family-based petitions.
Since joining Bretz & Coven, Ms. Maquilon-Rodriguez successfully represented clients before U.S. Citizenship Services, the Executive Office for Immigration Review in Immigration Court and the Board of Immigration Appeals.
Robert J. Mackle has been a member of the New York State Bar for more than 20 years. He joined Bretz & Coven, LLP, in February 2014 as Managing Attorney with a unique skill set based primarily in the fields of Taxation and Accounting. In this role, he will be a tremendous resource for our clients, advising on Federal and State tax matters, including tax preparation & compliance, but will also be responsible for Tax & Compliance of our office operations, including Human Resources, Payroll, coordination with vendors and much more. He will also be handling appearances with our clients at Homeland Security, as well as various New York State courts as needed.
In his most recent role, Robert served for 8 years as Controller & General Counsel to Skyline Credit Ride, Inc., one of the largest providers of corporate ground transportation in the Greater New York metropolitan area. He was responsible for running the accounting and bookkeeping departments of the firm which has over 100 employees as well as more than 600 affiliated drivers. He also has more than 15 years experience as a tax attorney in private practice, counseling and representing hundreds of individuals and businesses. He is licensed to practice before all levels of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the United States Tax Court. He has represented many individuals and businesses before various administrative agencies such as the IRS, NYS Tax Department, NYS Workers Compensation Board, State Insurance Fund, Unemployment Insurance Division, the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission, NYC Health Department, Environmental Control Board and many others.
Robert holds a BBA in Public Accounting from Pace University. He received his JD from the Pace University School of Law, as well as a JD Certificate in Environmental Law. He also served as a Notes & Comments Editor on the Pace Environmental Law Review. He was admitted to practice law in New York State in 1993 and in the Federal District Courts in the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York in 1994. He was admitted to practice before the United States Tax Court in 1997.
Patricia Camuzzi Luber joined Bretz & Coven, LLP in November 2010. She is a first-generation American from Chilean parents and is fluent in Spanish. Ms. Luber received her Juris Doctor from Emory University School of Law in May 2006 and was a member of Moot Court. She received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Florida in 1999. Ms. Luber is admitted to the Georgia State Bar, United States District Court of the Northern District of Georgia, United States Court of Appeals for the Second, Third, Ninth and Eleventh Circuits. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).
Ms. Luber began her immigration career while in law school when she interned at the Latin American Association and Catholic Charities in Atlanta, GA, assisting attorneys in effectively advocating for immigrants. Prior to joining Bretz & Coven, Ms. Luber worked at an immigration law firm in Atlanta, GA, for four years where her practice focused on removal defense and family-based petitions. She successfully represented clients before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Executive Office for Immigration Review, and the Board of Immigration Appeals.
Amanda E. Gray, a native of Portland, Oregon, graduated from the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law in May 2005. She received her Bachelor of Arts at Whitman College in English Literature with a minor in Japanese. She joined Bretz & Coven in December 2005 and is admitted to the New York State Bar, United States District Courts of the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Since joining Bretz & Coven, Ms. Gray successfully represented clients before U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services, the Executive Office for Immigration Review in Immigration Court and at the Board of Immigration Appeals, and in the Eastern and Southern District Courts of New York. Ms. Gray is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the New York State Bar Association and the American Bar Association.
Ms. Gray has been an advocate of workers’ and immigrants’ rights since starting law school in 2002. At CUNY, Ms. Gray took part in the well-regarded Immigrant and Refugee Rights Clinic, during which she could prevent the deportation of a long-term lawful permanent resident. She also participated in the Mississippi Project at the Workers’ Center for Human Rights in Greenville, Mississippi, worked summers at the Legal Aid Society and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in New York and was a member of Moot Court and Law Review. Ms. Gray has lived abroad and speaks Japanese.