Staff

Staff

With significant expertise and amazing persistence, Immigration Law & Justice Michigan’s legal staff members help our clients understand and pursue their available options.  With wholehearted commitment, other staff members skillfully advocate on our clients’ behalf, share their stories, inform the community, raise needed funds and maintain a strong organization.

Click on staff photo to read bio.

Julie Powers

Julie Powers

Executive Director
Marcelo N. Betti 

Marcelo N. Betti 

Legal Co-Director
Mary Louise Boelcke

Mary Louise Boelcke

Attorney
Sofia Cuidon

Sofia Cuidon

Department of Justice Accredited Representative
Lorena De Frias

Lorena De Frias

Legal Assistant
Carolina Llamosas Iaconelli

Carolina Llamosas Iaconelli

Legal Assistant
Kourtney R. James

Kourtney R. James

Senior Attorney
Jenny Rosario

Jenny Rosario

Legal Co-Director
Casey Soto

Casey Soto

Legal Assistant
Carmen Wise

Carmen Wise

Central Intake Coordinator & Legal Assistant
Jessica Weber

Jessica Weber

Operations and Finance Manager

Julie Powers

Executive Director

Powers is a seasoned nonprofit professional with over 25 years of leadership experience and a background in nonprofit leadership, fund development, and strategic planning. Powers’ most recent experience came as the Executive Director of the Mesothelioma Research Foundation where she was responsible for leading, managing, and overseeing all aspects of the organization’s operations. Her experience creating fund development strategies and her grant and board management abilities will be integral to her placement as ED, but one of her main objectives is assuring that immigrant communities of Michigan are properly served and represented.

As I step into my role as the new Executive Director of Immigration Law and Justice Michigan, I am honored and grateful for the opportunity to join this incredible organization. ILJ-MI is dedicated to fighting for justice and advocating for the rights of immigrants in Michigan, and I look forward to working with my colleagues, volunteers, stakeholders, and community leaders to create a more inclusive and compassionate society, where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. I am truly honored to embark on this journey with all of you, and I cannot wait to make a meaningful impact together.

Marcelo N. Betti 

Legal Co-Director

Marcelo has been practicing Immigration Law with a family and humanitarian focus since 2014. He is a graduate of Vermont Law School, Grand Valley State University, and Northwestern Michigan College. Marcelo has been working at our Traverse City office since 2015. He speaks Portuguese and Spanish.

As an immigrant myself, I find it fulfilling to help clients navigate a complex bureaucracy so that they can best contribute to our communities. I also firmly believe that immigrants are at the essence of what makes the United States special.

Mary Louise Boelcke

Attorney

Mary Lou graduated from St. Mary’s College with a degree in government as well as a degree in Italian from the University of Notre Dame. After graduating from Oregon School of Law, she began a career as a trial lawyer, specializing in civil rights. She brings more than 30 years’ legal experience to ILJ Michigan.

I work for ILJ Michigan to continue my work for people’s individual rights and to live out my commitment to social justice.

Sofia Cuidon

Department of Justice Accredited Representative

While growing up abroad in Croatia and Germany, Sofia gained valuable experience with refugees and asylum seekers and is passionate about LGBTQIA+ asylum litigation. Sofia focuses her spare time on learning Spanish, playing with her dog and investing in her local community.

I am excited to be a part of ILJ Michigan because of the incredible mission to welcome, serve and empower immigrants so they can thrive in their communities.

Lorena De Frias

Legal Assistant

Lorena has a background in philosophy and legal studies. After receiving a master’s in legal studies from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, Lorena joined the staff at ILJ Michigan to work with immigrants as they maneuver the complicated and oftentimes hostile institution of U.S. Immigration.

I work for ILJ Michigan because I believe in advocating for the rights of all individuals, regardless of where they come from or where they’re going.

Carolina Llamosas Iaconelli

Legal Assistant

With over 5 years of experience in Client Relations & Management, Carolina finds herself overjoyed to embark on this new professional journey in immigration law. As a former client, Carolina experienced firsthand the sense of justice, welcoming, and belonging that ILJMI seeks to provide for the immigrant community, and she is eager to inspire the same.

I’m genuinely thankful to be a part of an organization that is this dedicated and committed to serving our community. All I want is to be a positive force, working together to ensure access to justice and provide support and kindness to those navigating the uncertainties of immigration.

Kourtney R. James

Senior Attorney

Kourtney first became captivated by immigration law as she learned about Dreamers and DACA in a high school history class. Since then, she has been committed to learning about and working within the field of immigration. Kourtney received her Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern Michigan University in 2016. She graduated from Detroit Mercy Law School in 2019 and then worked as an asylum officer in the Chicago Asylum Office. Now as a full-time attorney, Kourtney is immensely thankful for the opportunity to engage in meaningful work that directly serves Michigan’s immigrant community.

Immigrants are such a vital component of our nation. The hard work, dedication, and tenacity that they often display truly allows us all to thrive. I do this work because I am passionate about positively uplifting and advocating for the immigrant community.

Jenny Rosario

Legal Co-Director

While volunteering at ILJ Michigan with her husband and children, Jenny fell in love with the mission of the organization. She joined the team in 2020 and serves as Legal Co-Director. Jenny’s experience has included various areas of immigration law, but her primary focus has been humanitarian work representing and advocating for unaccompanied minors and survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking. Jenny is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Law.


The legal process of immigration can be expensive, overwhelming and complicated. At ILJ Michigan, I have the opportunity to advocate for our most vulnerable populations while affirming their inherent worth, dignity and value.

Casey Soto

Legal Assistant

Originally from southwest Michigan, Casey started working with ILJ Michigan in fall 2022, shortly after graduating from Harvard College with degrees in history & literature and history of science. Already fluent in Spanish, Casey is working to learn Portuguese.

I work for ILJ Michigan because I am passionate about serving the community in which I grew up. I’m proud to be a part of an organization that provides a safe space for marginalized people to seek immigration services.

Carmen Wise

Central Intake Coordinator & Legal Assistant

Originally from Honduras, Carmen worked as a teacher before moving to Michigan with her husband. Once settled she made a career shift and started working as a medical records specialist where she noticed the need to help Spanish speaking patients through the check in/out process following an appointment. It was then that Carmen noticed how helpful she could be in a client-based environment, specifically with the abilities she’s obtained so far in her career.

I work for ILJ Michigan because I am passionate about helping our community and anyone that embraces a new journey starting in this country. I realize that the transition provides a new beginning and new opportunities for our clients because it is life-changing for anyone who wants it to be.

Jessica Weber

Operations and Finance Manager

Jessica Weber is a versatile manager and administrator who has worked in health and human services since 2004. Weber has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Michigan in Healthcare Administration. She has a passion for management and collaboration but most of all, helping others within her community.

I look forward to providing support to our team members as they work diligently to help our clients