Jonathon Braun (He/Him) – Legal Director
Jonathon is MWC’s Legal Director after previously working here as a Staff Lawyer and Legal Advocate. In between these roles, Jonathon continued to advocate for the rights of workers as an articling student and lawyer at a boutique union-side labour and employment firm. During his time in private practice, Jonathon stayed involved at MWC as the Secretary of our Board of Directors.
In his legal practice, Jonathon has represented clients before a number of administrative bodies, including the Employment Standards Branch, Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal, Residential Tenancy Branch, Human Rights Tribunal, and Labour Relations Board. He has also assisted clients with a variety of immigration issues and has advocated for improvements to Canada’s immigration laws.
Jonathon received his law degree from the University of British Columbia in 2015. In his free time, he loves being outdoors and is an avid hiker and downhill skier. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Jonathon has been devouring books and has stayed social and connected by organizing online games and competitions.
Daniel Silveyra (He/Him) – Director of Operations
Daniel is a settler from Monterrey, Mexico. He has been living in Coast Salish land since 2009. Prior to joining MWC, Daniel served as the Director of Operations for Pain BC, a disability advocacy charity based in Vancouver. Before this, Daniel worked in multiple Operations leadership, consulting, and project management roles in the retail, consulting, and financial services industries in Mexico, Canada, and the UK.
Daniel received his Bachelor of Economics degree from ITESM (Monterrey, Mexico) in 2005 and his Master of Arts in Economics from the University of British Columbia in 2010. In his free time, he enjoys exploring the old growth forests of BC, dabbling in writing and music, and herding his two cats Akira and Lenú.
Amanda Aziz (She/Her) – Staff Lawyer
Amanda is a part-time Staff Lawyer with the Migrant Workers Centre and also works as an immigration and refugee lawyer. She is a long-time advocate for migrant justice, is the proud daughter of immigrants and has supported many families in navigating their immigration status in Canada. She has appeared regularly before all levels of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada as well as the Federal Court of Canada and has testified before federal standing committees of the House of Commons and Senate.
Amanda has worked with organizations supporting women and workers’ rights, including the West Coast Legal Education and Action Fund, the BC Government and Service Employees Union and the Canadian Labour Congress, and is a member of the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers National Executive and the Canadian Bar Association Provincial Executive. She is also a regular volunteer with Rise Women’s Legal Clinic and is actively involved with Vancouver’s sanctuary city movement, advocating for access to services for all regardless of immigration status. Prior to her life as a lawyer, Amanda represented students at the national level, advocating for accessible post-secondary education. She received her law degree from the University of Victoria in 2014.
Juliana Cliplef (She/Her) – Staff Lawyer
Juliana is a Staff Lawyer with the Migrant Workers Centre’s Respect at Work Legal Clinic, where she assists clients who have experienced workplace sexual harassment with their immigration, employment, and human rights concerns, and helps to connect them with appropriate legal and psychosocial supports. She was called to the bar in Alberta in 2015 and in British Columbia in 2018, and has assisted clients with matters before all levels of Court in Alberta and in the Provincial Court of BC. In her immigration practice, she represents clients before the Federal Court of Canada and before all divisions of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, including as an enthusiastic member of Legal Aid BC’s Immigration Division duty counsel program.
Juliana completed her law degree (Juris Doctor, 2014) and Bachelor of Arts degree (International Relations, 2009) at the University of Calgary and completed work terms with both the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) as a part of her studies. She is passionate about access to justice and strongly believes that the free movement of people across borders is a human right. She has traveled to more than 27 countries, spanning 4 continents, and has lived in both France and Myanmar (Burma). Her international experience gives her a personal appreciation for the stress involved in trying to establish oneself in a new country and the challenges that can arise when dealing with foreign legal and administrative systems.
In her spare time, she enjoys gardening and exploring the waters of the PNW with her husband and their baby.
Vanessa Maggisano (She/Her) – Staff Lawyer
Vanessa Maggisano is a Staff Lawyer with MWC’s Agricultural Workers Legal Clinic in the Okanagan Valley. After graduating with a law degree from UBC, she returned to her hometown of Toronto where she practiced civil litigation at a mid-sized downtown firm. Vanessa then transitioned to working as a Senior Policy Advisor for multiple ministries within the Government of Ontario, including the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration. In these roles, Vanessa was able to make significant contributions to immigration and labour policy – particularly through the process of conducting legislative reviews.
Vanessa also has experience teaching as a law instructor with the University of Toronto, and she brings a broad range of legal and policy experience to her role with MWC.
Lorena Ordoñez – Intake Manager
Lorena Ordoñez – is the Intake Manager with MWC’s Agricultural Workers Legal Clinic in the Okanagan Valley, based in Kelowna. Lorena was born and raised in Cali, Colombia and since 2002 Lorena calls Canada her home. Prior to joining MWC, Lorena worked in human services, adult education, rehabilitation, and employment services with her most recent role as a Senior Employment Consultant at WorkBC, where she collaborated in developing strategic plans to meet the unique individual needs of newcomers to move towards sustainable employment. Also, as the member of the leadership team, Lorena provided training and the efficient transfer of policy requirements made by the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. In her spare time, Lorena enjoys volunteering her time with various non-profit projects, paddleboarding and bird watching.
Perla Villegas – Community Legal Worker
Perla is originally from Mexico, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Law, and a Diploma in Human Rights from the Institute of the Federal Judiciary. She also holds a Diploma in International Development from the Okanagan College in Kelowna, BC. For more than 15 years, she worked for a Human Rights Tribunal in Mexico, where she acted as a Project Secretary for complaints involving discrimination, indigenous’ rights, family violence, unlawful imprisonment, labour exploitation and trafficking, among others.
In addition, she has worked as a Research Assistant for the Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, of the Western University in Ontario, the University of British Columbia and Okanagan College for the project Testing a Support Model to Address Gaps in Services that Contribute to Migrant Agricultural Workers’ Vulnerability in the Okanagan Valley. She also volunteers with RAMA Okanagan. In her role as Community Legal Worker with MWC, Perla conducts outreach to migrant agricultural workers and providing referrals, document translation and legal navigation.
Xochi Ruiz (She/Her) – Legal Support Coordinator
Xochiquetzal Ruiz, born in Mexico City, is a passionate advocate for equity, diversity, and inclusion. With a double major in Political Science and International Studies from Simon Fraser University, Xochiquetzal has dedicated her career to assisting local governments, organizations, and companies in creating environments that promote these values.
Having recognized the challenges faced by newcomers to Canada, Xochiquetzal has actively volunteered with various organizations to ensure their successful settlement in the country. She helps newcomers navigate the complexities of the Canadian system and provides them with the necessary resources to integrate into their new communities. Xochiquetzal’s passion lies in exploring how the Canadian immigration system can be a catalyst for social justice. She firmly believes that a fair and inclusive immigration policy can help build a more equitable society, where individuals from diverse backgrounds have equal opportunities to thrive and contribute.
Cristina Kim (She/Her) – Project Coordinator: Respect at Work Legal Clinic & Regional Coordinator: Alliance for Gender Justice in Migration
Cristina Kim (she/her) is a diasporic Korean immigrant-settler who was born and raised in Chile. She joined MWC in March 2023 to support as Project Coordinator for the Respect at Work Legal Clinic. She comes with a strong background and commitment to human rights advocacy, bringing in her experiences volunteering for SWAN Vancouver and working as an Anti-Racism Research Assistant at the University of British Columbia (UBC).
During her time completing her BA degree in International Relations from UBC, Cristina focused her interdisciplinary research on human rights law, transnational activism, and gender & queer studies. Most recently, she completed a policy program with the Vancouver Foundation, through which she developed, published, and presented her policy brief “Im/migrant Sex Workers Access to Health.” In her spare time, Cristina enjoys listening to music in various languages and sharing meals with people she holds close to her heart.
Ana Quiroz (She/Her)
Ana is a racialized settler living on the unceded and traditional territories of the the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and Selilwitulh (Tsleil Waututh) Nations. Ana graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts in Latin American Studies. As part of her commitment to fostering community, she volunteers as a trauma-informed Yoga facilitator with Yoga Outreach. In her spare time, she enjoys camping and learning Nahuatl.
Ezra Rosas (He/Him) – Articling Student
Ezra joined the Migrant Workers Centre in July 2023 as an Articling Student. He is originally from Queretaro, Mexico and immigrated with his family to Canada in 2015. He completed his law degree from the University of British Columbia in May 2023 and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology from the University of Alberta in 2019. Ezra worked with the Migrant Workers Centre in 2022 as a community legal worker in the Okanagan, assisting migrant agricultural workers with their immigration needs. He also completed the Judicial Externship program during the fall of 2022 at the Kelowna courthouse, clerking for judges of the Provincial Court. Prior to law school, worked as a legal assistant at Mosaico Law in Edmonton, Alberta. Outside work, he enjoys cooking, listening to French House music, and swimming.