Jewish Family & Children's Service of Pittsburgh

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Meet Our Staff

Immigration Services

Sheila Vélez Martínez

Director, Immigration Law Clinic (Consulting Supervisor)

Sheila Vélez Martínez serves as a consulting supervisor of the Immigration and Legal Services department of JF&CS. She offers her support in the management of complex immigration cases. Sheila is a faculty member of Pitt Law School and Director of the law school’s new Immigration Law Clinic. She lectures on issues regarding immigrant women, domestic violence and human rights.

Sheila came to the University of Pittsburgh from the faculty of Eugenio Maria de Hostos Law School in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, where she was the director of that school’s immigration clinic. She is the co-editor of the recently-published Judicial Bench Book on Domestic Violence published by the Puerto Rico Supreme Court Office of Court Administration and the author of two chapters.

Sheila received her JD from the University of Puerto Rico, School of Law.

Contact Sheila

Jamie Englert

Accredited Representative

Jamie Englert is an accredited representative in JF&CS's immigration department which provides immigration-related legal services and naturalization services to legal permanent residents. In this role, Jamie has been granted permission by the Board of Immigration Appeals and the Executive Office for Immigration Review to represent cases before the Immigration Court and the US Citizenship & Immigration Services. Jamie is responsible for accepting all incoming cases and assigning them to the appropriate caseworker, attorney or legal intern, managing her own caseload, assisting with grant proposals and coordinating and supervising the activities of the immigrant services program, including case management.

Previously, Jamie worked as a paralegal at several private law firms spanning a wide variety of practice areas including criminal defense, real estate, personal injury and business law.

Jamie attended the University of Pittsburgh where she studied administration of justice.

Contact Jamie

Joyce Gallagher Ramirez

Immigration Attorney

Joyce Ramirez is an immigration attorney with the Pittsburgh Refugee and Immigrant Assistance Center.  She is particularly involved with VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) and removal cases.  She also serves as coordinator of the Pro Bono VAWA Project, monitoring attorneys who were trained and will take such cases on a pro bono basis. Additionally, Joyce coordinates the Low Income Tax Clinic (LITC) which informs immigrants and internationals about the importance of filing taxes, provides direction on obtaining tax credits and Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers and offers referral to Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites in Pittsburgh for free tax preparation.

Joyce began her career as an attorney with the law firm of Brennan, Robins and Daley, where she practiced real estate law. She then had the opportunity to clerk for the Honorable Carol Los Mansmann in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. From there, she began her career as an immigration attorney, working first at Cohen & Grigsby and then at Deasy & Whitehill.

Contact Joyce

Svetlana Geguzina

Immigration Counselor, BIA Accredited Representative

Svetlana Geguzina works with JF&CS’s immigration department, helping foreign-born individuals with applications for adjustment of status, travel documents, work authorization, naturalization, petitions for alien relatives, fee waiver requests, status inquiries, affidavits of relationship, affidavits of support,  and more. She prepares clients for the naturalization interview; and is also responsible for the Diversity Visa Lottery program, leading workshops and entering online applications and digital photos for clients.

Svetlana is fluent in Russian and Ukrainian and assists JF&CS clients with translation of various certificates and vital documents and interprets at CIS interviews for those clients who are allowed to take the naturalization test in their native Russian language.

Contact Svetlana

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Watch our video highlighting our commitment to diversity and inclusion!
Learn more about how JF&CS is championing diversity and inclusion for everyone in our region.
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Volunteer opportunities at JF&CS
Help older adults remain active and independent in our community, stock shelves and help clients shop at the Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry, practice English with refugees and more! Connect with your volunteer passion at JF&CS.
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TAKE ACTION: Support refugee & immigrant-owned businesses
Refugees and immigrants make our region's economy stronger. Consider supporting Pittsburgh's refugee and immigrant-owned businesses the next time you shop.
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TAKE ACTION: Guidance for conversations about refugees & immigrants
When talking with fellow community members, these talking points can help guide conversations about JF&CS’s work with refugees and legal immigrants in our region.
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TAKE ACTION: Donate now to support refugees and immigrants!
Your dollars directly help us provide support, services and resources for refugees and legal immigrants in our region. Your financial contributions are needed now more than ever.
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Take a look at our latest Annual Report!
The JF&CS 2015-2016 Annual Report tells you all about what we've been up to, complete with client stories, facts and figures, and more!
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