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Staff

CIRC is grateful for an incredible team that enacts our mission to build a unified statewide voice to advance and defend justice for immigrants and refugees in Colorado. (Note: All media inquiries should be forwarded to communications@coloradoimmigrant.org).

Staff members are listed below by alphabetical order of last name:

Nayda Benitez

Nayda Benitez

Organizing Director

Nayda (she/ella) grew up in El Paso County, a notoriously anti-immigrant county in Colorado, as an undocumented immigrant. She immigrated to Colorado from South Central Mexico in 2002. Today, she leads CIRC’s organizing team and strategy as the Director of Organizing. She was pulled into the immigrant rights movement in 2016 as a student who organized against the onslaught of attacks on DACA recipients and the criminalization of the immigrant community during the Trump years. She has worked on campaigns to disentangle ICE from local law enforcement, on passing a statewide Immigrant Legal Defense Fund, on expanding healthcare access to undocumented people in CO, and has worked extensively with migrants in the rural, Southern part of her state. She credits a lot of her organizing skills to working class, undocumented, women of color who are at the heart of the immigrant justice movement in Colorado.


Email

(719) 726-5984
JuanDavid Garza

JuanDavid Garza

Legal Services Manager

JuanDavid Garza is a Texas native who moved to Colorado to pursue higher education. He graduated in May of 2020 from the LEEDS School of Business and brings along an immense passion for social justice and equity. Alongside his music career, JD hopes to bring about healing for himself and others with his work at CIRC.


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Raquel Lane-Arellano

Communications Manager

Raquel HeadshotJoining CIRC as the Political Manager is a dream come true! Ever since Raquel had her first taste of grassroots organizing as a high schooler on Obama’s campaign in 2012 to protect friends and loved ones who had just applied for DACA, she has been eager to help grow our pro-immigrant policy and political power here in Colorado. As a first-generation college graduate and Chicanx/Latinx major, she moved back to Colorado after college to empower her community and increase access to opportunity for all in our state.

In the 2018 midterm election, Raquel worked as a Family Defender Field Coordinator with CIRC leading CIRC’s civic engagement efforts in Aurora to promote sanctuary city policies and energize immigrant and POC voters. She looks forward to growing with CIRC and the immigrant rights movement in Colorado to continue crafting better realities and futures for our community together.


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Alma Orozco

Operations Manager

Alma Headshot

Alma Orozco is a proud first-generation DACA, Queer, Latinx Student. Before CIRC, Alma had been loyal to a restaurant owner-operator for eight years, and what kept her committed was focusing on the people she worked with and managed. Many of the people Alma managed belonged to the immigrant community. Although she created great relationships with them, working with a for-profit organization limited her ability to serve her community. Growing up undocumented and experiencing the hardships of living in underserved communities, Alma decided to join CIRC  in 2022 as the admin coordinator and later as the operations manager to continue to fight for immigrant rights. Alma aspires to finish her Women and Gender Studies Degree, loves the outdoors, and loves gardening as self-care.


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Henry Sandman

Henry Sandman

Co-Executive Director

Henry grew up with a deep appreciation for Human Rights and Immigration Justice because his grandparents came to the US from Europe to escape the Holocaust. His involvement in political activism and immigrant rights began in college when he majored in International Affairs with a concentration on Latin American politics. He also started a chapter of an organization focused on getting young people more engaged in politics.

Henry has worked on a variety of progressive political campaigns and labor organizing movements in Colorado and Ohio. As a Regional Organizer, he built a team of grassroots volunteers that knocked on over 15,000 doors in a challenging rural county. In Denver, he worked on a campaign to secure wage increases and healthcare protections for janitors in the midst of the COVID pandemic at SEIU Local 105. Prior to working as an organizer, Henry supported a government program focused on improving land management of Tribal Reservations.

Before becoming Managing Director, Henry was the Campaign Manager for CIRC AF’s campaign in Aurora in 2019, the Electoral Program Manager for CIRC AF’s statewide campaign in 2020, and the C4 Operations Manager in 2021. As Campaign Manager in 2019, Henry led CIRC AF’s campaign in Aurora, where CIRC AF knocked 100,000 doors in to help elect progressive candidates Juan Marcano and Allison Coombs to Aurora city council. As Electoral Program Manger, Henry oversaw CIRC AF’s Field Operations in support of 16 endorsed candidates where CIRC AF contacted nearly 1.4 million voters. As Operations Manager in 2021, Henry helped CIRC AF develop its first ever non-electoral year budget and created independent C4 internal operations to support its program. 

Email: Henry@circaction.org


 

Marine Brichard

Marine Brichard

Development Director

Marine Brichard (she/her/hers) is an immigrant from Belgium currently living in Colorado and working for the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition. She is passionate about fighting for immigrant rights and creating a world where everyone is able to move freely. Marine is excited about reimagining the field of fundraising to one that centers community, equity, and justice. She loves challenges and adventures, hiking and running (somehow), and learning Arabic.


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Gladis Ibarra

Gladis Ibarra

Co-Executive Director

Gladis Ibarra, born in Zacatecas, Mexico, immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 8.  From Boulder to Broomfield, she grew up in Colorado and graduated in 2008 from Vantage Point High School. Gladis has been an active volunteer with CIRC since 2012.  In September of 2017 DACA was threatened and rescinded by the administration, Gladis participated in the massive Denver Public School walkouts where students marched to Metro State University.  This year she joined the staff as a fellow for the Denver Region for 3 months. She is now joining the team full time as the new Hotline Coordinator and Denver Region Organizer support. As a DACA recipient, Gladis’ passion is the main thing that drives her in this fight to protect her family, her community. She is excited to be able to dedicate her time and energy to fight and defend people like herself.

Gladis Ibarra born in Zacatecas, Mexico, immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 8.  From Boulder to Broomfield, she grew up in Colorado and graduated in 2008 from Vantage Point High School. Gladis has been an active volunteer with CIRC since 2012.  In September of 2017 DACA was threatened and rescinded by the administration, Gladis participated in the massive Denver Public School walkouts where students marched to Metro State University.  This year she joined the staff as a fellow for the Denver Region for 3 months. She is now joining the team full time as the new Hotline Coordinator and Denver Region Organizer support. As a DACA recipient, Gladis’ passion is the main thing that drives her in this fight to protect her family, her community. She is excited to be able to dedicate her time and energy to fight and defend people like herself.


Email

(303) 922-3344
Keilly Leon

Keilly Leon

North Regional Organizer

Born in Guanajuato, Mexico, Keilly first came to Colorado at 8 months old. After the election of Donald Trump in 2016 and the threat to DACA in 2017, Keilly found inspiration and hope in the social and political movements formed and lead by other young people. As a high schooler, the lack of legal and medical resources for the undocumented community pushed them to involve themselves in advocacy work and to connect with those directly impacted. As a DACA recipient they grew empowered in her story and began involving herself in advocacy and policy work. They are currently studying Political Science with a minor in Legal Studies at Colorado State University and Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Keilly hopes to continue cultivating their passion in policy, advancing immigrant rights, and fostering healing among our minority communities.


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Q Phan

Q Phan

Denver Regional Organizer

Q.C. is the Denver Regional Organizer for the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC). She started her work in intersectional justice around the age of 18, focusing on anti-Blackness in AAPI communities, gender equality, and LGBTQ rights. She lobbied with a national quaker organization for clean energy and climate change policies, and immigrant rights which started her journey in this movement. Q.C. also worked at the Colorado State Capitol as a legislative aide, dedicating most of her time to bill research around the growing homeless community in Colorado. In her off-time, she likes to have dinner conversation around decriminalizing sex-work, abolishing US imperialism, and watching true crime with the family.


Email

(303) 922-3344
Caitlin Trent

Caitlin Trent

Political Director

Caitlin (she/her/ella) is from Colorado but has worked around the world in a variety of organizations. Caitlin first worked at CIRC and CIRC Action Fund from 2017-2020 as Operations and Program Director then was on the Board of Directors of CIRC Action Fund from 2020-2023. She is excited to come back to the organization and its community in 2024 as Political Director. 

Caitlin has always strived to understand the world, its inequities, and build power for directly impacted people to address systemic issues. From working with small grassroots organizations to large INGOs and statewide ballot initiatives and coalitions, she brings a commitment to social justice. Her work before CIRC centered around research, evaluation and management of international post-conflict policy and justice, as well as investigating patterns of systemic racism, sexism, homophobia and ADA violations by law enforcement and employers. She has an M.A. in International Studies, with a specialization in Conflict, a certificate in International Human Rights Law, and B.A.s in International Studies and Spanish. 


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