Immigrant Affairs Committee

The Immigrant Affairs Committee ("Committee") was formed in the City of Jersey City to advise the Municipal Council and/or Mayor on issues of common concern to immigrants, particularly in the areas of health and human services, civil and human rights, education, business development, and the demographic makeup of the Jersey City immigrant community. The Committee shall make recommendations to the Municipal Council and/or Mayor that will maximize the positive impact and minimize the adverse effect of existing federal, state, and local immigration, welfare, and other laws on local immigrants. The Committee shall promote the recognition and preservation of the contributions of immigrants to the economic and cultural vitality of Jersey City; and shall promote the availability of, and accessibility to local educational, economic, legal, and social resources for immigrants. The Committee shall have reasonable and necessary authority to carry out its purpose; such as the ability to conduct public meetings, studies, and surveys. The Committee also has the authority to issue public statements and resolutions to the extent those are advisory only and would have no binding effect on the governing body.

Click here to view the Immigrant Affairs Committee's October 2022-2023 Annual Report. 

IAC 2023 Report

Immigration Affairs Committee Members:

Chairperson Hamel Vyas, Esq.
Vice Chairperson Vishnu Khemraj, Esq.
Ward D Councilperson Yousef Saleh
Imtiaz Syed
Khurshi Bhatti
Ebony Anuforo, Esq.
Yamileé Bazile
Stephen M. DeLuca, SJD

Michael McLean, Senior Immigration Assistant & IAC Secretary
John McKinney, Legal Counsel



Immigration Affairs Committee Member Biographies:

Chairperson Hamel Vyas, Esq.
Hamel VyasHamel Vyas received a B.A. in political science (with honors) from York University, Toronto, Canada, and her J.D. from Widener University School of Law, Wilmington, Delaware. Ms. Vyas began her immigration law career in Buffalo, upon her admission to the New York State Bar. She is currently the  Senior Associate Dean for International Personnel, HR Regulatory and Compliance, at Mount Sinai Health System. She is also the Responsible Officer for the J-1 Exchange Visitor visa program and the Principal Designated School Officer of the F-1 Student Visa Program. She served as immigration co-chair for the South Asian Bar Association, North America, and also served on the Board of Directors of the South Asian Bar Association of New York (SABANY), as well as Vice President; and served on the AILA Board of Governors during her term as chair of the Young Lawyers Division (YLD). Ms. Vyas also served as YLD co-chair (2001–02). Ms. Vyas has spoken and written on various immigration topics. She is the recipient of the inaugural 2014 Pro Bono Attorney of the Year from SABANY Pro Bono Clearinghouse for outstanding commitment to pro bono legal service for the South Asian community and the 2018 Public Interest Award recipient from the South Asian Bar Association, NJ.

Vice Chairperson Vishnu Khemraj, Esq.

Vishnu KhemrajVishnu N. Khemraj is an immigration attorney who received his Juris Doctor from Western Michigan University Cooley Law School in 2008. He currently serves as the Deputy Chief Prosecutor representing the State of New Jersey and the City of Jersey City on criminal matters and violations of city ordinances. He frequently consults with law enforcement in Jersey City on topics related to the sensitive treatment of immigrant residents and immigrants seeking victims' visas. His career in law has spanned almost fifteen years, leading him to open his private practice in 2012, where he proudly assists indigent clients with immigration and other legal matters. Vishnu is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, New Jersey Bar Association, New York Bar Association, and is barred in New Jersey and New York.

Councilperson Yousef Saleh
Yousef SalehWard D Councilman Yousef J. Saleh is a loyal son of Jersey City, born and raised in the Heights. He comes from a Palestinian family of immigrants that came to Jersey City to pursue the American Dream. Yousef attended Rutgers University where he was the first democratically-elected student body president for all five campuses. He then attended Rutgers Law School for his Juris Doctorate, where he was President of the Student Bar Association. Previously, Yousef worked in the Jersey City Law Department, and has familiarity with municipal government. Over the years, Yousef has been involved with countless community groups in the Heights, advocating for good government. He has been a volunteer and was Treasurer for the Riverview Farmers' Market and helps organize the annual Ramadan Iftar in City Hall Plaza.

Imtiaz Syed
Imtiaz SyedImtiaz A. Syed has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and English and a Masters in History and Constitutions. A lifelong community activist, he has served as a Commissioner and Chairman of the Redevelopment Agency of Jersey City, Commissioner for the Board of Education, a Commissioner for the Board of Adjustment and currently serves as the Commissioner for the Executive Board of Hudson County’s Housing and Economic Development. He is the founder of Jersey City Homeless Advocacy Group and serves as a member for Action 21.

Khurshid A. Bhatti

Khushid BhattiKhurshid A. Bhatti holds a Masters degree in Political Science and a Bachelors degree in Economics from Punjab University, as well as a degree in Computer Operations from New York University. His career in business includes import/export management, as well as food and beverage management for nationally and internationally recognized hospitality businesses. He has lived in Jersey City for the past 42 years.

Ebony Anuforo, Esq.
Ebony Ebony Anuforo, Esq. is the daughter of Nigerian immigrants. She is an immigration attorney who serves victims of domestic violence, asylum seekers, family petitioners, and many others. She has given years of pro-bono legal services to immigrant detainees on behalf of the American Immigration Council and American Friends Service Committee. Ebony graduated from Rutgers University School of Law, where she was Associate Editor of the Rutgers Conflict Resolution Law Journal. She received both her bachelor’s degree and master’s in public policy from Stony Brook University. She has taught law at Southern New Hampshire University, and Professional Writing at Stony Brook University and recently authored The Marriage Green Card Guide. Ebony is a member of the New Jersey Bar and U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Yamilee J. Bazile
Yamilee BazileYamilee J. Bazile brings over 18 years of project management experience in nonprofit and educational institutions. She serves on the leadership boards of the Haiti Solidarity Network of the North East (HSNNE), Haitians Unified for Development and Education (HUDE), and Mobile Missions for Haiti. She is a first-generation Haitian American, born and raised in Jersey City. She is a graduate of Saint Peter’s University and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.


Stephen M. DeLuca, S.J.D.
Stephen M DeLucaStephen M. De Luca, S.J.D. is a litigator with three decades of experience, admitted in three states and ten federal courts. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the NJ Coalition Against Human Trafficking and on the Jersey City Division of Immigrant Affairs’ Fellows Program to assist low-income citizenship seekers.

Michael McLean, Secretary
John McKinney, Legal Council