Who We Are

Dale L. Wilcox | Executive Director & General Counsel

Mr. Wilcox joined IRLI in 2014 as its chief executive officer and is responsible for the overall management of the organization. He is a distinguished litigator who has dedicated his career to protecting civil rights and promoting accountability, transparency, and integrity in government and fidelity to the rule of law. Prior to joining IRLI, he served as State and Local Director for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) where he developed and executed a successful legislative program to advance FAIR’s mission to stem unlawful immigration and promote legal immigration levels consistent with the national interest.

Prior to FAIR, Mr. Wilcox worked with Judicial Watch, Inc. (JW) for more than ten years where he served as counsel and Executive Director of Judicial Watch’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia. In this regard, he was involved in several seminal JW investigations that uncovered government corruption, waste, fraud, and abuse, including the Filegate, Chinagate, Commercegate, and Pardongate scandals, litigated numerous FOIA lawsuits that forced release of important government records, including the CCTV camera footage of American Airlines Flight 77 hitting the Pentagon on 9/11 and documents establishing government abuse and incompetence relating to the handling of the anthrax letters sent to members of Congress, and successfully litigated a variety of high-profile cases, including a whistleblower and discrimination lawsuit on behalf of a Hispanic Immigration and Naturalization Service special agent involved in the Elian Gonzalez matter and a whistleblower lawsuit on behalf of a senior government official whose waste, fraud, and abuse disclosures caused Congress to suspend paying its United Nations dues in the latter 1990s.

Prior to joining JW, Mr. Wilcox’s law practice mainly concentrated on civil rights where he successfully challenged as unconstitutional the newly enacted campaign finance schemes in the states of Arkansas, Colorado, and North Carolina. In addition, he successfully represented members of the United States House of Representatives and Indiana House of Representatives in actions before the Federal Election Commission on campaign finance issues and in recount and contest proceedings.

He is a cum laude graduate of the Regent University School of Law and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science with a minor in philosophy from the University of Louisville. He is a member of the bars of the United States Supreme Court, United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth, Fifth, Seventh, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh and District of Columbia Circuits, United States District Courts for the District of Columbia and Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana, Supreme Court of the State of Indiana, and District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

Thomas D. Homan | Senior Fellow

Mr. Homan served as Acting Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) , the principal investigative agency of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), from January 30, 2017 until his retirement on June 30, 2018. In this role, Mr. Homan advanced ICE’s mission to promote homeland security and public safety through the criminal and civil enforcement of approximately 400 federal laws governing border control, customs, trade and immigration.

Since 2013, and until his retirement, Mr. Homan served as the executive associate director of ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO). In this capacity, he led ICE ‘s efforts to identify, arrest, detain, and remove illegal aliens, including those who present a danger to national security or are a risk to public safety, as well as those who enter the United States illegally or otherwise undermine the integrity of our immigration laws and our border control efforts.

Mr. Homan is a 33-year veteran of law enforcement and has nearly 30 years of immigration enforcement experience. He has served as a police officer in New York; a U.S. Border Patrol agent; a special agent with the former U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service; as well as supervisory special agent and deputy assistant director for investigations at ICE. In 1999, Mr. Homan became the assistant district director for investigations (ADDI) in San Antonio, Texas, and three years later transferred to the ADDI position in Dallas, Texas.

Upon the creation of ICE, Mr. Homan was named as the assistant agent in charge in Dallas. In March 2009, Mr. Homan accepted the position of assistant director for enforcement within ERO at ICE headquarters and was subsequently promoted to deputy executive associate director of ERO.

Mr. Homan holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and received the Presidential Rank Award in 2015 for his exemplary leadership and extensive accomplishments in the area of immigration enforcement.

Christopher J. Hajec | Director of Litigation

Mr. Hajec joined IRLI in 2017 as its Director of Litigation, and is responsible for overseeing IRLI’s public interest litigation. He has focused his career on constitutional and other civil rights law in the public interest, and has had an abiding concern about the many adverse effects of illegal and excessive legal immigration on American jobs and communities.

Prior to joining IRLI, Mr. Hajec was an attorney at the Center for Individual Rights (CIR), where he litigated a string of high-profile cases, including the defense of videographer James O’Keefe in suits brought by former ACORN employees, a class action suit on behalf of Asian American students discriminated against by the New York City public schools, and a case that resulted in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals striking down Texas’s psychologists licensing statute as an overbroad restriction on free speech.

​Before CIR, Mr. Hajec was an officer in the Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps, where he served as a defense counsel before courts-martial and then as Appellate Government Counsel, arguing over 100 appeals before the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals and the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. He was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal on the basis of “superior performance.”

​He received his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and his undergraduate degree, cum laude, from the University of Michigan. He has a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Miami, and studied philosophy and sociology at Oxford University in England.  He is a member of the bars of the United States Supreme Court, District of Columbia Court of Appeals, Pennsylvania, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth and Ninth Circuits.

Brian Lonergan | Director of Communications

Mr. Lonergan joined IRLI in 2017 as Director of Communications. He has a wide array of experience in television, print media, podcasting and digital marketing. Mr. Lonergan is a veteran of corporate communications in the Washington, D.C. market and has worked at several trade associations in and around the nation’s capital.

Previously he directed communications at the Media Research Center, one of the nation’s premier media watchdog organizations. He started his career as a journalist and has interviewed a long list of public figures from the world of business and politics. A native of Scranton, Pa., Mr. Lonergan earned a Master of Science degree from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, and a B.A. from the University of Arizona.

Matt O’Brien | Director of Investigations

Mr. O’Brien joined IRLI in 2022 as its Director of Investigations and is responsible for overseeing IRLI’s investigations into fraud, waste, abuse and other misconduct in the application and enforcement of America’s immigration laws. Mr. O’Brien has nearly 30 years of experience in immigration law and policy. Prior to joining IRLI, he was an Immigration Judge, sitting on the U.S. Immigration Court at Arlington, VA.

From 2016 to 2020, he served as the director of research at the Federation for American Immigration Reform. From 2008 to 2016, he held a number of positions at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security including Assistant Chief Counsel with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Senior Advisor to the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman, and Chief of the National Security Division at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. From 1997 to 2003, he was an immigration attorney in private practice, in Boston and New York. From 1996 to 1997, he served as a District Adjudications Officer with the former Immigration and Naturalization Service. He holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Maine School of Law, a Master of Arts in National Security Affairs from the Institute of World Politics and a Bachelor of Arts in French from the Johns Hopkins University. He is a member of the Bar of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts.

Lorraine G. Woodwark | Director of Attorneys United for a Secure America (AUSA)

Ms. Woodwark joined IRLI in 2019 as its Director of AUSA and is responsible for managing all aspects of IRLI’s network of attorneys. Her legal career focused on business, corporate (including contract negotiations), employment, environment, real property and other general law in California. She has also represented clients regarding constitutional and other civil rights law violations by governmental entities, including drafting ballot measures. As a Pro Tem Judge (2005-2017), she presided over numerous small claims, temporary restraining orders, traffic, unlawful detainers, etc. Throughout her career, she has seen the harmful effects of unfettered illegal immigration on Americans and communities across this nation.

Ms. Woodwark received her J.D. from the Santa Barbara College of Law. She is admitted to practice law in California and the District of Columbia. Prior to passing the California State Bar, she worked in various government agencies assisting the public and businesses through the endless maze of governmental regulations. She is passionate about protecting all Americans and our national sovereignty.

Jason Hopkins | Investigations Manager

Mr. Hopkins joined IRLI in 2020 as its Investigative Associate. He has broad experience in investigative journalism, immigration issues, and state legislative work.

Prior to joining IRLI, Mr. Hopkins worked as an immigration reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation, covering all aspects of the Department of Homeland Security and its agencies. His immigration reporting took him across the country, including the U.S.-Mexico border. He broke numerous stories about sanctuary city activity, which was featured on Fox News and other nationwide media outlets.

Before covering the immigration beat, Mr. Hopkins reported on a slate of other issues, including energy and U.S. politics. His investigative work once landed him into the middle of the Atchafalaya Basin, the largest swamp in the country, armed with nothing but a camera and snake boots.

Mr. Hopkins also worked as an aide in the Georgia State Capitol, spearheading the creation and passage of legislation. He earned a bachelor’s degree at Georgia State University.

Gina D’Andrea | Staff Counsel

Ms. D’Andrea joined IRLI in 2020 as Staff Counsel.  Before joining IRLI she worked on campaign finance and election law issues as a law clerk for a non-profit organization.  Prior to that she served as law clerk for the United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, where she worked closely with the staff develop legislation improving the Indian Health Service.

Ms. D’Andrea was a paralegal before entering law school.  As a real estate paralegal, she assisted with commercial deals, editing and reviewing contracts for both privately financed and HUD transactions.  During her time as a litigation paralegal she managed both civil and criminal cases, most of which involved constitutional claims.

Ms. D’Andrea has a bachelor’s degree in history from Hofstra University and a master’s degree in paralegal studies from George Washington University.  She earned her law degree at The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law.  She is a member of the District of Columbia Bar and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

John M. Miano | Of Counsel

Mr. Miano is a nationally known advocate for American workers. He is a co-author with Michelle Malkin of the book entitled, Sold Out: How High-Tech Billionaires & Bipartisan Beltway Crapweasels Are Screwing America’s Best & Brightest Workers, that documents how the immigration system has been hijacked by political elites to become a weapon against ordinary Americans. He has testified before Congress several times on the adverse effects foreign labor has on American workers and has been a frequent guest on cable news and radio shows. He is also a Fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies.

Mr. Miano received his J.D. degree cum laude from Seton Hall University School of Law and a B.A. in mathematics from the College of Wooster. He is a former computer programmer-turned-lawyer and has written three books on computers. Mr. Miano is licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia, New York, and New Jersey and is admitted to the bars of the United States Supreme Court, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Third, and Ninth Circuits, and the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and New Jersey.

Matt Crapo | Senior Counsel

Mr. Crapo is an experienced immigration litigation attorney who works to ensure that the nation’s immigration laws are enforced and advocates for stricter immigration policies. He worked for more than 12 years in the Office of Immigration Litigation in the Civil Division of the United States Department of Justice where he defended removal orders before nearly every court of appeal, including presenting oral arguments numerous times before the United States Courts of Appeals for the First, Second, Third, Sixth, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits.

Mr. Crapo received his law degree at the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah and earned his B.S. in Environmental Engineering from Utah State University. He worked as an air science engineer before becoming an attorney. Mr. Crapo is licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia and is admitted to the bars of the United States Courts of Appeals for the Fifth, Eleventh, and Ninth Circuits.

Mark S. Venezia | Staff Counsel

Mr. Venezia joined IRLI in 2017 as Staff Counsel. After a career in investment management, he earned his J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. In his third year of law school, he moved to the D.C. area to finish his studies at the Antonin Scalia Law School.

Mr. Venezia brings to IRLI a wealth of experience in management, country analysis and the securities business. During his nearly 30 years as Director of Global Fixed Income at Boston based Eaton Vance, he visited over 40 countries, his group traded the foreign exchange and securities of nearly twice as many, and he developed interests in foreign political systems and immigration. Mr. Venezia was previously Vice President of Network Utilities, the first options pricing provider to run off of a personal computer network. He left in 1984, to start Eaton Vance’s first mortgage-backed securities fund and, years later, the Global Macro Absolute Return Fund.

Mr. Venezia earned his M.B.A from the University of Chicago, M.A. in Philosophy (all but dissertation) from the University of Illinois, and B.A. in Economics from Stanford. Mr. Venezia is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a member of the Virginia and D.C. Bar.

William Davis | Communications Associate

Mr. Davis joined IRLI in 2021 as a communications associate. Before joining IRLI, he worked as a reporter for the Daily Caller, and in the communications department in the Trump White House. Mr. Davis graduated from Liberty University in 2020 with a B.A. in Political Science.

Emily Wray | Communications Associate

Ms. Wray joined IRLI in 2022 as a Communications Associate. She possesses experience working with a variety of companies to create and maintain brand identity and social media outreach campaigns.  She is an accomplished photographer and, as a native Brazilian, is fluent in the Portuguese language in addition to English.

Ms. Wray joined IRLI in 2022 as a Communications Associate. She possesses experience working with a variety of companies to create and maintain brand identity and social media outreach campaigns.  She is an accomplished photographer and, as a native Brazilian, is fluent in the Portuguese language in addition to English.

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