NewsFront RangeDenver


Migrants in Denver face work permit obstacles in path toward steady employment

Denver migrant work authorization
Posted at 4:36 PM, Jan 04, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-05 01:38:21-05

DENVER — Migrants told Denver7 they arrived in Denver with the goal of finding a job but have faced obstacles when trying to obtain a work permit.

Angel Salcedo from Venezuela arrived in Denver a week ago. He has earned money by washing windshields at an intersection near Speer Boulevard.

“I’m here, willing to work in anything," Salcedo said in Spanish.

Immigration lawyers explain process to obtain work authorization permit

Salcedo, 28, said he left everything behind in search of a better future. He said it took him seven months to finally get to the U.S.

"Those dreams you have, you feel here. It’s more, not saying more easy, but more accessible," Salcedo said.

Francisco Medina, his wife and their three children walk several miles every day looking for yard work.

“I haven't been able to find stable work. I have my family, I need to be stable," Medina said in Spanish. “I know right now it’s a bit complicated. I don’t have a work permit, but I hope to get one soon to get a stable job."

Denver Mayor Mike Johnston has called on the federal government for weeks to speed up the work authorization process for these newcomers as they wait to have their asylum cases heard in court. In an appearance on Good Morning America Thursday, Johnston said if the work permit process is not addressed, the city will need significant federal support in order to help the thousands of migrants who continue to arrive.

"When people come to the cities and can work as they want to do, they can support themselves. If they can't work, we're going to need much more federal support to provide help to folks who aren't able to support themselves," Johnston said.

mike johnston migrant camp.png

Local News

Mayor Johnston urges work authorization for migrants as encampment site closes

Jeff Anastasio
1:16 PM, Jan 03, 2024

The cost is adding up for the city, according to Johnston, who on Tuesday said Denver is facing a $180 million figure in 2024, representing between 10% and 15% of the overall general fund budget.

Since the beginning of the crisis in December 2022, Denver has spent around $36 million to help over 34,000 migrants, Johnson said.

Here's how you can help refugees and immigrants coming to Denver

If you’d like to help as the city responds to this migrant crisis, you can do so with donations — either material or monetary. If opting for the former, the city is asking for the following items:

  • Socks (new/unopened only)
  • Bras - small/medium/large
  • Women’s clothing - small/medium/large
  • Men’s clothing - small/medium
  • Winter hats - gender neutral and kids/one size fits all
  • Winter gloves - men's, women's and kids/small and medium sizes
  • Scarves - various sizes
  • Closed toed or winter shoes for children
  • Closed toed or winter shoes for women sizes 4, 5, 6 and 7

Those items can be dropped off at the following locations:
Community Ministry
1755 S. Zuni St. Denver, CO 80223
Monday - Thursday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Para Ti Mujer
150 Sheridan Blvd. Suite 200 Lakewood, CO 8O226
Monday, Wednesday, or Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Colorado Changemakers Collective
12075 E. 45th Ave. Denver, CO 80239
Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 a.m.

Before heading out the door though, please call ahead to ask about any specific instructions for drop-off.

If you want to donate your time, you can donate money to the Newcomers Fund.

D7 follow up bar 2460x400FINAL.png
The Follow Up
What do you want Denver7 to follow up on? Is there a story, topic or issue you want us to revisit? Let us know with the contact form below.