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Justice with Jessica: Free immigration legal help offered through the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition

Free immigration legal help offered through CIRC
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Posted at 9:52 AM, Mar 03, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-03 11:52:45-05

DENVER — The Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC) is offering free legal workshops to help people navigate the often complicated immigration system.

The workshops offer support with DACA renewal, citizenship applications, and consultations with immigration lawyers.

JuanDavid Garza, the legal services manager of the CIRC, said immigration legal services are under-resourced across the country.

"If there is an attorney in the area, they're not going to help you for free," said Garza. "They're gonna charge you like a pretty penny."

Garza said the cost of legal services can often prevent qualified people from accessing their legal rights as immigrants.

"People who are able to apply for citizenship do gain a lot of benefits, like being able to vote," said Garza. "You don't have to worry about deportation. You can travel with way less restrictions."

Atzin Cabrera and Jose Savedra-Luna attended a free workshop on Sunday.

They are recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA recipients are allowed to defer deportation and receive work permits if they reapply for the DACA program every two years.

Every two years, they have to save up application fees and pay for an expert to help them re-apply for the program.

The CIRC workshop is helping them cut costs. Now, they only have to pay for the application fees.

"These services really put help where the help is needed in these communities," said Savedra-Luna.

David Asser, an attorney who volunteers with the workshops, said immigration is personal to him.

"I'm an immigrant," said Asser. "I've gone through this process many, many years ago."

Asser said that citizenship applications are high stakes.

"One mistake can actually disqualify you for the relief, for the eligibility that you're seeking... it's very unforgiving," said Asser. "If you mark a wrong box on an application, you say, 'No' to a question that you meant to say, 'Yes' to — suddenly you're in big trouble."

Garza said that the workshops will travel to different locations throughout Colorado. For those who can't physically attend a workshop, CIRC can help through Zoom.

The nest immigration legal workshop is planned for Sunday, March 26 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 2525 W. Alameda Ave. in Denver.

Walk ins are limited. People who are interested in attending can register here or call 720-282-9656 to make an appointment.

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