Denver Hosts Work Authorization Clinics for Newcomers

Published on February 16, 2024

The City and County of Denver organized federal work authorization clinics this week for nearly 400 migrant newcomers. During these clinics, local non-profits, volunteers, and city staff assisted newcomers in filing the necessary paperwork to receive federal work permits. Pre-screenings to determine eligibility were held in city-run shelters ahead of two large-scale clinics at the Wellington E. Webb Municipal Building on Thursday and Friday.

“Where Congress has failed U.S. cities, Denver is putting together the pieces to manage both the humanitarian and fiscal crises our city is facing,” said Mayor Mike Johnston. “Every day newcomers tell me that all they want is to work and employers ask me if they can hire them, but without work authorization, newcomers have no path to housing or self-sustainability, leading to higher costs on the city and more hardships for those families. I’m incredibly proud of our city team members and volunteers who have come together to help hundreds of newcomers get on the path to work.”  

Denver is currently sheltering more than 3,000 newcomers and is working diligently to connect individuals with housing, work authorization, job opportunities, and onward travel. While this week’s clinics will help hundreds of people toward self-sustainability, a great number of individuals arriving in Denver remain ineligible for work permits and as a result do not have reliable means of supporting themselves. Denver continues to call on the federal government to address this inequity by expanding access to work authorization and providing additional funding to cities managing the migrant response.

The city is grateful to the many partners who made these clinics possible, including the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Denver Agency for Human Rights & Community Partnerships (HRCP), City Attorney’s Office (CAO), Denver Human Services (DHS), Lutheran Family Services, Catholic Charities, Colorado Lawyers Committee, Justice and Mercy Legal Aid Center (JAMLAC), as well as volunteers from within the city and community.  

Those who are bilingual and interested in volunteering at upcoming screenings and/or clinics can sign up here.

Those who wish to help should consider giving to the Newcomers Fund. Donations go directly to the city’s nonprofit partners who are supporting migrants through resource navigation, work authorization, housing, and other services.

B-Roll of the work clinics can be found here. Please courtesy the City & County of Denver with the footage.