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Office of Immigrant & Refugee Affairs


The Denver Office of Immigrant & Refugee Affairs (DOIRA) promotes greater awareness and integration of immigrant and refugee residents in Denver. We partner with nonprofits, community based organizations, residents and government agencies to develop and implement policies, practices and programs that influence the various paths of immigrant integration. 

  • If you are an immigrant or refugee: You can find valuable resources and information from local nonprofits, libraries and government agencies.
  • If you are a community based organization or non-profit: We would love to chat about how collaboration and partnership can be leveraged to increase community impact and reach. We would be happy to address the challenges and opportunities you find your clients and customers facing in order to bridge more successfully to the appropriate city agency where dialogue, recommendation and partnership can lead to action.
  • If you are a government agency, office or department: We can help your agency develop a greater understanding of the immigrant and refugee community needs in Denver, share best practices and recommended strategies for outreach.
     

Our Programs

The fund awards grants to nonprofit organizations to provide representation for qualified individuals threatened with or in removal proceedings.

At its core, providing representation to immigrants in removal proceedings is not about who deserves to stay or be deported, it is about bringing fairness to complex immigration proceedings that pit immigrants against experienced government attorneys, and tear communities and families apart.

  • Legal defense should not be for only those who can afford it
  • Immigrants are over 10 times more likely to be able to stay in the country when they have representation
  • Deportation proceedings are the only legal proceedings in the United States where people are detained without access to legal representation

To learn more visit the Legal Services Fund page here.
Para aprender más visita la página del fondo de servicios legales aquí.

Check out the Vera Institute's presentation on Denver's Immigrant Legal Services Fund here. 

The Denver Immigrant Integration Mini-Grant program provides funding for Denver residents to create small, community-driven projects designed to bridge immigrant and receiving communities, create stronger and more connected neighborhoods, address community needs, and foster community pride. 

Learn more about the sponsorship program.

My City Academy is a free leadership-training program sponsored by the Denver Office of Immigrant & Refugee Affairs that empowers Denver residents to understand and participate in City Government. The purpose of the program is to connect Denver residents to their communities by providing the tools necessary for residents to successfully navigate City services and gain resources to become leaders in their neighborhoods. This program is open to applicants ages 14 and older.

Learn more here


Immigrant & Refugee Town Hall

On May 20, 2020, the Denver Office of Immigrant & Refugee Affairs, held a town hall on COVID19 resources for immigrants and refugees.

Check out the town hall below.

Town Hall Presentation (PDF)
Town Hall Question and Answer Responses (PDF)

 

 
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About DOIRA in American Sign Language


Helpful Resources

Denver wants you to Take the Next Step to become a US Citizen!

Denver is home to approximately 30,000 residents who are eligible for citizenship!

As a U.S. Citizen, you can:

Travel with a U.S. Passport, access more job opportunities, vote in elections and much more!

Learn more about our citizenship program.

On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security, under former President Barack Obama, announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal. They are also eligible for work authorization. Deferred action is a use of prosecutorial discretion to defer removal action against an individual for a certain period of time. Deferred action does not provide lawful status.

The Status of DACA (updated June 2020):

June 18, 2020

The Supreme Court of the United States ruled in a 5-4 decision on two questions about the rescission of the DACA program:

1) Is the rescission of DACA something that is reviewable in court?

Yes, under the Administrative Procedure Act, an agency’s actions, here the rescission of the DACA program by the Department of Homeland Security’s action is reviewable.

2) Did President Trump’s decision to rescind DACA violate the law?

Yes, the Trump administration’s decision to rescind the DACA program violated the federal rules pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act.  This Act sets forth specific rules that must be followed to explain why the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to rescind DACA was “reasonable” and not “arbitrary or capricious”.  The Supreme Court held that the Trump administration’s decision to rescind the DACA program was arbitrary and capricious.  The Department of Homeland Security, if they chose, may bring a new reason forward why to rescind the DACA program.  As a result of this ruling, the DACA program is still intact so renewal applications are still being accepted and adjudicated by USCIS.

November 12, 2019
The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) heard oral arguments regarding President Trump’s repeal of DACA in September of 2017. The Supreme Court will render a decision on the following two questions:

(1) Is the repeal of DACA something that is reviewable in court?

(2) Did President Trump’s decision to repeal DACA violate the law? All parties involved in the case agree the President can repeal previous administration’s policies; however, the question remains if he did so with consideration to DACA policy’s recipients.

A decision from SCOTUS is expected no later than June 2020.

November 5, 2018 
Department of Justice petitioned the Supreme Court to hear the cases regarding DACA in the lower courts in the following states: California, District of Columbia, and New York before the lower courts could issue a decision.

August 3, 2018
On August 3, 2018, U.S. District Judge John D. Bates ruled that the Trump Administration had still failed to justify its proposal to end DACA. Earlier in the year, in April, Judge Bates ruled that the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) legal explanation for the decision to end the DACA program was unpersuasive. The federal judge had given DHS 90 days to deliver a better explanation for why the program should be ended. If the judge was not convinced by DHS' new explanation, then U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services may be ordered to accept new initial DACA applications. In this most recent ruling, he has upheld his order. But Judge Bates also agreed to delay his ruling for 20 days to give the administration time to respond and appeal.

This August ruling has not changed who is eligible to apply for the DACA program. If you have not had DACA in the past, you still cannot yet apply. If you have previously been granted DACA and remain eligible, you can still apply.

September 5, 2017
President Donald Trump announced he was ending the DACA program.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is currently accepting DACA renewal applications, as well as applications from DACA eligible community members whose DACA status has expired.

DACA Resources June 2020 (PDF)

The Denver Office of Immigrant & Refugee Affairs (DOIRA) promotes greater awareness and integration of immigrant and refugee residents in Denver by collaborating with nonprofits, community-based organizations, residents, and government agencies to develop and implement policies, practices, and programs that influence the various paths of immigrant integration.  A key component of understanding the needs of different immigrant and refugee populations is knowing the population itself. This report outlines the characteristics of Denver’s immigrant and refugee community. Through the information provided in this report, DOIRA and organizations doing similar work can use this as a blueprint for policy and outreach efforts.

2019 Denver Immigrant and Refugee Community and Neighborhood Assessment Report (PDF)

Colorado requires an Affidavit of Lawful Presence to obtain a business license in the State of Colorado. 

Find more information about the Business License Center and a copy of the Affidavit of Lawful Presence here.

En Español

La ley de Colorado requiere una Declaración Jurada (Affidavit) de Presencia Legal para obtener una licencia de negocios en el Estado de Colorado. 

Para más información del “Business License Center” y para una copia del Affidavit of Lawful Presence(Declaración Jurada de Presencia Legal) pulsar (hacer clic) aquí.

Check out immigrant and language maps here.

This information was created to assist government, nonprofit, and business organizations in outreaching to Denver's various demogrpahic groups. 

Use the maps, share the maps, and contact jessica.jorgensen@denvergov.org with any questions or for more information.

The recent Trump Administration Executive Orders regarding immigration, deportation and travel have caused sincere confusion and concern in our communities. In the coming days and weeks, the Hancock Administration will be gearing up legal protections and supportive services and working with other providers to ensure immigrant and refugee communities have the resources they need and know what their rights are. That starts with empowering people with information and resources.

Denver has a history of welcoming immigrants and refugees and will continue to act as a welcoming city and an ally for all new arrivals.

Learn more here.

Statement from HRCP and the Office of Immigrant & Refugee Affairs

“Many Denver residents – our family, friends and neighbors – are feeling the immense weight and fear of the Trump Administration’s continued threats of ICE raids. The Denver Agency for Human Rights & Community Partnerships and the Office of Immigrant & Refugee Affairs want to ensure that all Denver residents, regardless of immigration status, understand they have rights and protections under the law.  We encourage residents to look out for and check in on each other and to share Know Your Immigrant Rights information.

Denver is a welcoming city that is fortunate to have a caring community and a broad network of organizations that come together to provide resources for those who seek help as well as a place to report concerns about ICE activity.”

Resources:
Know Your Rights iAmerica – Resources available in English, Spanish, Polish, Korean, Tagalog, Simplified Chinese, Vietnamese, Khmer, Hindi and Haitian Creole

Colorado Rapid Response Network

Denver Immigrant Legal Services Fund                                  

American Immigration Lawyers Association Raid Resources

Latest News on Public Charge
On July 29, 2020 a District Court issued a nationwide injunction which blocked the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from enforcing the Trump administration’s new public charge rule during the public health emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, on August 12, 2020, the 2nd Circuit narrowed the injunction to only apply in New York, Connecticut and Vermont. This means that, for now, the DHS public charge regulations can be applied in every other state excluding Vermont, Connecticut, and New York. 

What is Public Charge?
“Public Charge” is a term used by U.S. immigration officials to refer to a person who is considered likely to become primarily dependent on the government for subsistence.

Please note – The litigation against the public charge rule is ongoing. Not all resources will reflect the most current information. 

What is Public Charge Fact Sheets

Key Resource Websites
Colorado Center on Law and Policy Public Charge Resource Page

Colorado Center on Law and Policy Video on Public Charge

Protecting Immigrant Families

ORR Exempted Immigrant Groups from the Public Charge rule - U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (PDF)

Public Charge Information - Colorado Department of Human Services

Q and A about access to COVID 19 medical resources and the Public Charge rule (English)

Q and A about access to COVID 19 medical resources and the Public Charge rule (Spanish)

What does the "Protecting the nation from foreign terrorist entry" Executive Order mean?

Presidential Proclamation 9645Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists and Other Public Safety Threats

President Trump passed Proclamation 9645 on September 24, 2017, restricting entry into the United States from the following eight countries:

  • Iran
  • Libya
  • North Korea
  • Somalia
  • Syria
  • Venezuela
  • Yemen
  • Chad   

Since the passage of the proclamation Chad’s entry restrictions have been terminated after there was an improvement in their willingness to update and share public-safety and terrorism related information. 

On June 26, 2018, the United States Supreme Court overruled the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, ruling that Proclamation 9645 was constitutional under the Immigrant and Nationality Act. The Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision with the majority opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts.

Presidential Proclamation 9985:Proclamation on Improving Enhanced Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry

President Trump passed Proclamation 9983 on January 31, 2020 added on-going travel restrictions by expanding the travel ban to six additional countries:

  • Burma
  • Eritrea
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Nigeria
  • Tanzania
  • Sudan      

These new restrictions will not apply to tourist, business, or other non-immigrant travel.

For the following countries: Burma, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, and Nigeria the proclamation restricts issues of Immigrant Visas including diversity visas but excluding certain categories of special Immigrant Visas.

For Tanzania and Sudan, the proclamation suspends diversity visas.

No visas will be revoked pursuant to Proclamations 9645 or Proclamation 9985.   

Contact the Office of Immigrant &
Refugee Affairs

720-913-8457
immigrants@denvergov.org

 
 
 

Location & Hours
Webb Municipal Building, 2nd Floor
201 W. Colfax Avenue, Dept. 1102
Denver, CO 80202

Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

 


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