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Local organization works to ease fears of deportation for immigr - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Local organization works to ease fears of deportation for immigrants

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As the future of immigration policy in the United States is uncertain for many, a local non-profit is working to help people discover their options As the future of immigration policy in the United States is uncertain for many, a local non-profit is working to help people discover their options
COLORADO SPRINGS -

Discussions of immigration in congress and in local and state governments continue across the nation.

In southern Colorado, many people face the fear of deportation with decisions expected in the coming months. 

Recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program are just one group that could be forced out of the country if congress doesn't make a decision before the March deadline set by President Donald Trump. 

Which is why Catholic Charities of Central Colorado is doing what they can to ease the fears of many and help them get on a path to citizenship or at least, permanent resident status. 

 'We're seeing a greater need now of people needing to get citizenship than we were in years past,' said Corey Almond, Vice President of Community and Parish Engagement with Catholic Charities. 

The organization offers classes for people to learn about the citizenship process and lasts for a few months. 

'Citizenship is that pinnacle goal of participation for so many of our immigrants who come to us for help,' said Almond 'one of the most wonderful things to see ever is for people who gain their citizenship with us.'

With a recent increase in the number of people who are coming to Catholic Charities for help, the organization says their staff is doing their best to stay on top of it all. 

The non-profit works on about 400 legal cases every year, that doesn't count all of the people who come to them and can't be helped. 

'We're the only non profit in our region that does this type of work,' said Eric Pavri, Dir. of Family Immigration Services with Catholic Charities,

The first step in the entire process- determining if the person is even eligible to being the citizenship or permanent resident status process.

Sometimes, the non-profit has to turn people away if they don't meet the requirements. 

'Even that is a service, there are people who are not attorneys who are not accredited agencies who will take advantage of immigrants, take their money,' said Pavri. 

Pavri is also an immigration attorney, he works directly with the clients of the non-profit for them to understand their options. 

Pavri said there aren't many options for those they can't help but for the most part they are able to do a lot for everyone who seeks citizenship at the non-profit. 

With DACA recipient's future uncertain, Pavri said they worked with a little more than 300 recipients of the program. 

'Many of our former clients are wondering what's going to happen and where to turn now,' said Pavri. 

Catholic Charities has taken the stance that they do support the "DREAM act," which would ultimately give recipients of the program a pathway to citizenship. 

'We believe it is time for Congress to pass legislation to fix and find a solution for these young people instead of leaving this so uncertain,' said Pavri. 

Catholic Charities of Central Colorado is currently offering citizenship preparation classes, for more information visit the link here. 

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