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Immigration advocates form group to address concerns facing community

Posted: 5:44 PM, Jun 19, 2018
Updated: 2018-06-19 19:44:16-04

As images of children being torn a part from their families circulate, there’s a lot of uncertainty for some families in the United States. 

While Colorado Springs is far from the border- a group of local immigration attorneys and representatives from non-profit organizations are hoping to make an impact here at home. 

The group is in its early stages, in fact- Tuesday’s meeting they finally discussed a name, considering calling it the  ‘Colorado Springs Monthly Immigration Table’. 

Their mission is to discuss what can be done here at home to help out immigrants trying to become citizens or in some cases seek asylum. 

While they discuss many topics relating to immigration, they plan to keep their membership confined to those who belong to organizations advocating for immigrants. 

‘I think it’s really important to have these kind of conversations because the issues are really complicated, because we get information from different sources all over the country all over the world and it’s important to be able to really understand the issue, we’re only going to be able to fix it if we know what’s going on,’ said Stephanie Izaguirre, an Immigration Attorney in Colorado Springs. 

Many of these attorneys and community members work with these families on a daily basis. 

What’s been going on in the world, is something they’re concerned about and hope they can address. 

‘At Catholic Charities, we provide legal representation in immigration court, to as many people as we’re able to,’ said Eric Pavri, Family Immigration Services Director at Catholic Charities of Central Colorado. ‘We are very limited in how many people we can help, I’m the only lawyer there and I work until midnight many nights.’

The challenges facing immigrants is something the group is very well versed in. 

The monthly meetings allow them to have conversations on lots of these challenges for families trying to become U.S. citizens. 

With the impending legislation and the zero-tolerance policy for illegal immigrants, the members in the group say what’s happening at the U.S./Mexico border is heart-wrenching. 

‘This is not the country I love, this is not the America my parents immigrated to,’ said Pavri, who is also a father, ‘I cannot imagine the permanent damage being done to these children.’

For Izaguirre, her personal experience with meeting children from other cultures when she was younger inspired her to become an immigration attorney. 

‘I never imagined that I’d be seeing family separation like this,’ said Izaguirre.