On Wednesday, February 20, 2019, Joseph Law Firm was privileged to be able to meet with a group of high school freshmen at Denver’s Colorado Academy. https://www.coloradoacademy.org Teachers, Sean Gallop and Mike Stanitski, created a Freshman Immigration Intensive for a small group of interested students. The Intensive, entitled Local Application of Federal Immigration Law, encompassed a wide area of study, and, as such, an arrangement of a surprisingly large number of interesting speakers and interactive learning experiences were scheduled and held. This four-day Intensive was to allow the students to engage first-hand with the application of federal immigration law at the local level.
Throughout the Intensive, students were challenged to develop their own personal, data-, and research-supported idea about how federal immigration law should be applied at the local level. Accordingly, students sought to gather, process, and analyze immigration data in an effort to support their idea. The culminating activity on the afternoon of Friday, 22nd February, consisted of the students presenting their personal idea to a wider audience of fellow students, parents, and teachers in an infographic.
Mr. Gallop originally reached out the Joseph Law Firm and did not expect much of a response. However, Senior Partner, Jeff Joseph responded within minutes enthusiastically confirming that JLF would participate. Jeff put together a presentation and was slated to appear himself to give the talk on the beautiful southwest Denver campus. Unfortunately for Jeff, a long standing client was set for his final interview in Texas – so Jeff could not be at the presentation. Fortunately for me, I was available and got to go meet the engaging young group!
The presentation, Like a Camel Through the Eye of a Needle: Obstacles to Immigration and Options for Lifting Restrictions on Legal Immigration, went through employment-based immigration issues and complications on both the permanent and temporary paths, as well as permanent options through family members. Options, ideas, and thoughts about border security, those individuals already present in the United States without recourse to fix their status, and big picture fixes to the U.S. immigration system globally were all topics discussed. It was a hit and the young scholars followed along and remained engaged as we wound our way through the puzzling and complicated U.S. immigration system.
During the Intensive, the freshmen were able to meet with and hear from a broad range of individuals and organizations on the forefront of local immigration issues in the Denver-metro area. They met with Boulder County Judge Andy Hartman, Ingrid Encalada Latorre in Sanctuary at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder, attorney Andres Guevara at the Jefferson County Courthouse, El Comité de Longmont, The Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition of Denver, Charles Danaher of the Boulder County Republicans, Dr. Mike Davis, the Head of Colorado Academy, and Police Officer Jason Ezell of Lakewood Police Department, and a Federal Immigration Judge (by Skype conference call).
With the current media presentations and active voices on both sides of U.S. immigration issues all broadcasting their views, this Intensive was a creative, informative and important way to provide the students with information, differing viewpoints, and potentially jaw-dropping realities that are not part of the increasing discussions about immigrants, U.S. immigration, and how to do things the ‘right’ way.
JLF was honored to have the opportunity to give these young minds a bit of food for thought. If the program is offered in the future, Colorado Academy knows that JLF will be there!
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