Workforce center making film for immigrants |

Workforce center making film for immigrants

Amanda Roberson

FRISCO – Immigrating to a new country means dealing with a foreign web of red tape. New immigration laws, insurance, taxes, and driver’s licenses can be confusing, especially to those who don’t speak the new language yet. As an adjustment coordinator at the Colorado Work Force Center, Juan Carlos Gutierrez frequently sees the struggles of people who have just moved to Summit County. To shed some light on the laws of the land, he’s filming a video to explain a range of topics that affect basic living in the United States.

“I had the idea to educate people. There’s a lot of things people who come here would like to know so they can fit in,” said Gutierrez, who also works with the Family and Intercultural Resource Center. “You can avoid so many problems if you understand the system.”

Gutierrez hopes to have the video completed within the next few months.

The 30-minute video is made of 5-minute informational segments featuring experts in specific areas. A tax expert explains income taxes, an insurance expert touches upon health and automobile insurance, and Summit County Sheriff Joe Morales discusses traffic laws, DUI regulations, motor vehicle registration and domestic violence.

Immigration attorney Royal “Scoop” Daniel of the Daniel Law Firm in Breckenridge provides a 5-minute description of the logistics of obtaining and keeping legal status. He said many immigrants want to know what they must do to be able to work and to stay in the country. Immigration laws often can be confusing.

“The problem is, when people first come to the country, culturally, they find it bewildering and need help learning the ropes,” Daniel said. “That’s what this video is for. Most people learn the rules by growing up here, but if you don’t grow up here, you don’t know them.”

The most important thing for new immigrants to learn, Daniel said, is how to stay legal.

“If you’re not legal, your options drop to zero.”

Frisco’s Colorado Workforce Center sees an average of 10 immigrants per week. Most want to be trained in computer work, look for jobs and obtain information about English as a Second Language programs.

Gutierrez said the video will be available for those who come into the Workforce Center to watch. Employers also will be able to check it out to screen for their employees. A handbook of written material to go along with the video will be available for free from the Workforce Center.

Gutierrez hopes to distribute copies of the video throughout the northwest Colorado mountain area and have it available in Spanish, Russian, and French.

“We want immigrants to know this is a great place to live if you know the rules,” Gutierrez said.

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