Office of Immigrant & Refugee Affairs
The Denver Office of Immigrant & Refugee Affairs (DOIRA) partners 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, non-profit, government agency, office or department, we would love to work with you whatever your needs may be.
- We would love to chat about how collaboration and partnership can be used to increase community impact and reach. We would be happy to talk about the challenges and opportunities your clients and customers face in order to recommend the appropriate city agency. In which 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's needs in Denver, share best practices, and recommended strategies for outreach.
Denver City Guide
The New Denver City Guide is now available in 6 languages: English, Spanish, Arabic, Amharic, Lingala, and Vietnamese! This guide is meant to assist you in understanding some of the benefits and services offered by your city.
Meet The Team
Atim Otii, Director
Atim Otii is the Director for the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs. She is a leader in immigration integration and has helped thousands of immigrants throughout the Rocky Mountain region. Prior to joining the city, Otii served as the Immigration Legal Services Director for Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains for six years, where she led several immigrant focused programs from direct legal representation to social service support in Colorado and New Mexico. Previously, Otii was in private practice, where she successfully represented immigrants in family-based immigration, asylum and naturalization law, and removal defense. Otii has served with the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the Colorado Lawyers Committee Immigration Task Force, offered trainings on immigrant rights and integration, and provided technical assistance and advocacy locally, nationally and internationally. Otii was born and raised in Denver. Her parents came from northern Uganda as refugees. She earned her Juris Doctor from the Washburn University School of Law and a bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University, where she was also a student athlete.
Claudia Castillo, Language Access Manager
Claudia is the Language Access Program Manager for the City of Denver and works in the Denver Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs (DOIRA). Prior to joining the City of Denver in December 2020, Claudia worked as an asylum paralegal and as a Legal Assistance Coordinator for the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition. After serving ~20 years in the Army in Korea, Germany, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Kuwait, and Honduras, Claudia retired in 2016 and pursued her Master’s degree in international human rights at the University of Denver, where she graduated in 2018. It was at DU where Claudia rediscovered her passion for advocating on behalf of immigrant populations and comprehensive immigration reform, including on language access-related issues. Claudia understands first-hand how language access affects immigrant communities, as she was her parent’s own translator and interpreter from the age of six. Claudia prioritizes the ability of Denver’s immigrant and refugee residents to receive language access services and knows how life changing receiving critical information in one’s preferred language can be. She strives to bring this kind of change to Denver and all residents regardless of English proficiency.
Melissa G. Burton, Esq., Immigration Policy Analyst
Tsigereda Feseha, Community Integregration Coordinator
Tsigereda Feseha joined HRCP’s Office of Immigrant & Refugee Affairs in November of 2022. Soon after earning her BA in English Literature from the University of Northern Colorado, Tsigereda begin working for the Global Refugee Center, now known as Immigrant & Refugee Center of Northern Colorado. After moving to Denver, she worked in higher education for eight years before coming upon the opportunity to, once again, work in the field she’s most passionate about; giving back to community through service. Tsigereda looks forward to being of service and helping to create positive integration experiences for immigrant & refugee communities as well as receiving communities.
Alexandra Bare, Language Access Services and Contract Coordinator
Alexandra “Alex” Bare is the Language Access Services and Contracts Coordinator at the Denver Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs. She assists agencies with identifying their language service needs, whether it be explaining vendor options, helping with accessing the citywide language service contracts, or setting up demos. She loves process improvement and is constantly finding ways to make language access more accessible for both City agencies and residents. Prior to joining the Language Access team, Alex was working for a State Department contractor in Washington, DC, developing programs for the International Visitor Leadership Program, as well as assisting a local non-profit, WorldDenver, in administering their youth education program, World Affairs Challenge. Alex is an immigrant from Russia, having moved to the United States to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Economics in 2012.
Deena Duwaik, Language Access Planner
Working in service of community has been Deena's focus for the last 10 years, spanning spaces around the world such as Jordan, Palestine, Morocco, Thailand, and Kenya. Coming from a family of Palestinian refugees, Deena has a special place in her heart for immigrant and refugee communities. Today, Deena supports government agencies as they cultivate the most inclusive language access plan for their programs that serve and reach diverse community members, as the Language Access Planner. Previously, Deena was the Development Manager at an anti-hunger organization for 5 years where she worked to eradicate system barriers to food, housing, employment, and more for marginalized and underrepresented communities. In 2022, she became the first person in her family to pursue a post-graduate degree, receiving her Master of Public Administration and Policy. Deena is a lover of cats, weightlifting, chess, The Mummy movie franchise, and conversations around justice.
Connect with Us!
201 West Colfax Avenue,
Dept. 1102 - 7th Floor
Denver, CO 80202
TTY: (720) 913-8457
Fax: (720) 913-8470
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Languages we offer resources on:
Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese), русский (Russian), မြန်မာ (Burmese), 中文 (Chinese), فارسی (Farsi),
አማርኛ (Amharic), ကညီကျိာ်, K'nyaw (Karen), Español (Spanish), नेपाली (Nepali), عربى (Arabic), Somaliyeed (Somali), Français (French), فارسی (Dari), پښتو (Pashto), ትግርኛ (Tigrinya)