Groups want investigation into fake immigration mailings

Members of and attorneys with the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, an alliance that includes dozens of immigrant and civil rights organizations across the state, are calling for an investigation into hoax mailings claiming to be from immigration officials.

As was reported by The Colorado Independent on Monday, an unknown number of the letters are being sent by post in the Denver area, claiming to be from federal officials with the “Immigration and Naturalization Detention Center.”

The letter threatens the recipient with deportation if they do not dial a phone number connecting callers to a real federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement prison, run by private contractor the GEO Group in the Denver suburb of Aurora.

Many coalition members, including Aurora-based immigration attorney Jeff Joseph, say they believe that the letters are a ruse by anti-immigration groups to get those living in the state without documentation to report themselves.

Joseph claims he received the hoax letter from one of his clients.

The coalition is working to get the word out to immigrants about the fake mailings and published a statement calling for a federal investigation into potential mail fraud on Tuesday. 

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature. Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state. Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters. She can be reached at