Caterina S. Kretz was born in Caracas, Venezuela and was raised in New York City. Both of Caterina's parents were immigrants. Her mother immigrated from Columbia to the United States in her late twenties while her father’s family immigrated from Italy to the United States when he was a young boy. Both of Caterina's parents obtained their citizenship before Caterina was born. Growing up with two immigrant parents has given Caterina a very unique perspective on what you and your family may be going through in your immigration journey. This is a perspective that many immigration attorneys do not possess. While growing up, Caterina would actually help translate for her parents from Spanish to English until her father mastered Spanish. Caterina's grandparents on her father’s side also received their citizenship in the United States. Caterina actually has their original citizenship certificates hanging up at the office. Caterina's husband is no stranger to immigrants either, his grandfather on his fathers side immigrated from Alsace-Lorraine in the turn of the 19th century and his grandmother immigrated from Austria around the same time and they both received their United States citizenship.
Caterina was drawn to the practice of law through a family attorney. Since Caterina was born outside of the United States she had to obtain her citizenship. The attorney that helped Caterina gain her citizenship became a close friend of the family. Caterina always looked up to her and it became apparent she would pursue a career that would help immigrants.
Caterina is a graduate of the University of Toledo College of Law. Caterina was admitted to the New Mexico State Bar in 1994. She is also a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Caterina has also done consulting work for both the Mexico Consulate in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Catholic Charities in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Caterina speaks fluent English and Spanish.
Caterina was a staff attorney for the Albuquerque Border City project from 1996 to 1997. This organization fought for the rights of low income or disadvantaged immigrants as well as her extensive work with violence against women act (VAWA). In 1997 Caterina opened her own law practice "Kretz Law Firm" to help immigrants with their immigration needs.