Thousands of Colorado DACA recipients fearing the worst from Trump while vowing to fight

DENVER -- President Donald Trump says he will make his announcement on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program on Tuesday.

If discontinued, more than 17,000 DACA recipients in Colorado could face deportation.

"Law-abiding 'dreamers' deserve the chance to realize their potential in the only country they've ever known," Gov. John Hickenlooper said Friday.

He spoke during a joint news conference with DACA recipients, Latino lawmakers, and several education and community groups at the State Capitol.

"What matters is that I have all of these people in my community my elected officials behind me," said DACA recipient Juan Giegos, who arrived in Colorado as a baby with his parents, graduated from college and is now an immigration-rights activist.

"It was a step out of the shadows," said Salvador Hernandez, who has a similar background and is a coordinator for Mi Familia Vota in Denver.

"Realizing what it's like to be without fear and it felt good and I'm not going back  to that."

Ninety-five percent of more than 17,000 DACA recipients in Colorado are working or in school, contributing an estimated $800 million to the state's economy.

" We are asking the Congress to make sure that there is a path to citizenship and that we truly represent all people in this state and  in this country," State House Speaker Crisanta Duran said.

Leaders in business and Congress, including Speaker Paul Ryan, are asking the president not to dismantle the DACA program some, even proposing a new law if he does.

Colorado DACA recipients say it would cause more chaos for thousands of families who've already been torn apart.

"I might once again call my myself undocumented," said DACA recipient Monica Acosta, who is an immigrant advocate in Denver schools.

"The full descriptor however is undocumented, unafraid and unapologetic."