DENVER — Gov. John Hickenlooper announced Wednesday that Colorado plans to join more than a dozen other states in a lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
DACA, which was implemented by former President Barack Obama, protects about 800,000 young immigrants living in the U.S. illegally from deportation.
“President Trump’s decision to end the DACA program is outrageous and risks the futures of more than 17,000 Coloradans,” Hickenlooper said in a statement.
“Colorado benefits when (DACA recipients) have the opportunity to thrive in our communities and the only country they’ve ever known. These young people should not have to suffer because of our broken immigration system.”
The decision to join the lawsuit is “no substitute for the sort of comprehensive immigration reform that can only come from Congress, it sends a necessary message that the rule of law and basic notions of fairness still matter in this country,” Hickenlooper said.
New York, Washington, and Massachusetts are leading the lawsuit.
A special attorney general will represent the state in the lawsuit. Last week, state Attorney General Cynthia Coffman suggested she wouldn’t join other state attorneys general in suing, saying the immigration debate “belongs in Congress.”
Last week, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the Trump administration would be ending the DACA program. About 800,000 young immigrants are covered by the program.
The decision led to mass walkouts by students at several Denver schools.