HARTFORD, Conn. — Connecticut’s congressional delegation is urging the Secretary of Homeland Security to legally defend a program giving temporary status to young immigrants who are in the country illegally.

The delegation members, all Democrats, say the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, is vital for more than 10,000 Connecticut young men and women.

In a letter sent Friday to Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly, the delegation says any action by the Republican administration to “stop or suspend the DACA program will drastically disrupt the lives” of the young Connecticut immigrants. Many graduating from high school are pursuing college degrees in fields such as engineering, nursing and law enforcement.

This month, Kelly told Hispanic lawmakers the program that protects young immigrants from deportation is likely illegal, though he is personally supportive.