DENVER — Gov. John Hickenlooper, state lawmakers and dozens of young immigrants and activists urged President Donald Trump on Friday to keep federal protections for those immigrants whose parents brought them as children to the U.S. illegally.
Some 17,000 immigrants in Colorado have benefited under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allows those brought by their parents without documentation to temporarily live, study and work in the U.S.
The White House said Trump will announce a decision Tuesday. He had faced a Tuesday deadline set by a group of Republican state lawmakers, who have threatened to challenge the program in court if the administration does not start to dismantle it by then.
At a capitol rally attended by Hickenlooper, Democratic House Speaker Crisanta Duran and others, several immigrants spoke of the uncertainty they were experiencing.
“The time has come again to organize our friends, our families, our neighbors,” said Salvador Hernandez, a community advocate, Denverite reported (http://bit.ly/2xDpLfB ).
“I don’t know what to do,” Brithany Gutierrez, a junior at Colorado State University, told The Denver Post (http://dpo.st/2wpu5QS).
Gutierrez said the childhood arrivals program had allowed her to work as a nursing assistant to help pay for college; she emigrated from Mexico with her family in 2005. “It’s kind of out of my hands and out of my control, and that’s one of the worst feelings, because I feel kind of helpless.”
The program was enacted by executive order by President Barack Obama and affects nearly 800,000 people nationwide.