DENVER (AP) — Colorado's governor says the state will join a lawsuit by 15 other states and the District of Columbia challenging President Donald Trump's plan to end a program that protects young immigrants from deportation.
Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper said in a Wednesday statement that the futures of more than 17,000 Colorado residents are at risk.
The lawsuit was filed in New York on Sept. 6.
The Trump administration says the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program will end in six months to give Congress time to find a legislative solution for the immigrants, who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children or came with families who overstayed visas.
The lawsuit says the plan is motivated by bias against Mexicans. Opponents of the program, enacted by President Barack Obama, call it an unconstitutional abuse of executive power.
California has filed its own lawsuit against the plan.
Attorney General Cynthia Coffman sent Denver7 the following statement in response to the governor’s actions on DACA:
"Governor Hickenlooper has announced his intention to join the current litigation, State of New York, et al. v. Trump, filed in federal court in the Eastern District of New York by a group of Democrat Attorneys General from other states. In Colorado, my office has the independent authority to take legal action on behalf of the State when I believe doing so is in the State’s best interest. In this case, I do not. Nor do I support the legal arguments in the Democrats’ lawsuit.
"No court ruling will provide a lasting solution to the significant policy and people issues surrounding DACA. This debate belongs in Congress where the public can have input, and must result in a clear direction forward for this country and those who wish to call it home.
"The Governor also has authority to take legal action, and is exercising that authority to join his party’s litigation. I have approved a special assistant attorney general designation for the Governor’s Chief Legal Counsel to provide representation to the Governor on this matter."