By Stan Bush
DENVER (CBS4)- Colorado will join the lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump's plan to end the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program.
New York, Washington and Massachusetts are the states leading the suit.
Colorado is home to more than 17,000 people in that program.
In a statement, Gov. John Hickenlooper says "Colorado benefits when DREAMers 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."
But to do so, Hickenlooper has had to seek private counsel to represent the state. On Wednesday Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, a potential Republican candidate for governor, said her office would not move forward with the case.
"I don't have to represent him and that's what I've chosen to do," Coffman told CBS4's Shaun Boyd.
Coffman says she has reviewed briefs from Republican and Democratic attorneys general in multiple states and says she was not convinced a lawsuit is appropriate.
"This, to me, is not the right forum for the discussion because a court ruling is not going to resolve the issues of DACA. This debate needs to take place in public arena," said Coffman.
She and Hickenlooper agree the only long-term solution for DREAMers is for Congress to pass new legislation, but Hickenlooper still defends the merit of the lawsuit.
"(It) sends a necessary message that the rule of law and basic notions of fairness still matter in this country," said Hickenlooper in a statement.
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