DENVER (CBS4)- Colorado is one of 16 states advocating for the Dreamers before the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court says it will take up a case that ended DACA or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Some 17,000 young people in Colorado are protected from deportation by DACA, a program that's become a political football. Pres. Barack Obama established it. Pres. Donald Trump abolished it, leaving Dreamers in limbo and prompting the lawsuit.
Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser laid out the state's case before leaders from across the state - Republican and Democrat, business and agriculture, religious and academic - all part of the Colorado Compact on immigration.
"The Dreamers were told under the prior administration give us your information, all kinds of personal information, and we'll put you at the very back of the line of 11 million people. Unfortunately, in yet another political game, they're now being threatened with immediate deportation. When you tell someone one thing, and you get information from them for one purpose, you don't turn around and misuse it," said Weiser.
Weiser says Pres. Trump's reasoning is contrived and his actions a violation of due process. Still, Weiser would rather have Congress, not the Supreme Court, settle the matter.
So would Sen. Cory Gardner, "We worked for months to come up with a bi-partisan bill proposal."
He's one of six Republican and Democratic senators, including Sen. Michael Bennet, who wrote an immigration reform bill that included protections for Dreamers along with millions of dollars for border security. It failed by just six votes.
"We know this is the right thing to do," said Gardner. "I have people that live within my community who are Dreamers. Our daughter goes to school with a grade full of Dreamers and the opportunity for us to pass this legislation is so close so I spend each and every day fighting to find those six people - the six people that we were shy those votes - to get them to vote yes and that's what we're going to continue to do."
Gardner wouldn't say whether he thought Pres. Trump had the authority to rescind Pres. Obama's executive order establishing DACA. But he said he has talked to Pres. Trump repeatedly about the need to pass the Dream Act. The Supreme Court's decision is expected next spring, in the middle of the 2020 election.
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