Top po­lit­i­cal lead­ers rally on be­half of DACA re­cip­i­ents

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Jesse Paul

Three of Colorado’s top Demo­cratic po­lit­i­cal lead­ers on Wed­nes­day ral­lied on be­half of 17,000 im­mi­grant chil­dren in the state who could face de­por­ta­tion be­cause of pos­si­bly forth­com­ing le­gal chal­lenges to an Obama-era im­mi­gra­tion pro­gram.

“This is an eco­nomic is­sue for us,” said Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne. “It im­pacts all of us as cit­i­zens.”

Lynne joined U.S. Rep. Jared Po­lis and Denver Mayor Michael Han­cock at a Denver news con­fer­ence tout­ing the con­tri­bu­tions of De­ferred Ac­tion for Child­hood Ar­rivals re­cip­i­ents in Colorado, con­tend­ing they con­trib­ute an es­ti­mated $857 mil­lion to the state’s an­nual gross do­mes­tic prod­uct.

Texas At­tor­ney Gen­eral Ken Pax­ton, along with a group of other at­tor­neys gen­eral, have threat­ened to press on with a law­suit against the U.S. if DACA is not re­scinded by the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion by Sept. 5. The speak­ers on Wed­nes­day say they fear U.S. At­tor­ney Gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions wouldn’t de­fend the pro­gram in court, ef­fec­tively killing it.

In April, Trump said DACA re­cip­i­ents — who were brought to the U.S. un­law­fully as kids — could “rest easy” be­cause they were not tar­gets for de­por­ta­tion, de­spite his cam­paign rhetoric to the con­trary. So far the pol­icy, cre­ated by for­mer Pres­i­dent Barack Obama in 2012, has not been changed.

In June, how­ever, the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion re­scinded a sim­i­lar Obama-era pro­gram that, had it been en­acted, could have saved from de­por­ta­tion as many as 22,000 Den­ver­area par­ents liv­ing in the U.S. il­le­gally. That stoked fears about DACA’s fu­ture.

“We’ll see if the pres­i­dent is true to his word in the com­ing weeks,” said Po­lis, who is work­ing on fed­eral leg­is­la­tion to pro­tect DACA re­cip­i­ents.

Mayor Han­cock, whose ad­min­is­tra­tion has been bat­tling against fed­eral im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cials, said any steps to dis­man­tle DACA would have a “detri­men­tal im­pact on the city of Denver.”

“This DACA ef­fort em­bod­ies ev­ery­thing this na­tion stands for,” he added. “And we as con­sci­en­tious in­di­vid­u­als must ask our­selves the ques­tion: Why would any­one tar­get these vul­ner­a­ble, hard­work­ing, ded­i­cated peo­ple in our cities across this na­tion?”

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