To keep, to modify, or to rid of DACA: Colorado perspectives

Democrat Jared Polis decries Trump's DACA remarks threatening to end the program.

The White House is expected to officially announce the fate of DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, on Tuesday. The federal government says that nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants are protected from deportation because of DACA, which was created five years ago during the Obama administration.

Approximately 17,000 "Dreamers" would be deported from Colorado if the President chooses to end the program.

Next talked to politicians on both sides of the aisle, and the issue is not inherently partisan. 

Democratic Congressman Jared Polis (also running for governor of Colorado) speaking at a DACA rally on Friday:

  • "(President Trump)'s really just terrorizing young people who grew up here and don't really know any other country. We're talking about people who may be 25-30 today, who have maybe been in America since they were 2 or 3. Many of them don't even speak another language.
  • "Luckily we can address this in Congress. We have the Bridge Act, the Hope Act, the Dream Act. All it takes for us to pass one, and back President Trump into a corner, into signing it.
  • Young people who have been here their entire lives are de facto Americans. We simply need the law to catch up with where the people already are.
  • The state's trying to do the best they can. Frankly, the legal provision to work can only be addressed federally. Legal status can only be addressed federally. When i return to Washington next week, it's going to be my top priority, to battle for these dreamers to help them stay here, to continue to pay taxes and pay their lives, as they wait for Congress to address the issue.

Republican Congressman Mike Coffman, in an interview with Next:

  • "The attorney general for the state of Texas, Ken Paxton, has sent a letter to Jeff sessions, the Attorney General of the United States, that the Trump administration either suspend the DACA program, by the 5th of September, or he will file in federal district court against the DACA program, based on constitutional reasons that it was never approved by Congress, it was only done by executive order. And so, the Trump administration was kind of backed into a corner, in that regard, so I believe that their position will be that they're going to suspend it, but my hope is that the President will make a very affirmative statement, saying that he would sign a bill to extend the DACA program if passed by the Congress.
  • "I introduced the Bridge Act at the beginning of the year, a bipartisan bill with Democratic Congressman Luis Gutiérrez from the state of Illinois. That, well, put the DACA program in law, so it's constitutional, gave it a three-year life span. Given with that idea, in that period of time, that we could come up with a permanent solution for these young people who were taken to this country as children, who grew up here, who went to school here, who I believe ought to stay here.
  • "These young people grew up here, they went to school here, many are certainly working jobs. I believe that they add to the economy, they don’t subtract from the economy.
  • "I think the president is sympathetic to the program, and he has said so, but he's also acknowledged, as I've acknowledged, that the program has a constitutional problem, and it should not have been done through an executive order. And we have Constitutional case law that simply says the president can't make immigration laws without the approval of the congress, so I think the president would like to see the program continue.

We found additional bipartisan agreement when Kyle Clark sat down with the speaker of the Colorado House, Democrat Crisanta Duran of Denver, and Hugo Chavez-Rey, chairman of the Colorado Hispanic Republicans.

You can watch that conversation here:

 

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