By Stan Bush
AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Attorney General Loretta Lynch says a blanket pardon for the children of undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. is impossible.
Lynch made the announcement as tension grows for so-called “Dreamers” who fear President-elect Donald Trump will repeal an executive order protecting them from deportation.
Immigration reform advocates are trying to bring the issue to light, hoping the new Congress will adopt a bipartisan effort in the Senate to protect Dreamers and pass “common sense reform.”
“The one thing that can’t be stated enough, we need a permanent solution,” said Andrew Moriarty of Forward U.S., a group trying to steer immigration reform.
Moriarty says Trump’s promise to repeal the Differed Action for Childhood Arrivals is alarming. He says even most of Trump’s supporters believe DACA is good policy.
“It’s surprising to us because we know most Americans are on board.”
Brithany Gutierrez, a sophomore at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, says her family has been in shock since Election Day.
“We sat there and literally just cried. My mom called me and was afraid. My dad said he was afraid,” says Gutierrez.
Gutierrez came to the U.S. when she was 7. Her parents entered the country on a work visa and tried to get citizenship, but were targeted in a scam.
Gutierrez graduated from Greeley Central High School and says she considers herself an American, but has struggled facing the reality that she is an undocumented student.
“I see it as I live in the shadows. Coming out, this is who I am,” says Gutierrez.
Supporters say removing Dreamers from the country would be unjust and costly. Forward U.S. says it would pull more the 650,000 people out of the workforce and cost more than $3 billion to enforce.
Gutierrez says since the election she has met dozens of fellow CSU students in the same situation and has received overwhelming support. But she says what she needs now is action.
“Ultimately if they get rid of all of our protections, I have support, but where do I go from there?”