DENVER (CBS4) – President Donald Trump is expected to end the Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals program, which is also known as DACA. It protects undocumented immigrants from deportation who were brought to America as children.
DACA recipients and those who support them across the country are planning walkouts on Tuesday. Starting at 11:30 a.m., thousands are expected to join together in downtown Denver at the Auraria Campus on the Tivoli Quad. The size of the gathering may lead to some high schools in the city to shut down — as many as 7,000 students may walk out of class.
Trump is being pressured to end DACA, with 10 Republican-led states claiming President Barack Obama overstepped his executive powers in granting protections for so-called “dreamers” who have only known life in this country. The program has protected hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants from deportation over the last five years.
Monica Acosta, field director for the immigrant rights group Padres Unidios, said she’s disappointed by the news.
“I’m feeling upset at the fact that our elected officals have failed to give us a permanent solution,” Acosta said. “I think its going to be really powerful to see that it’s students and it’s young people (walking out) because the DACA Act really affects that population.”
The president’s plan is said to have a six month window for Congress to address the issue before DACA is terminated. Many fear Congress will fail to act as it has done on this issue in the past.
Rep. Mike Coffman, a Republican who represents Colorado’s 6th Congressional District, said he has called on Congress to extend the DACA program.
Colorado dreamers also have the support of Gov. John Hickenlooper, who says law abiding dreamers deserve a chance to realize their potential in the only country they’ve ever known.
Approximately 17,000 Coloradans are at risk of losing work permits, protection from deportation and their dreams of being successful in America.
“I already have to work twice as hard for this stuff. So taking it away, it’s going to be three times harder to get the things that I want. What everybody has,” DACA recipient Fabiola Flores told CBS4.
Leaders at University of Colorado Denver, located on the Auraria Campus, posted a statement on Twitter on Monday saying in part that the university does not know what changes will occur, but that “it’s important for you to know where we stand and our message to DACA recipients in our community is simple … we stand with you.”