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Thousands of Colorado immigrants await Trump DACA Decision

By: The Associated Press
September 1, 2017 Updated: September 1, 2017 at 2:24 pm
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Undocumented students join a rally in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA program outside the Edward Roybal Federal Building in downtown Los Angeles Friday, Sept. 1, 2017. President Donald Trump says he'll be announcing a decision on the fate of hundreds of thousands of young immigrants who were brought into the country illegally as children in the coming days, immigrants he's calling "terrific" and says he loves. Trump told reporters Friday, using a short-hand term for the nearly 800,000 young people who were given a reprieve from deportation and temporary work permits under the Obama-era DACA, program. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

DENVER — Gov. John Hickenlooper, state lawmakers and dozens of young immigrants and activists urged President Donald Trump on Friday to keep federal protections for immigrant children whose parents brought them to the U.S. illegally.

Some 17,000 immigrants in Colorado have benefited under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allows those brought by their parents without documentation to temporarily live, study and work in the U.S.

Hickenlooper, Democratic House Speaker Crisanta Duran and others spoke in favor of the program, known as DACA, at the state capitol. Several immigrants spoke of uncertainty they were experiencing as Trump decided whether to extend the program, enacted by executive order by President Barack Obama.

"The time has come again to organize our friends, our families, our neighbors," said Salvador Hernandez, a community advocate, Denverite reported.

Trump said he'd announce a decision late Friday or over the weekend. He had faced a Sept. 5 deadline set by a group of Republican state lawmakers, who are threatening to challenge DACA in court if the administration does not start to dismantle it by then.

Hickenlooper urged Congress to act on immigration reform. Pending legislation would provide a path toward permanent legal status for the nearly 800,000 people brought to the U.S. as children without authorization.

"I don't know what to do," Brithany Gutierrez, a junior at Colorado State University, told The Denver Post (http://dpo.st/2wpu5QS).

Gutierrez said the childhood arrivals program had allowed her to work as a nursing assistant to help pay for college; she emigrated from Mexico with her family in 2005. "It's kind of out of my hands and out of my control, and that's one of the worst feelings, because I feel kind of helpless."

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