UPDATE: Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman picks a side–and it’s not the DREAMers:
“In Colorado, my office has the independent authority to take legal action on behalf of the state when I believe doing so is in the state’s best interest,” Coffman said in the statement. “In this case, I do not. Nor do I support the legal arguments in the Democrats’ lawsuit.”
In the choice between DREAMers and positioning herself for a GOP primary, Coffman chose the primary.
As the Denver Post’s Jesse Paul reports, Gov. John Hickenlooper is taking action to challenge President Donald Trump’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, standing up for some 17,000 undocumented immigrants in Colorado who came to this country as children–and could face deportation if the high-stakes game of chicken over their fate in Washington doesn’t go well:
Colorado announced Wednesday that it plans to join more than a dozen other states in a lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects young immigrants living in the U.S. illegally from deportation.
“President Trump’s decision to end the DACA program is outrageous and risks the futures of more than 17,000 Coloradans,” Gov. John Hickenlooper said in a statement. “Colorado benefits when (DACA recipients) have the opportunity to thrive in our communities and the only country they’ve ever known. These young people should not have to suffer because of our broken immigration system.”
Hickenlooper added that while the legal action is “no substitute for the sort of comprehensive immigration reform that can only come from Congress, it sends a necessary message that the rule of law and basic notions of fairness still matter in this country.”
Hickenlooper is taking this extraordinary action without support from Colorado’s Republican attorney general Cynthia Coffman, a prospective GOP gubernatorial candidate in 2018:
An outside attorney will act as a special attorney general and represent Colorado in the legal action, she said. The move requires Coffman’s consent because she is the only one who can file legal challenges on behalf of the state.
Coffman, a Republican, last week suggested she wouldn’t join the other state attorneys general in suing to block Trump from dismantling DACA, saying the immigration debate “belongs in Congress.”
So-called “DREAMer” students and young people, who are the most sympathy-inspiring class of undocumented immigrants being childhood arrivals in this country who in many cases know no other culture, are supported by a large majority of the public–either for a path to American citizenship, or at the very least legal permission to remain in the country. There are really not many people in America outright opposed to protecting DACA recipients in some form–but unfortunately for Cynthia Coffman, who is trying to figure out a path to the GOP nomination for governor of Colorado next year, a lot of those opponents are GOP primary voters.
And that, dear reader, is why Coffman is reluctant to go to bat for the DREAMers.