The attorney general’s office will take over litigation began by former Gov. Hickenlooper.
Colorado has joined a multi-state lawsuit against the Trump administration and its efforts to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
State Attorney General Phil Weiser made the announcement Thursday. According to the Colorado Sun, Weiser has already sued the White House several times, most recently to stop the administration from ‘expanding birth control exemptions under the Affordable Care Act.’
But Colorado’s liberal immigration policies and foreign-born population has brought it into direct confrontation with Trump.
“Our nation is stronger because of welcoming attitude toward immigrants who come here to share their talents, work hard, and benefit from our freedoms and economic opportunity,” Weiser said in a statement Thursday.
Trump, notes the Colorado Sun, began efforts to ‘unwind’ DACA in 2017. The Obama-era program is designed to protect undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children from deportation. Recipients are provided with temporary, renewable residency and work permits after passing criminal background checks.
Additionally, DACA recipients must either have attained a certain level of education or be able to evidence prior or current military service.
While the president officially ordered the program’s end in September 2017, its operations haven’t ceased due to a number of lawsuits, court orders and injunctions.
The Colorado Sun says Weiser’s predecessor, Republican Cynthia Coffman, had declined to join outstanding multi-state efforts to uphold DACA and combat administration efforts to overturn it. However, former Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, circumvented Coffman and joined the lawsuit with the assistance of outside counsel.
The Sun says the attorney general’s announcement means that Weiser’s office and the Colorado Department of Law will take over Hickenlooper’s outside counsel’s role.
“With this decision, Colorado is now represented by its attorney general in this action and will have the full support of the Department of Law to uphold justice and opportunity for immigrants brought here as children,” Weiser’s office said in a statement.
And Colorado, which hosts an estimated 17,000 undocumented immigrants, has also butted heads with Washington over the state’s the sanctuary policies.
Earlier in March, current Gov. Jared Polis (D) and Weiser collaborated to sue the Trump administration over its decision to withhold about $3 million in public safety funds because of Colorado’s refusal to cooperate with federal immigration officials.
“If local police are forced to carry out the Trump administration’s agenda, it will hurt trust between police and our communities,” Polis said. “Witnesses to crimes will be less likely to come forward.”