WASHINGTON — Thousands of young Colorado immigrants are anxiously watching the White House this week to see whether President Donald Trump will undo an Obama-era program that shields them from deportation and allows them to legally work.
Trump hasn’t made clear what he plans to do with the 2012 initiative, officially known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which grants new rights to immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as children.
But the broad expectation is that the administration will make a decision before 10 state attorneys general move forward with a lawsuit challenging DACA. They have vowed to do so by Sept. 5 unless Trump cancels the program.
The approaching deadline has heightened fears among the roughly 17,000 Colorado immigrants who have enrolled in DACA — many of whom said they are worried about losing their jobs or being deported.
“I don’t know what to do,” said Brithany Gutierrez, a junior at Colorado State University. “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.”
Gutierrez said DACA has given her the chance to work as a nursing assistant to help pay for college and that an end to the program could derail her ambitions of becoming an immigration attorney.
“I think my biggest concern right now is possibly losing my work permit,” said Gutierrez, 19, who overstayed her visa with the rest of her family after they emigrated to the U.S. from Mexico in 2005.
She added that the risk of deportation has crossed her mind too. “Obviously there’s some fear of the government having all my…
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