Since entering office in January, Colorado’s Attorney General Phil Weiser has demonstrated a commitment to protect the state’s immigrant population. Read more about actions the Attorney General’s Office is taking, below.
Suing for Continuation of DACA Protections
Weiser announced last week that Colorado will join other states in a lawsuit against the Trump administration that seeks to protect the DACA program.
The Trump administration moved to end DACA in 2017. This would have left 800,000 DREAMers, who entered the United States as children without legal status. Several status moved quickly to sue the administration to uphold DACA, claiming that it did not follow the Administrative Procedure Act in its cancellation of the program. The DACA program has continued while these lawsuits are ongoing.
In a statement on his website, Weiser spoke of his pride in defending the 17,000 DREAMers who live in Colorado.
“My mom came to the United States as an immigrant after felling religious persecution. As Attorney General, I am proud to defend our DREAMers and their right to live in the only country they’ve ever known as home. Our nation is stronger because of our welcoming attitude toward immigrants who come here to share their talents, work hard, and benefit from our freedoms and economic opportunity.”
Speaking Out for Immigrant Families Who Have Benefitted from Public Services
Last year, the State Department made changes to the public charge rule. This made it so that immigrants and their family members who had benefited from certain public services such as subsidized school lunches would be penalized, and would potentially see their status in the U.S. put at risk.
The City Council of Baltimore filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration to prevent these changes from taking effect, protecting immigrants who had benefited from public services.
Last week, AG Weiser’s office filed a friend of court brief supporting this lawsuit, joining 17 other states and the District of Columbia. In a statement on his website, Weiser noted that the potential changes to the public charge rule “undermine our responsibility as a state to ensure the safety and well-being of our people through the public health system of Colorado.”
Suing for Federal Money Withheld Due to Colorado’s Stance on Immigration Enforcement
Colorado has refused to allow U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to ask persons in jail about their immigration status. The state has also refused to inform ICE when an undocumented person is scheduled to be released from jail. For these reasons, the Trump administration is withholding $2.7 million in federal funds destined for public safety in Colorado.
Earlier this month, Weiser announced that his office would sue the Trump administration for these public safety funds. In a statement, the AG’s office noted, “Under the Tenth Amendment to the US. Constitution, the federal government is not permitted to ‘commandeer’ or compel state and local officials to enforce federal law.”