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Dreamers to rally in Glenwood Tuesday as SCOTUS hears DACA oral arguments

Colorado Mountain College students Guadalupe Morales, Fernando Ramos and Raquel Vasquez chat before the start of a previous DACA rally in Glenwood Springs in December 2017.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent file|

A rally in support of permanent protections for young immigrants known as “Dreamers” is set to take place in Glenwood Springs Tuesday evening.

It’s one of several rallies happening across Colorado, as the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments related to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

The Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC) and area immigration reform activists are hosting the event, set for 5:30 p.m. outside Glenwood Springs High School.

DACA is the Obama-era program that has protected about 700,000 people, often called “Dreamers,” who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children or came with families that overstayed visas.

Two years ago, the Trump administration ordered the U.S. Justice Department to rescind the executive order, but lower courts have blocked those attempts. Some of those cases are now coming before the Supreme Court.

“DACA recipients, along with others in the immigrant community, wait to see the outcome of yet another court proceeding that will impact their future in the United States,” CIRC said in a statement issued in advance of the coordinated events. 

Many of those individuals grew up in the United States and have been protected under DACA, which allowed them to work or continue their educations while awaiting permanent protections, according to CIRC. 

Other rallies are taking place in Longmont, Colorado Springs and Denver.

The Glenwood Springs event invites impacted individuals, their family members and local community leaders to advocate for DACA to continue, and to seek permanent protections for DACA-eligible immigrants. 

Late last year, the Trump administration filed three separate appeals asking the Supreme Court to allow President Trump to end DACA. The high court was set to hear the brief from the Department of Justice beginning Tuesday. 

“There is currently no way for most DACA recipients to earn their U.S. citizenship, and we call on Congress and the President to change that,” CIRC said in its statement. “Beyond our families, we need new laws to make our immigration system work better so there is a working process for people to legally enter the country.”

With the attempted elimination of DACA in 2017, there was renewed pressure in Congress to pass the DREAM Act — Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors — a series of proposals to protect young immigrants vulnerable to deportation, which never passed. 

Opponents of the proposals say the law rewards people for breaking the law, encourages illegal immigration and hurts American workers.

Trump ordered an end to DACA in 2017, but federal courts in different states blocked him from ending it immediately.

The protections remain in effect at least until the U.S. Supreme Court issues its decision, likely sometime in 2020. Currently, DACA participants can renew their status, but no new applicants can sign up.

The Obama administration created DACA in 2012 to provide Social Security numbers, work permits and protection from deportation to people who, in many cases, have no memory of any home other than the U.S.

The Trump administration argues that the program is unlawful because former President Barack Obama did not have the authority to adopt it in the first place.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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