By Associated Press - Wednesday, September 13, 2017

DENVER (AP) - Colorado’s governor says the state will join a lawsuit by 15 other states and the District of Columbia challenging President Donald Trump’s plan to end a program that protects young immigrants from deportation.

Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper said in a Wednesday statement that the futures of more than 17,000 Colorado residents are at risk.

The Trump administration says the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program will end in six months to give Congress time to find a legislative solution for the immigrants, who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children or came with families who overstayed visas.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Brooklyn, New York by Democrat attorneys general, alleges the plan is motivated by bias against Mexicans. Opponents of the program, enacted by President Barack Obama, call it an unconstitutional abuse of executive power.

Colorado’s Republican attorney general, Cynthia Coffman, said Wednesday she opposed joining the lawsuit. But she noted that the governor also has the authority to take legal action on behalf of the state, and she said she had authorized Hickenlooper’s legal counsel to represent the state in the lawsuit.

“This debate belongs in Congress where the public can have input, and must result in a clear direction forward for this country and those who wish to call it home,” Coffman said.

California has filed its own lawsuit against the plan.

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