The Home Front: Newspapers across Colorado localize the impact of Trump ending DACA

“With the fate of nearly 800,000 young immigrants, including 17,000 in Colorado, put neatly in the hands of Congress by President Donald Trump, local officials, regardless of their support for Trump’s decision, are calling for a legislative solution,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “Trump on Tuesday announced he will phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allows some level of leeway against deportation for children who were brought to the United States and haven’t obtained citizenship. The program was launched a little more than five years ago, and has served as a springboard for young immigrants to earn college degrees and pursue careers instead of being deported. They were called “dreamers,” named for the DREAM Act introduced in but never passed by Congress.”

“She’s 28 and her parents brought her from Mexico to California when she was 2 years old. She’s lived nearly all her life in the United States — except for one very bad year as a teenager in Mexico,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “She speaks English. Like other Puebloans who are legally enrolled in the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that President Barack Obama established, this young woman is not in danger of deportation. Not yet. But unlike several years ago when she enrolled in DACA, she didn’t want her name used Tuesday when talking to a reporter. ‘That alone is a big difference in what’s happening,’ said Joe Mahoney, director of Pueblo Catholic Charities. ‘When DACA was created, people were happy to give their names in talking to the media. Now they’re scared again.'”

“In the wake of President Donald Trump’s decision Tuesday to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, Mesa County’s top education officials reacted with a simple message — this doesn’t change anything. Colorado Mesa University President Tim Foster released a statement Tuesday that focused on schools and campuses as places of diversity, inclusion and safety,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “DACA, which was enacted in 2012 by former President Barack Obama, offers legal protection to nearly 800,000 people who are undocumented immigrants and who came to the United States as children. Trump’s order, which cited the need for legislative immigration reform, will end the program on March 5. Foster said Colorado Mesa will continue to welcome undocumented students on campus and admit students regardless of immigration status.”

“Diana Bustos-Garcia took the microphone at a rally in front of Longmont Civic Center on Tuesday evening to tell about 100 people that she graduated from Skyline High School and attends classes at Front Range Community College,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “I’m also undocumented and unafraid,” she said before becoming overwhelmed with emotion. “Si, se puede,” a man yelled out. “Si, se puede.” Two men joined Bustos-Garcia behind the podium and she continued to speak, telling the crowd that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program has helped her in many ways. Her story was one of many told at the rally, held just hours after the announcement that President Donald Trump has decided to end the program. “I want to thank DACA for giving me the opportunity … to go to school, to go to work, to help my family pay rent,” Bustos-Garcia said.”

“Colorado’s senators issued a joint push-back to President Donald Trump’s decision to roll back protections for young undocumented immigrants on Tuesday,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. Sens. Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner, a Democrat and Republican, announced Tuesday afternoon they would co-sponsor a new DREAM Act to protect people who immigrated to the United States before they were 18 years old. The announcement came hours after Trump announced his plans to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, giving Congress six months to enact legislation.”

“Just hours after the announcement of President Donald Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, Boulder High student and DACA recipient Jose De Santiago shared his dreams of becoming a nurse,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “De Santiago, 16, was one of dozens of Boulder High students who walked out of school Tuesday morning after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced DACA would “wind down,” calling the Obama-era program “an unconstitutional exercise of authority.” De Santiago said the program, which has given legal presence to 800,000 young, unauthorized immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, provided him and his mom with reassurance and opportunities.”

“Chanting ‘undocumented and unafraid,’ hundreds of undocumented immigrants, attorneys and their supporters rallied Tuesday evening in downtown Colorado Springs against President Donald Trump’s decision to end protections for so-called ‘Dreamers.'” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “He has turned his back on all undocumented youths and leaders,” said Luis Antezana, 25, himself a Dreamer from Bolivia who teaches at Harrison High School. “We will not stand for it. We will fight back and we will unite.” The march through downtown Colorado Springs came hours after the Trump administration announced plans to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, in six months.”

“Brent Romick felt a lot better when the cavalry arrived to help him save the ranch,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “It’s been a pleasure watching these guys work,” the Wolf Mountain Ranch manager said Tuesday afternoon amidst the sounds of helicopters, low-flying planes, bulldozers and fire trucks that were fighting the Deep Creek Fire burning around the ranch. “Yesterday it was very scary. We feel a lot better today. The game changed when that air tanker arrived. And we’ve got all the ants on the hill now.” Fueled by strong winds, the blaze had consumed more than 2,000 acres of land on Wolf Mountain by Tuesday morning and spooked nearby residents who spent Monday night watching it advance down a hillside.”

“A Larimer County resident has died of West Nile virus, but county officials have not released any further details about the victim or the area of the county in which the disease might have been contracted,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “An announcement released Tuesday indicated that a Fort Collins resident died as a result of the neuroinvasive form of West Nile virus, in which the body’s nervous system is attacked. Because of privacy concerns, no other details — including the date of death — were released by officials from the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment. However, the death is the first in Colorado attributed to the disease.”

“If visibility is less than five miles, then your air is unhealthy, say state health officials. That’s us,” reports Vail Daily. “The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment issued an air quality health advisory Tuesday afternoon for 10 Western Colorado counties. It will remain in effect until at least 9 a.m. Wednesday. The air quality in the Central Rockies is “moderate,” the agency said. It could be worse. You could be on the Front Range between Denver and Fort Collins, where the air is “unhealthy,” says the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.”

“It’s a little-known fact, but once upon a time, Durango offered year-round skiing,” reports The Durango Herald. “However, knowing what we know now, even the most extreme adrenaline junkies probably wouldn’t be up to hit these particular slopes. The supposed year-round attraction was on a hill just south of town, covered with uranium tailings, which, oddly, has fallout dust similar in texture to snow, said local historian Duane Smith. “That tailings pile was pretty hot (radioactive),” Smith said. “It was like dust. When the wind came up, it blew all over town. And it hurt tourism. Who wants to come to Durango when you could end up with a radioactive sickness?”

“Merchants along Main Street in Florence now will be required to have any outside sign, decoration or any other items placed against their building to not to obstruct the walking path,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “In a split vote, with Mayor Keith Ore being the deciding vote, the council amended Ordinance 09-05-2017A regarding obstructing sidewalks on encroachments on sidewalks within the city. The ordinance only applies to businesses located in downtown Florence. Councilmen Paul Villagrana, Mike Vendetti and Allen Knisley voted in favor for the amendment, while Councilwoman Pat Smith, Councilman Richard Upton and Larry Baker voted against the amendment.”

“Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper pledged to remain neutral in the Democratic race to replace him, but one candidate appears to be his favorite to win,” reports The Denver Post. “Donna Lynne, the state’s lieutenant governor, will launch her campaign Thursday with the governor’s blessing and, thanks to him, the advantages of an incumbent in the crowded 2018 contest. The two are appearing shoulder-to-shoulder at more events across the state, and Hickenlooper is lending Lynne his pulpit to make high-profile appearances that will boost her campaign — such as a keynote speaker at the recent energy summit in Denver and as the officiant of the coin toss for last week’s Rocky Mountain Showdown football game, which drew more than 70,000.”