Tens of thousands of Coloradans could be affected by Thursday’s Supreme Court deadlock on immigration.

The justices’ four-four tie effectively ended the Obama Administration’s effort to help more immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, and parents of lawful residents. The program would have granted them temporary legal status in the U.S., along with work authorization, if they passed a background check.

Denver immigration attorney Laura Lichter says the result is heartbreaking for immigrants. But it doesn’t mean they will be deported.

"Our enforcement priorities remain the same -- people who are dangerous criminals, who have terrorist ties, people who have gang ties," Lichter said.

Twenty-six states challenged Obama’s program, saying it exceeded the president’s authority. The Pew Research Center estimates Colorado is home to about 75,000 immigrants who could have qualified for the program.