The nation’s highest court is now deciding the fate of a program protecting undocumented immigrants brought here as children from deportation.
The U.S. Supreme Court Justices heard arguments about the legality of the Trump administration’s efforts to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA).
"Immigrants are welcome here,” crowds of protesters chanted outside the courthouse.
"I'm a daughter of immigrant parents, so I came to support all of my family and friends who are DACA recipients,” activist Alejandra Yanez said.
The justices will decide two key issues: if the high court has the power to review the Trump administration’s move to wind down DACA and whether there was sufficient reasoning to end the program.
"I still live with the fear of deportation if anything were to happen,” DACA recipient Hector Rivera Suarez said.
Suarez, 22, now lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. His family brought him to the U.S. from Mexico when he was 8-years-old.
Suarez said DACA gave him access to a driver’s license, a job and school but now worries his life in the U.S. is at risk.
"I think the scariest part would be, if something were to happen to me personally, leaving my whole family behind because my whole family is here,” Suarez said.
The conservative justices seemed to defend the president’s authority to end DACA while the Democratic-appointed justices focused on the hundreds of thousands of people and organizations who rely on DACA.
"It's a very scary thing to go through and I just hope that there's a permanent solution that comes out of all of this,” Suarez said.
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