For weeks, Juan Plascencia has kept a routine of waking up and checking the Supreme Court’s website to see if a decision has been made as to whether he will continue to enjoy deportation protection.
In those moments, Plascencia, a 29-year-old history teacher in Las Vegas, was anxious and nervous, but more than anything he just wanted to know.
Thursday, the decision has finally come, and Plascencia scanned public opinion before realizing that the Supreme Court had found that the Trump administration had violated federal law by overturning Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a program of the era of Obama who protects immigrants brought to the United States as children from deportation. . A wave of emotions followed, including shock and amazement.
“As a history teacher, I teach days like this. DACA is here to stay and our humanity is validated, “Plascencia told BuzzFeed News.” We are humans. We don’t owe people a bloody story to validate our humanity. “
There were 649,070 active DACA beneficiaries as of December 31, 2019, the most recent The data United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. At the time, 25,980 people were awaiting DACA renewals.
Angel Fajardo, 25, was caught off guard when the Supreme Court delivered its opinion. She was preparing for a decision against DACA. However, the limbo she and other DACA beneficiaries found themselves in is not quite over. Thursday’s decision only revealed that the way Trump tried to cancel DACA was incorrect, meaning he can still end the program if he takes the proper steps in the future.
“It’s a relief that we are experiencing,” Fajardo told BuzzFeed News. “But I am still not in a state of absolute happiness because I know that whatever happens, if the administration wants to continue with its agenda, it will go ahead no matter what and we have to be there. prepared. “
Fajardo, director of the Inland Empire Immigrant Youth Collective, has two young children and worries about the future of her family in the United States. Still, she said this time around wasn’t as bad as it was in 2017 when she was pregnant with her son and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the administration’s plans to end DACA.
“I had nightmares thinking about my baby. I was afraid of the possibility of being kidnapped, ”Fajardo said. “Having lived that first moment, I was able to remember a little more this time.”
Vanessa Meraz, 23, of Washington, DC, said that while anxiety over a potential DACA decision was constant over the past few months, the first-generation college graduate felt today would be the day. She hit refresh on the Supreme Court’s website at 10 a.m. and moments later posted all of the feelings she had bottled.
“The wave of relief that I felt at that point is indescribable and all I could do was mourn my parents. We didn’t expect this decision at all,” she said.
Marez immigrated from Mexico to the United States with his parents when he was 3 years old.
“Today’s decision was a huge victory for nearly 700,000 DACA recipients like me and our families,” Marez said. “But there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure permanent protection for all undocumented migrants in this country.
Cinthia Padilla, a DACA laureate who is preparing to take the bar exam this summer in Louisiana, also woke up Thursday and continued to refresh the Supreme Court site to see if there had been a ruling on the future of a program that has protected thousands of people like her and given them work permits.
The 29-year-old, who was brought to the United Mexican States at the age of 1, graduated from Loyola University’s New Orleans College of Law in May and said she felt rekindled, grateful and optimistic when she read the decision.
“It’s a beautiful moment,” Padilla told BuzzFeed News. “We beat Trump and I get to study for the bar at peace without checking every week to see if a decision has been made.”
Padilla has said she doesn’t know what Trump’s next plans for DACA are, but hopes undocumented migrants like her take ownership of the moment and tell their representatives how important the program is.
“Trump is just a person in his party,” Padilla said. “Hopefully this decision has signaled to him, once again, that he will not be able to exercise executive power unchallenged.”
Ivon Cardoza, a 24-year-old dental assistant in Dallas, was a high school student when she first heard about DACA. Over the next few weeks, she plans to open her own store and earn a business degree in the fall.
“My DACA was due to expire this year, and without it I would have lost everything by September,” Cardoza said. “I cried hearing the news today.”