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DACA recipients in eastern North Carolina relieved, wary about Supreme Court Decision upholding program

The Supreme Court voted in a 5-4 decision to not allow Pres. Trump to rescind the Obama-era immigration program
Published: Jun. 18, 2020 at 7:40 PM EDT
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NEW BERN, N.C. (WITN) - Dreamers across the country and in eastern North Carolina are safe from deportation - for now. The Supreme Court voted 5-4 Thursday to uphold the Obama-era immigration program that protects students from deportation who moved to America under the age of 16.

“We won’t feel safe until really until everything’s good to go, and it looks like we’re a little far from that right now,” said 21-year-old Olga Bautista, who moved to America when she was four years-old.

Bautista said knowing she won’t be deported anytime soon is a relief, but added that there are more reforms that need to happen to give her the same opportunities as full United States citizens.

“It does feel unjust sometimes. It’s unfair,” said Bautista. “I just gotta work with what I have to in order for me to go somewhere – to be somebody.”

President Donald Trump tried to rescind the program in 2018, arguing that the establishment of the program was an overreach of power by the Obama administration. Ever since then, immigration attorney Elizabeth Wood said she’s been waiting with bated breath on a decision.

“We weren’t sure. We were hopeful but we really had no idea. You never know with the supreme court,” said Wood.

The court upheld the program stating the president hadn’t given enough detail to why the program needed to be repealed. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority decision, but dissented only that the program is not protected under the equal protection clause of the constitution. It’s a caveat Wood said could complicate future action on immigration.

“There’s always this threat that it could be taken away again. So we need something more permanent,” said Wood.

An unsettling idea for Olga Bautista.

“We’re safe for now,” said Bautista. “We scratch and dig and do everything we can but it’s definitely harder for us.”

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