SEATTLE – The city of Seattle estimates there could be as many as 10,000 DACA recipients in the city and 18,000 statewide.
And while for some of them Thursday’s United States Supreme Court ruling is being hailed a victory, their future remains in question.
Immigrant rights activists blame both political parties in power for failing to do more for in the U.S.A. without documentation.
Some DACA recipients who have been living their lives as best they can say they have built a home in a place that doesn’t feel like one.
Alejandra Perez, 25, says she and her family first came to America from Guatemala when she was 12-years-old, but have been in Seattle ever since.
She says she was barely awake when she learned about the ruling.
“It was 100 percent not at all what I expected. It turned out to be the best possible outcome we could have hoped for,” said.
“When we saw the decision come it was surprising in the best way,” said Kamau Chege.
Chege was six-years-old when his family immigrated from Kenya to the Carolinas and says they have been in Washington more than a decade.
He knows the court ruling, while a victory for DACA recipients, neglects a pathway to legal citizenship.
“We know that this could go the way of the Muslim ban in terms where the Supreme
Court makes a ruling that seems positive but opens the door for the administration to end DACA again and meet (Justice) John Robert’s muster,” he said.
Both Chege and Perez will still have to renew applications for DACA every two years.
They have both gone to college, work, and pay taxes.
For immigration activists, while the victory is a celebration, their battle is not over.
“While I think everybody’s pleased and relieved that some bad news didn’t happen, there’s still work to do,” said Jorge Barón from the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project.
Our state’s Commission on Hispanic Affairs says nearly 30,000 people in Washington are likely eligible for DACA but many don’t apply for a myriad of reasons.
Yet another concern for DACA recipients, while the ruling feels like a temporary reprieve, they worry many other undocumented people don’t enjoy the same protection.
“It’s really frustrating to be constantly kicked around,” said Perez. “A lot of people are fighting for me but they’re not fighting for my parents.”
There are resources available for immigrants available online via the city’s Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs.