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Washington Dreamers and officials react to DACA ruling

caption: A crowd gathers during a community rally in support of DACA recipients on Tuesday, September 5, 2017, at El Centro De La Raza in Seattle.
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A crowd gathers during a community rally in support of DACA recipients on Tuesday, September 5, 2017, at El Centro De La Raza in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

From state and local officials, to DACA recipients and their families, many are celebrating what's considered a win for the immigrant community after the Supreme Court ruled against the Trump administration Thursday. The administration has sought to end the program.

But others worry the ruling brings more questions than answers. Here's what they had to say.

Karla is a 26 year old, DACA recipient from Mexico living in Washington. We're only using her first name because of her immigration status.

"I have very mixed feelings right now," she said. "For one, I’m very happy; it’s a big win to the movement. But at the same time, we’re going to continue to feel nervous and anxious until there is a permanent solution. Now we just have to wait to see how the Administration is going to react to this ruling."

Here's what the DACA ruling means to immigrants in the Northwest

Shortly after the SCOTUS ruling, President Trump took to Twitter displeased with the outcome and said he wanted "new justices" on the Supreme Court, despite no openings being available at this time.

There are an estimated 16,000 DACA recipients in Washington state. Although Migration Policy Institute, a non-partisan think tank, believes that is an under count and there could be 26,000 young people eligible for the program locally.

Another DACA recipient, Wendy Martinez, is a law student and local immigration activist. She did not respond to a request for comments but instead shared: "Many DACA folks in WA - have committed to not do any statements unless it was led by someone who is black and undocumented."

The Washington Immigrant Solidarity Group similarly shared a statement in solidarity for the protests for racial equity in Seattle and around the U.S. saying, "Defending Black lives also includes our Black undocumented and immigrant community who face disproportionate targeting from police and ICE."

Kamau Chege, director at Washington Census Alliance, and a Black DACA recipient shared his experience: "I have a younger sibling who was eligible for DACA. She was trying to get her app in but couldn’t do it in time because of the way the Trump admin ended it. There are tens of thousands of people in that situation."

It is unclear if U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will accept new DACA applicants.

Brad Smith of Microsoft shared his support online as well. Microsoft was the one company that was a plaintiff before the U.S. Supreme Court in the case.

Senator Patty Murray and Senator Maria Cantwell, along with Governor Inslee, Mayor Jenny Durkan, and Seattle City Council members also expressed joy at the decision.

Seattle's Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs has been offering free online immigration consultations for Dreamers.

OneAmerica and other immigrant rights organizations will also be hosting a press conference and Governor Inslee is set to be meeting with Washington Dreamers in a televised event Thursday afternoon.

Producer Adwoa Gyimah-Brempong contributed to this reporting.

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