The fate of thousands of 'Dreamers' now in the hands of 9 justices
PHOENIX - The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on one of the biggest cases of the year. It involves the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
The justices are deciding on whether to end the Obama-era program that protects hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the United States as children.
The highly anticipated hearing went for about 90 minutes on Tuesday. One argument says that President Trump violated an obscure 1946 law that set proper protocol to end DACA. The other from the White House is that the program overstepped its Constitutional bounds.
Just being in the room proved to be great theatre for a DACA recipient who calls Arizona home.
"My heart started racing and feeling a lot of anxiety thinking that these 9 people would have my fate and the destiny of so many people in their hands."
After 10 years of fighting for her way of life, Reyna Montoya could feel everything, as she stepped into the Supreme Court to watch the arguments laid out for and against hundreds of thousands of Dreamers like herself to stay in America.
"It was pretty intimidating to see the nine chairs up front and waiting, they were empty."
MORE: Split Supreme Court appears ready to allow Trump to end DACA
"We are hopeful that the Court, the Supreme Court will shine a light on us," said New York Senator Chuck Schumer.
Democrats pushed for the continuation of the DACA program, but President Trump began the day on social media, saying that Dreamers were no longer "Angels."
"Look behind me. The President says you're looking at very tough and hardened criminals. Take a good look at these criminals," said Illinois Senator Dick Durbin.
If DACA gets thrown out, there is a chance at bipartisan legislation, but optimism is not high in Washington.
"It may be so poisoned around here that they don't want to give him a win on anything," said South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham.
For Montoya, the fight has been exhausting.
"I'm getting to the point that I feel so frustrated by the situation. That I've been living with this uncertainty for so long that I just kinda want to know where I stand."
It should be noted that foreigners with a felony conviction or a history of misdemeanors were ineligible for the program, contrary to the President's tweet.
The timeline for this is fascinating because a decision is not expected until June. That will be at the height of the 2020 Presidential campaign.