NEW YORK (CNN) — The future of about 670,000 immigrants is now in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court as the nine justices will hear oral arguments on DACA on Tuesday.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program provides migrants brought to the U.S. as minors under 16 protection from deportation and — in some cases — allows them to obtain legal status despite having entered the country illegally.
One of the plaintiffs in the case, Carolina Fung Feng, arrived in New York from Costa Rica about 18 years ago. She was 12 when her parents sent her alone to the U.S. to live with her aunt, hoping she’d get a good education.
“I struggled a lot when I started my new life here,” Fung Feng said. “I remember crying all the time when I was in school.”
As the years went by, she learned English, learned how to ride the subway and excelled in school.
“I was getting all these scholarships,” she said.
But her past eventually became a roadblock.
When Fung Feng realized that her situation was different from others and that she couldn’t accept scholarships because of her immigration status, she said her shock turned to anger.
Still, she continued her education.
Then, in 2012, she learned about DACA. She hesitated but eventually applied and got her approval.
For the first time since arriving in the U.S., Fung Feng qualified to get a Social Security number and a state ID.
“Every now and then I take them out to look at them. I don’t know if that sounds weird,” she said.
But everything changed in September 2017, when the Trump administration announced it would end the Obama-era program.
Fung Feng took to the streets.
“I never join a rally before and that’s the first time I did one,” she said. “I was front and center just shouting out all my anger and frustration.”
That passion caught the attention of the attorneys involved in a DACA case that has now reached the Supreme Court.
On Nov. 12, she will stand in front of the nine justices.
She is aware that not everyone will be on her side.
“DACA is a very touchy subject and in my opinion, it was an unconstitutional move by President Obama,” said Genaro Pedroarias of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly.
Pedroarias believes it’s an issue that needs to be solved by Congress not the courts.
“Let’s sit at the table and come up with meaningful legislation to address the issue instead of, again, kicking the can down the road,” he said.
Fung Feng also wants a permanent solution and the cloud of uncertainty gone for good.
“I call New York my home now,” she said. “I didn’t in the beginning, but now I do after going through all these hardships. … I don’t see myself anywhere else.”