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The Supreme Court hears of a program that protects certain dreamers

AUSTIN, Texas – A lawyer, a teacher, a doctoral student and an undergraduate education gathered in a courtroom on the sixth floor one new afternoon to discuss their common dreams and nightmares.

The dreams are prospects in the United States filled with college degrees and successful careers, home ownership and happy families.

The nightmares are losing their college loans, driving licenses, jobs – and the only country they call home.

"In a way, it feels very surreal," said Anayeli Marcos, 25, who hopes to graduate from the University of Texas flagship campus here in May with a dual master's degree in social work and Latin American studies. "Sometimes it's a bit overwhelming and feels like your destiny is in the hands of people who don't know you."

The Supreme Court will have the fate of these four "Dreamers" and about 660,000 others in its holding Tuesday as it contemplates the Trump administration's decision to end the Deferred Child Arrivals Program, which has provided a reprieve for some undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. A decision on the DACA program is expected next spring in the middle of the 2020 presidential election.

What is DACA? DACA, "Dreamers," TPS? Who are they, what do they have to do with Trump, the wall and the shutdown?

In Austin, where Texas State officials brought the original challenge to both DACA and a poor effort by President Barack Obama to extend similar protection to 4 million undocumented parents, Pedro Villalobo's job as assistant county attorney is in jeopardy.

  Pedro Villalobos, 28, a Travis County Prosecutor's Office at the Blackwell-Thurman Criminal Justice Center in Austin, Texas, is among DACA recipients awaiting a Supreme Court decision.

The State argues in court papers that "Congress has never granted the executive carte blanche to provide legal presence to any foreigner it chooses not to remove, let alone benefits including work permits, health care, unemployment and a path to citizenship." 19659002] Sitting in a county court that he regularly uses to prosecute crimes, Villalobos, 28, said a defeat at the Supreme Court "would end my service to this community."

"I represent the state, but the state does not represent me," he said.

Karen Reyes, preschool teacher in preschool children, has a timetable for her two-year DACA renewal for next year's Christmas holiday season, so that if it is not granted, the school system can replace her without interruption.

"We live our lives two years at a time," said Reyes, 31, even though "I don't even have a parking ticket to my name."

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