"That's it," she thought. "We won. There's already so many tears that have been shed. Nobody can believe it."
In a deeply divided 5-4 opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the court ruled that the Department of Homeland Security's "arbitrary and capricious" process to end DACA was unlawful. That means that the Deferred Action for Childhood Protection (DACA) program created by President Barack Obama in 2012 will endure, allowing more than 650,000 DACA recipients to continue legally living and working in the U.S.
Trump called the "politically charged" ruling the latest in a series of "shotgun blasts" to the face of Republicans and conservatives.
Karen Caudillo saw it and started crying tears of joy.
Caudillo was illegally brought to the U.S. by her parents from Mexico when she was 4 years old. She was approved for DACA when she was a junior in high school, and that allowed her to attend the University of Central Florida, where she graduated last year with a bachelor's degree in political science. It also allowed her to start her own house-cleaning business that uses only organic cleaning products.
When Caudillo first saw that the decision was released on Thursday, her heart sank, fearful of what it would say. But once it became clear that DACA had been upheld, she FaceTimed with her mother, and the two wept.
"She told me, 'This is proof that all of our efforts, all of our sacrifices to get into this country, to give you a better life than what we had, it was all worth it,'" said Caudillo, 24.
For Gaby Pacheco, the ruling removed a huge weight she has carried on her shoulders for nearly a decade.
While most undocumented immigrants live their lives in the shadows, always fearful of alerting police or government officials, Pacheco was among the first "Dreamers" who publicly advocated for legal protections, blasting out her name and her face for all to see.
In 2010, she and three other young undocumented immigrants led the Trail of Dreams, a four-month march from Miami to Washington, D.C., to push for passage of the Dream Act, a bill to protect young undocumented immigrants from deportation that has been repeatedly proposed and defeated in Congress.
She participated in a sit-in in Sen. John McCain's office. She helped lead the pressure campaign against the Obama administration to create DACA. And when Obama created it, she was part of a team of negotiators with United We Dream that worked with the Obama administration to implement DACA.
One of the key wins during that negotiation was persuading U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the federal agency that operates the DACA program, to seal off the personal information provided by DACA applicants from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the federal agency that arrests and deports undocumented immigrants. That agreement lasted until Trump won the presidency in 2016. Ever since, ICE has threatened to use that information to target DACA recipients with standing orders of removal if and when DACA was terminated.