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Local reaction to Supreme Court’s immigration ruling: ‘We will not go away’

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SEATTLE -- The U.S. Supreme Court’s 4-4 vote Thursday that blocks President Obama's immigration policy affects tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants living in Washington state.

Several of Seattle’s city leaders gathered at the federal courthouse to denounce the ruling. Among them was a 20-year-old undocumented immigrant who said she is tired of living in fear.

Daniela Murguia said she plans to fight for reform, even while facing the threat of deportation.

“To be silent, to be scared, to be afraid, I refuse to do that,” she said.

Murguia and her siblings and parents have lived in the Puget Sound area for nearly a decade, and she admits they are all undocumented.

“I think it's time for all of us to come out bravely and with our face held high because we need to be heard, we need to be seen,” she said.

Murguia joined city leaders in front of the Federal Courthouse to denounce the Supreme Court’s blow to Obama’s executive order that could have allowed millions of undocumented immigrants to avoid deportation and continue working legally in the United States.

“This is about children in this city who can’t sleep at night because they are afraid they will be separated from their families,” said Seattle Mayor Ed Murray.

"This is our civil right’s movement. This is our time, and we will not go away,” said Seattle City Council member Lorena Gonzalez.

State Attorney General Bob Ferguson said there are more than 100,000 undocumented immigrants in Washington and if they were allowed to work legally, they could add nearly $60 million in tax revenue over the next five years.

Ferguson released a statement saying, in part, that the ruling was “a missed opportunity to build stronger communities where no one is forced to live in the shadows.”

Rep.  Adam Smith, D-Wash., also said in a statement that "millions of U.S. citizens with undocumented parents and DREAMers will now face uncertainty in their future and may see their families torn apart.”

“No human is illegal,” said Murguia.

Murguia said she and her family will continue fighting for immigration reform – even if her fight could be cut short, if she and her family are deported to Mexico.

“It’s just really heartbreaking to hear your own mother saying sorry to you for trying to bring you over here to have a better future,” she said.

Immigration activists in Seattle said their fight isn’t over. Many are now  pinning their hopes that the Supreme Court will once again hear the topic of undocumented immigrants, but likely after January when a new Senate confirms a justice to fill the vacancy with the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.