A crowd gathered on the steps of the San Diego County Administration Building Tuesday to protest President Donald Trump’s decision to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, known as DACA.
Several young people, registered in the program, spoke including a lawyer and an aerospace engineer, who were able to pursue their education through DACA.
NBC 7 spoke to 21-year-old Copani Meza who came to the U.S. for a better life. Meza said she was only 3-years-old when she joined her mother here in the U.S.
"It was just a very emotional moment when I reconnected with my mom," Meza said.
Meza registered with DACA in order to pursue a career in criminal justice.
"I'll never forget…waiting to see if I was eligible, and honestly it's been a great journey ever since," she told NBC 7.
She added that she thought signing up was very risky but worth it.
"They know where I go to school, the car I drive, so it's a little scary to put yourself out there entirely," Meza said.
But now her journey is taking a turn she didn’t expect.
President Trump announced Tuesday that permits through DACA will expire in March unless recipients are able to renew their application. It will be up to Congress to pass legislation for "DREAMers."
"I had no more tears to cry. I had already cried enough already, but I was heartbroken," Meza said.
But Trump's decision wasn't met with criticism by all.
Henry Rubio, who says his parents came to the country legally, told NBC 7 he supports the president's decision.
"We need to have controls as other countries have controls. I don't think you can go in any other country and then just move on in and suddenly become a citizen," Rubio said.