TAMPA (FOX 13) - Disappointment over the U.S. Supreme Court deadlock on immigration spread from Washington to Tampa Bay on Wednesday, with those in favor of immigration reform holding a protest at Centennial Park in Ybor City.
The fight to allow millions of undocumented residents in the U.S. a chance to gain legal status resonates across generations.
"[My parents] work. They taught us everything, but one thing they didn't teach us is to be without them," said Anally Hernandez, a teenager who, along with her four siblings, is a citizen child of undocmented Mexican immigrants.
"It's scary to come home one day and your parents aren't there, and to know that they're being taken to Mexico, because they didn't have papers," said Hernandez.
Her parents, along with five million other undocumented immigrants, would have qualified for the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program.
In 2014, President Obama took executive action on DAPA, granting parents of citizens and permanent residents an exception from deportation and a work permit.
Republicans have spoken out against the decision for years, saying it was an abuse of presidential power that went against the Constitution.
"Presidents don't write laws. Congress writes laws," said Speaker of the House Paul Ryan on Wednesday. "This is a win for the constitution, it's a win for congress and it's a win in our fight to restore the separation of powers."
The 4-4 tie among Supreme Court justices on Wednesday leaves a glimmer of hope for those pushing for immigration reform, because the issue was not shut down. They said it could be revisited down the road, likely during the next presidency.
"This is not going to break us. You just fueled the fire," said Francesca Menes of FLIC Votes.
"Everyday there are kids turning 18 that are children of immigrants. When it comes time for them to vote, they'll remember who stood on the side of their families and who didn't. We know that these children are the future," said Daniel Barajas, Executive Director of Young American Dreamers.