From AP: Federal authorities have revoked the protection from deportation granted to a Mexican woman who became a cause celebre in the debate over illegal immigration as a college student in Georgia seven years ago.
Jessica Colotl, 29, was reluctantly thrust into the national spotlight in 2010 after she was pulled over on a traffic charge on the campus of Kennesaw State University, near Atlanta. She was arrested and turned over to federal immigration authorities who kept her in a detention center for 37 days.
Her case was widely covered by the news media after her sorority sisters held posters with her name on them during a march for immigration reform in Atlanta while she was detained. As a visible symbol of the national debate over illegal immigration, her case was regularly cited by advocates on both sides of the issue.
Colotl, who was brought to the U.S. illegally by her parents when she was 11, went on to graduate. In 2012 she applied for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program. Her application was granted in 2013 and renewed last year. (DACA must be renewed every two years, so she was a year late in her renewal process.)
The Obama administration program offered a reprieve from deportation to people in the country illegally who could prove they arrived before they were 16, had been in the U.S. for several years and had not committed a crime since arriving.
President Donald Trump took a hard line on illegal immigration as a candidate, but has since softened his stance for those brought to the country as children.
Colotl’s attorney, Charles Kuck, said the revocation of Colotl’s DACA status shows Trump has not told the truth. “Trump promised that DACA kids were fine,” Kuck said. “Nothing’s changed in Jessica’s case. … They are simply in bad faith punishing her for exercising her rights under the policies enacted by the government.”
Colotl, who had work authorization through the DACA program, had been working as a paralegal in Kuck’s office. Her parents moved back to Mexico several years ago, and after her mother fell ill last year Colotl wanted to go see her.
DACA recipients are allowed to travel internationally and her lawyers helped her get the necessary paperwork.
But her lawyers didn’t want her to travel because she still had an outstanding deportation order, Kuck said. They filed a motion to reopen and administratively close her deportation proceedings. Immigration Judge J. Dan Pelletier denied the request.
Read the rest of the story here.
Read about the DACA process and legalities here.