A young immigrant from Georgia is fighting back after federal authorities revoked her protection from deportation.
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Jessica Colotl, a former Kennesaw State student whose case sparked national immigration debates in 2010, lost her deportation stay under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program this month.
When she went to work as a paralegal on Monday, Colotl said she received a notice in the mail from federal immigration authorities that her DACA status had been terminated.
“This meant that from that day on I was no longer able to work and again had no status,” she said.
In their May 3 termination notice, authorities wrote that her case was “not consistent with the Department of Homeland Security's enforcement priorities.”
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said her DACA was terminated because of a six-year-old act.
Bryan Cox, a spokesman for ICE, said in a statement that Colotl pleaded guilty in 2011 to a felony charge of making a false statement to law enforcement.
Colotl entered a diversion program before trial and the charges were ultimately dismissed. However, Cox said, “Under federal law, her admission of guilt constitutes a conviction for an immigration crime.”
Charles Kuck, her lawyer, said her protection was revoked “arbitrarily, capriciously and legally and factually incorrect.”
Kuck said the federal government already knew about her previous felony charges in her DACA application.
Federal officials did not say why the decision was made this month. ICE noted that a decision to grant a deferred action order may be revoked by the Department of Homeland Security at any time, “particularly in the case of someone who commits a crime or is otherwise determined to pose a threat to national or public safety.” “.
Polly Price, a professor at Emory University who specializes in immigration law, said deportation priorities have expanded under the Trump administration.
“It is emblematic of the greater latitude that ICE has taken recently in terms of target population and possible priorities,” she said.
However, President Donald Trump has so far left the DACA program itself intact, telling recipients, also known as Dreamers, to “rest easy.”
“They have some absolutely incredible children. Mostly I would say. They were brought here this way, it is a very, very difficult subject. We will approach DACA with passion,” he said at the February press conference.
Trump's comments had relieved Colotl, but she now said she was worried.
“I mean, where are we? Are we seriously in limbo again?” said Colotl.