In previous blog posts we've referenced “dreamers” - undocumented youth who have protection status under Obama's Deferred Action for Children Arrivals” program - and the current risk of their deportation under the current administration. The story of Juan Manuel made headlines last month when he was secretly deported to Mexico and has now decided to take legal action against the federal government to seek answers as to why. A similar event has occurred yet again to a young Georgia woman who was protected from deportation through DACA. She is currently facing deportation for the second time.
In 2010, Jessica Colotl's, name was plastered all over media outlets across the nation when she nearly was deported for driving without a license and was jailed for 37 days. Considered the poster child of the Dream Act, her case initiated important conversations regarding the direction the nation would take when implementing a policy about undocumented immigrants. Skeptics of illegal immigration criticized her attending university at the time, Kennesaw State, for allowing her to attend the campus on an in-state tuition rate. And soon after the debacle ended, Atlanta state officials decided to adopt a policy requiring schools to verify the citizenship of students before offering them in-state tuition.
Seven years later, Colotl is battling federal authorities once again after being informed that she had been stripped of her temporary reprieve from deportation this month. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has justified her new status by bringing up prior allegations of her of admitting she made a false statement to a law enforcement officer a few years ago. ICE claims that she fabricated her address when asked by the officer. The charge has been dismissed for years. And though there was no conviction, her admission to the crime was enough tocommence the loss of her protection under DACA, according to immigration law.
“Since then, I have been working and doing well for myself,” Colotl said in an interview. “I thought that all the legal battles were behind me.”
. Obama's DACA program was supposed to guarantee Colotl a permanent residency or at least grant her a renewal to reinstate her status, but under the new administration, more and more dreamers are finding themselves revoked from the program. She was hoping on gaining another two years of protection when the authorities flagged her. Now that the 28-year-old is unprotected from expulsion from the United States, she has decided to challenge the government's decision in federal court. Her attorney, Charles Kuck, says that the federal government is misinterpreting immigration law, especially in his client's case.
“There's no reason it (her DACA) wouldn't have been approved,” Kuck said. “The extension was approved last time. The law, the rules on DACA have not changed. What a conviction hasn't changed. How they're interpreting the law has changed.”
Facing deportation from a country you've made a home in is one of the scariest things one could experience. With the help of an attorney who is well-versed in immigration law, your chances of a positive outcome are exponentially increased. Call the Seattle law office of Steve Karimi at (206) 621-8777 or contact him online.