ATLANTA — The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia today heard arguments in the case of Jessica Colotl, a Georgia DREAMer whose protections under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) were suddenly and arbitrarily revoked by the Trump administration.
“Today the government’s attorney conceded that Jessica Colotl is in fact eligible for DACA. The government couldn’t provide an actual reason for why Jessica’s DACA was revoked and reaffirmed that there have been no changes to the DACA program,” said Katrina Eiland, ACLU attorney who argued on behalf of Colotl, after the hearing. “The facts haven’t changed and Jessica is still the same individual who has contributed so much to this country. We are hopeful coming out of today’s hearing that Jessica’s DACA will be restored while the government gives her application the fair review it deserves.”
Jessica Colotl said, “I was shocked when my DACA was revoked for no reason whatsoever and I’m hopeful after today’s hearing that I’ll be able to get back to my life. I want to make sure that DACA recipients are protected. That’s why this case is so important for me personally and for the community.”
“Like all DREAMers, Jessica is a valued member of her community who has lived, worked, and studied here since childhood,” said Andrea Young, ACLU of Georgia executive director. “Especially now that the government has conceded that Jessica is eligible for DACA and admitted that the only justification for their action was false, DHS has no reason not to renew Jessica’s DACA status and allow her to continue working and giving back to the Atlanta community.”
Last month, the ACLU, the ACLU of Georgia, and Kuck Immigration Partners LLC filed legal action demanding that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reinstate Colotl’s protected status under DACA and re-evaluate her renewal application under the same consistent standards it used to grant her previous approvals. The action also asks the court to block DHS from detaining Colotl while her renewal application is being reviewed. Colotl’s DACA status was granted by immigration authorities twice previously without objection.
Colotl has called Georgia her home since she first moved to Atlanta at the age of 11 and graduated from Lakeside High School in DeKalb County in May 2006, with honors. She then attended Kennesaw State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in political science in 2011. Since graduating, Colotl has worked as a paralegal at Kuck Immigration Partners LLC and aspires to attend law school to become an immigration lawyer. She also has continued to serve the community, volunteering for the Annual Latino Youth Leadership Conference, donating blood at the Northside Hospital in Atlanta, and fundraising for St. Jude Children’s Hospital. She is a member of Saint Patrick’s Catholic Church in Norcross, Georgia, and a passionate advocate for immigrants’ rights and immigration reform.
A video about Jessica’s story and current situation is available here.
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