NEW YORK — The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Georgia, and Kuck Immigration Partners LLC took legal action today to restore Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals protections to DREAMer Jessica Colotl.
The Trump administration suddenly and arbitrarily revoked Colotl’s DACA status, even though immigration authorities had granted her DACA twice previously and there has been no change in her circumstances. In denying the request to renew her DACA status and work permit, the U.S. government is stripping Colotl’s authorization to live and work in the United States.
“Jessica is exactly the kind of ‘absolutely incredible kid’ that President Trump has said should not be targeted by immigration authorities, and DHS had repeatedly recognized this by granting her DACA again and again,” said Katrina Eiland, staff attorney for the ACLU. “She is still the same exemplary person who has called the U.S. home for almost 20 years. The government has violated the law by doing a total about-face in this case when nothing has changed.”
Andrea Young, executive director of the ACLU of Georgia, said, “Jessica’s sorority sisters, Kennesaw State University students, and our community stand with Jessica and all DREAMers against Trump’s draconian immigration policies.”
The ACLU and the ACLU of Georgia joined Kuck Immigration Partners LLC in representing Colotl in her DACA case late last week. The legal action filed today by the ACLU demands that the Department of Homeland Security 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 government is using an old, unfounded case that was dismissed and does not affect her eligibility for DACA to target her. According to them, Colotl is guilty of having made a false statement to the police in 2010. But Colotl never made a false statement to the police. Colotl never pleaded guilty, and the charge was dismissed in 2013. This same incident was taken into consideration in her previous and successful DACA applications.
On Saturday, May 20, the ACLU of Georgia, Black Lives Matter Greater Atlanta, CAIR-Georgia, GAELO, Georgia NAACP, Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, United We Dream, and other organizations staged a rally in support of Colotl at the Richard Russell Federal Building in Atlanta.
Colotl, a resident of Georgia, is a 28-year-old citizen of Mexico who has lived in the United States since she moved here in 1999 when she was 11 years old. She graduated from Lakeside High School in DeKalb County, Georgia, in May 2006, with honors. She then attended Kennesaw State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in political science in 2011. In college, Colotl excelled academically and was named to the President’s List. She was also actively involved in the Hispanic Scholarship Fund and the Mexican American Student Alliance, and helped found the Epsilon Chapter of Lambda Theta Alpha, a sorority.
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 platelets at the Northside Hospital in Atlanta, and fundraising for St. Jude Children’s Hospital. She is also a member of Saint Patrick’s Catholic Church in Norcross, Georgia, and a passionate advocate for immigrants’ rights and immigration reform.
Under the DACA program, immigrants who came to the U.S. as children are able to apply for a work permit and temporary protection against deportation.