Opinion: The law applies to government too

(AJC)

From the beginning, the latest attempted deportation of 29-year-old Jessica Colotl has smacked of petty bureaucratic vengeance masquerading as law enforcement, with an innocent young woman as its intended victim.

The good news is that Colotl’s deportation has been halted, thanks to a federal judge who recognized what was happening and called out immigration officials for violating their own rules and policies. The bad news is that Colotl’s reprieve may only be temporary.

If you recognize Jessica’s name, it’s not surprising. Her predicament may be shared by hundreds of thousands of people, but fate and circumstance have given her a higher profile than most. She was brought here illegally from Mexico when she was 11 and went on to graduate from Lakeside High School in DeKalb County with honors. From there, she went on to Kennesaw State University, joining a sorority and majoring in political science.

But in 2010, while waiting for a parking space to open up, Colotl was stopped by Kennesaw campus police and later charged with driving without a license. She pleaded guilty and served three days in jail as punishment, ostensibly ending the misdemeanor case and avoiding deportation.

Almost a year later, however, she was arrested again by local officials, this time on a felony charge of making false statements to police officers. Her specific offense? Allegedly giving them a false address during her first arrest. The trumped-up charges, later dropped, were widely seen as an after-the-fact attempt to force Colotl’s deportation by authorities who were frustrated that their first attempt had failed. Once again, in a legal case that drew national attention, she was allowed to stay and complete her degree.

Since 2013, Colotl had been living under protection of a program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, open to immigrants who had been brought here as children, had gotten a high school education and did not have a felony conviction. In short, like Colotl, they are Americans in everything but paperwork, people who have done nothing wrong themselves and have worked to build a life in this country. DACA gives them a temporary reprieve against deportation, a temporary work permit and Social Security number, and the legal right to a drivers’ license

To most Americans, that’s a more-just outcome than forcing these so-called “Dreamers” to be forcibly returned to a country that some have no memory of even seeing. But times have changed. Our new president, Donald Trump, has at times angrily promised to “immediately terminate” DACA and deport the Dreamers. In other moods, before other audiences, he has promised to protect them against deportation, telling them to “rest easy.”

In that unsettled environment, and without warning, Colotl’s protected status under DACA was revoked in March by immigration officials. Once again deportation loomed; once again, the excuse was the felony charge of giving a false address that supposedly made her too dangerous to stay in the country.

In a decision Monday, U.S. District Judge Mark Cohen ruled that Colotl’s DACA status had been “unlawfully terminated” by immigration officials. The government’s “interest in enforcing immigration laws does not justify them running roughshod over (Colotl) by ignoring their own required procedures,” he wrote.

So this time, in this case, for now, justice has been done. But our unwillingness to work toward a comprehensive, permanent solution to this issue has left millions in long-term limbo.

Reader Comments 0

817 comments
Lucy.
Lucy.

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BB1700
BB1700

"So this time, in this case, for now, justice has been done. But our unwillingness to work toward a comprehensive, permanent solution to this issue has left millions in long-term limbo."


So, what's the problem? The family arrives "illegally", the daughter does a great job of getting educated, performs at the top of the class (I'm guessing), goes to college, does great.  That's terrific.


She is an illegal person in this country.  What part of illegal don't you understand?

Starik
Starik

@BB1700 That's easy.  Change the law so that it makes sense. What was illegal will become legal.

ChristineR.Hensen
ChristineR.Hensen

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www.smart-job5.com

JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

TGT. Where did you get Fourth of July fireworks before GA legalized em?

JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

It's not easy info to find. I kept looking. I'm correctable. But I'm gonna get with my Pop. See what other lies he's been telling me.

JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

My Aunt helped unionize customer service at United. I'm pretty sure that was the late 80s. Don't quote me. Of course she's a crazy Trumper now.

TGT88
TGT88

As a matter of what should be common sense: There's no way that many members of congress should be gathered in the same place--especially publicly outdoors--without some measure of armed security. Until today, I had no idea that could happen. Not smart in today's world.

DebbieDoRight
DebbieDoRight

Yeah it is. All ya gotta do is buy them in the south, get yourself a dealer's license, and sell them via the internet.

stefpe
stefpe

@TGT88 Wait, what.. there was armed security. That's why the shooter is dead.

TGT88
TGT88

@stefpe @TGT88 Only because one single member of leadership was there (as anyone paying much attention now well knows).

JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

Yeah. And let's get some security at elementary schools, movie theatres, office buildings and nightclubs. Or we could regulate guns.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@stefpe @TGT88  I'll take people ignorantly expounding on something for $1,000 please, Alex 

KUTGF
KUTGF

@TGT88 @stefpe Oh I am sure it all would have been different if only the Congressman had been armed rather than someone around him having to be the good guy with a gun.  So there was someone with a gun and still this happened. 

Kamchak
Kamchak

@KUTGF

  Really are you that silly sweetie?

Yes, he really is.

I've read his blog.

td1234
td1234

@KUTGF Yes, we have one shooter dead and three good guys injured instead of another San Bernardo on Orlando club.  

td1234
td1234

@LordHelpUs Yes, no good guys with guns in those situations either to fight back and minimize the loss of life. 

TGT88
TGT88

@DebbieDoRight While you speculate on what we don't know, you could speculate on what is clear: another deranged human corrupted by liberalism decided to act out the violence he's so often been exposed to in his crazy liberal bubble. 

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

I'm sure there will be an exhaustive review of security protocols for these elected officials.

TGT88
TGT88

@KUTGF @TGT88 @stefpe  Arming unarmed people under attack is "stupidity and nonsense." Glad you went on the record with that.

JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

TD. Are you from Roman conquerors?

td1234
td1234

@JeffreyEav Nope. Mainly English conquerors that came to this country from England and took the land by force because they were technology superior to the population that was here. 


Same techniques the Romans and the Greeks before them did. 

TBS
TBS

That's a joke, right.

If so the apple fell a long way from the tree

LogicalDude
LogicalDude

@td1234 @JeffreyEav " took the land by force because they were technology superior to the population that was here. "


Nice try at rewriting history there.  They took it by force because they saw the adversary as sub-human barbarians that just stood in their way. 

td1234
td1234

@LogicalDude The same as the Romans, Greeks and every other imperial empire so what is your point? 

TBS
TBS

It's what Jesus would have wanted

Think of it as a revival where some were "saved" and others not so much