A Mexican woman who became the poster-child for illegal immigrants following an arrest in 2010 has had her deferred immigration status revoked by lawyers in the Trump administration, opening the door to her possible deportation.
Immigrations and Customs Enforcement stripped 28-year-old Jessica Colotl of her Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals protections earlier this month for lying to police in 2011 following her 2010 arrest.
Following the removal of her deferred status, an immigration judge issued a deportation order for Colotl.
Colotl was arrested in 2010 and charged with impeding traffic and driving without a license on the campus of Kennesaw State University, where she was studying at the time. Her arrest sparked a political debate over illegal immigration when the school revealed it was charging her in-state tuition. She later became a vocal proponent of immigration reform and a paralegal at Kuck Immigration Partners LLC, an Atlanta law firm specializing in deportation defenses.
Colotl signed a document in 2011 admitting she gave Cobb County law enforcement officers a false home address, for which she was charged with a felony. Although the case was eventually dismissed, Colotl’s confession was sufficient cause to remove DACA status, according to ICE.
In response to actions by the government, Colotl has sued the Trump administration in federal court, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. In her lawsuit, Colotl argues the government's actions are unwarranted given that her charge was later dismissed.
"It is completely outrageous," Colotl told the Journal-Constitution. "On Monday when I first found out about this, I felt shock because I didn’t know this could potentially happen."
In her lawsuit, Colotl contends the Trump administration is using her as "a test case to revoke DACA, exceeding its discretionary authority in an arbitrary and capricious manner," according to the Journal-Constitution.
Indeed, if she is deported because her deferred status was revoked, Colotl would join a small group of about 1,500 mostly violent criminals and gang members who have had their status revoked since the DACA program was implemented in 2012 by former President Barack Obama.
The program allows immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children to apply for two-year work permits and receive deportation deferment, so they could "rest easy" while living in the U.S. and not be in constant fear of deportation.
President Donald Trump campaigned on ending the program, though he has since softened his rhetoric on the issue. Still, given how the government is handling Colotl's case, it remains to be seen what will happen to the other 770,000 "DREAMers" living in the U.S.