Jessica Colotl, considered the “poster child” for the Obama administration’s “Dream Act”, came before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia on Thursday. According to Colotl and her attorney, she was flagged by authorities when she went to renew her DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) status, which was valid until May 18.
Because of an old charge that’s been on her record for six years, Colotl’s DACA was terminated by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on May 3. She was arrested in 2010 after a traffic stop. Threatened with deportation, her legal battle made national headlines.
In 2012, Colotl was granted temporary status to stay in the United States under DACA, which offered protection to immigrants brought here as children, as Colotl was.
“I went from having a normal life to being paralyzed in a matter of seconds,” Colotl said.
According to Colotl’s lawyer Katrina Eiland with the American Civil Liberties Union, “Colotl’s misdemeanor of driving without a license should not have had any impact on her DACA eligibility,” she said after Thursday’s hearing.
“I’m very hopeful. I just want to go back to having a normal life. Being able to have a job, drive and do the daily things that I normally do,” she said.
“They [the government] should do the right thing for me and other DREAMers as well,” she said.
Colotl and her attorneys will come before a judge next week in order to receive a final decision on her DACA status.