KENNESAW, Ga -- Jessica Colotl was supposed to be deported Thursday after finishing her studies at Kennesaw State University, but immigration officials extended her stay here one more year.
Almost a year ago she became the face of the illegal immigration debate in Georgia when she was arrested in a traffic stop for not having a valid license. She was arrested and almost deported but was allowed to finish her schooling.
On Tuesday U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement extended that deadline by a year. "ICE uses discretion on a case by case basis, as appropriate, and has the authority to grant a deferral of removal action based on the merits of an individual's case and a review of specific facts," ICE said in a statement.
The extension was requested by Colotl's attorneys. They say it will allow her to wind up her affairs and to fight charges that are still pending against her. "We are very excited and pleased that ICE has acted so quickly and with such compassion and forethought in granting Jessica and extension of her deferred action status," said attorney Charles Kuck.
Colotl hit the spotlight when she was arrested in May 2010 on a traffic stop on the KSU campus. She didn't have a valid license and she was also charged with providing police with a false address. Colotl was indicted by a Cobb County grand jury for making a false statement
Kuck said Colotl is the innocent victim of a broken immigration system. "For now Jessica will soon graduate and will make plans for the next part of her life," he said.