Illegal immigrant student is not a hero

I was in New York City the other day (being photographed no doubt dozens of times by Mayor Bloomberg’s mass of surveilllance cameras), and while walking by Time Square, noticed a scrolling headline billboard for CNN blaring to the world that the case of Jessica Colotl, the illegal alien student at Kennesaw State Universtiy in Georgia, was being labeled a “civil rights disaster.”  Say what?  A “civil rights disaster?”  In what sense?  Because a case is pending regarding the legal status of one single person unquestionably in this country unlawfully, and who apparently violated at least a few state laws  while she was at it (driving without a license, driving illegally, and giving false information to the police)?  Where are the “civil rights” here and what is the crisis?

Even more troubling than these ridiculous headlines building this case into an international incident of epic proportions, is the fact that many people are intent on making this young woman into a martyr of the civil rights movement.  For what — driving without a license?  That’s all it takes to be a hero nowadays?  In so doing, civil rights advocates are cheapening the currency of true civil rights problems in this country (and there are very real civil rights and civil liberties problems in the country).  They lose credibility for their real battles in making this non-issue into a major test of principles and laws.

Sillier still is the notion that this college student – labeled one of the “best and brightest” by one pundit, yet who was not even bright enough to realize that when you’re in the country illegally it’s probably not a good idea to drive on public streets without a drivers license – is now being quoted as an expert on immigration laws.  In one of her news conferences, Colotl labeled the currrent immigration system in this country a “mess” (it may very well be; if for no reason other than it allowed her to remain here for years and to benefit from taxpayer-subsidized tuition at a state university).  Colotl also called for “reform” of the system.  I will not be surprised if she is brought before a congressional committee and applauded as a “victim” and an “expert.”  Perhaps the next immigration “reform” act will be named ”Jessica Colotl’s Law” in her honor.

There are a  number of legitimate questions surrounding the case of illegal alien Jessica Colotl – including whether or not the charges pending against her are legitimate, and whether the federal government and the university acted properly in deferring her deportation for a year — and they need to be resolved.  But let’s not get carried away; Jessica Colotl is no hero.

180 comments Add your comment

DoBoy

May 20th, 2010
1:59 pm

I disagree with Bob Barr 90+% of the time, but he’s spot on in this article.

Ms. Coloti and her parents broke the law. We can argue about the justness of the law, but she absolutely broke the law and should be made to suffer the appropriate punishment under law.

She’s hardly a hero.

IMB

May 20th, 2010
2:01 pm

Unless you are a Native American Indian or from a Colony like Puerto Rico all of us are here because a person in your family came here looking for a better life. Unfortunately, long are the days when people that worked hard could achieve success. The INS has created so many expensive hoops and red tape for people to jump through that it’s not as easy as filling out an application to be a resident. It’s not like applying for a bank loan, the process is created to stop people from integrating our government and society, not to help them legally join and contribute to society. They rather people stay illegal I guess. Long gone are the days when our country promoted: “Give me your tired, your poor,Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” The American government would rather spend money in a pointless war and in a senseless space program. I only pray some good Samaritan with money helps this child and she can get her education, and then I hope she moves to Canada or Europe and contributes her talent to a country that doesn’t fake liberty and equality.

Chuck

May 20th, 2010
2:53 pm

Mr. Barr,

I’m just curious about your family’s heritage. Did they emmigrate here from Europe before the Revolutionary War or after? Or did they show up at Ellis Island and get processed with everyone else like my ancestors did?

We don’t have an Ellis Island in the middle of the Rio Grande. We don’t have a way for a girl who was brought to America at ten years old by her parents to assimilate and become a citizen. Instead, we have a law in Georgia making it impossible for a girl brought to America as a child to get a drivers license. Then, we use that law as a way to deport her as soon as she’s caught driving.

Are we going to expect her to survive back in Mexico when she gets deported? She’s close to graduating from KSU. She should be able to get a decent, well-paying job. She should be able to pay taxes, contribute to Medicare and Social Security, buy a home and contribute to society. But, instead, you want to punish her for her parents’ sins because the laws were written to make it impossible for her to succeed here unless she lies.

All I hear from the Right is that we need to build a fence (on the Mexican border, of course–don’t worry about those pesky White Canadians) and keep us safe. Building the Great Wall of America on our Southern border won’t solve the problem. The truth is that not a single Conservative can give me an honest answer about what we should do with the 20 million illegal immigrants already here. Are you going to really round up 20 million people and deport them? Seriously?

“No Amnesty!!!!” That’s the cry I hear. These are the same people, of course, who don’t believe that insider trading should be a crime, but I digress.

Jania

May 20th, 2010
6:55 pm

I am really getting tired of people calling this racial profiling. First of all she is an illegal. Do people understand the definition of the word illegal? I guess not. She also broke our laws and cheated our system. She gave false information to the authorities, which is a felony in the state of Georgia. If she has or had her car registered did she steal someone’s information in order to do so? She needs to pay for her actions. Her parents did not tell her to lie, write down false information on her college transcripts, and lie about her illegal status. She is no longer 11 years old but a 21 year old women who is capable of making her own choices and decisions. She chose to lie and give false information. She should be penalized for her actions. I like how everyone screams racism this has nothing to do with racism. It has to do with being here illegally and breaking the law. If a white male did the same thing he would be thrown into jail. Look at the Harvard student who falsified his college documents and transcripts he is now is jail. What makes her so special?? She has no rights here since she is not a citizen. Why should we just give her a slap on the wrist and say she did nothing wrong when she cheated the system. If she wants to finish school she NEEDS to apply for a Visa and do it the correct way and pay back any sort of HOPE money she acquired seeing she had a 3.8 GPA in HS and pay back the instate tuition she owes. It is not fair to legal immigrants who come here to learn and are sent back to their country because their Visa(s) expire. Why do the illegals get more privileges and rights then American Citizens, Legal Immigrants, and students from other countries who come here on a VISA? Where is the justice in that? She is an illegal. She broke the law and does not deserve any special accommodations. We have laws for a purpose and I guess it is okay for Illegals to break those laws but when citizens break those laws we have to pay the penalty.

Michael H. Smith

May 20th, 2010
6:57 pm

Chuck

May 20th, 2010
2:53 pm

The truth is that not a single Conservative can give me an honest answer about what we should do with the 20 million illegal immigrants already here. Are you going to really round up 20 million people and deport them? Seriously?

How much money are you willing to lose Chuck?

loulalay

May 21st, 2010
12:18 am

god never run no wire fence or border lets be nice we all are people god love us all thats the problem with the world today to much haters first class and second class citizen who ganna judge some of you not me but god

Anne M

May 21st, 2010
7:20 am

It is extraordinary that the US suffers such an enormous illegal immigration issue when rich European countries adjacent to poor ones seem have fewer illegal immigration issues, despite the fact that the underlying motivators are the same in both instances. The difference is the immigration policy.

You are not well-informed;immigrants rioted in both France & Italy in the past year,resulting in fatalities.Immigration/assimilation is a huge issue in Great Britain now.

Dana

May 21st, 2010
11:49 pm

So out of all the evil crimes in the world she was driving without a license! Wow. Is this all it take to throw some one under the bus. So many average american revoked license drunkards are on the road right now. And you critisize her for being educated; does she not have that right. Sorry but realistically so many of our fortuante americans don’t take advantage of their beneifts. Every one doesn’t want to finish school or even graduate from high school. So what she has a dream and she actually went for it. Lets get this straight America does not give financial aid or any other school help to illegal aliens. Immigrants do not receive housing, welfare , foodstamps, or medicaid. All of that is BS. Everything they have they work hard for it! And yes they work for lower wages but not because they want to but because they have too. If you ask me this is modern slavery. America knows exactly where every illigal immigrant is how do they allow them to buy cars, houses, go to public school. Believe it or not they do know exactly where they all are but they are not going to rush them all out of the country because they are actually helping the economy. When the recession hit who were the only ones still working the immigrants. And every company that hires them takes taxes out of their checks every week and at the end of the year they don’t file taxes and so where does this money go. Well it stays with good ole uncle sam to help the majority of single middle class white women that are the majority on welfare. Research your info or ask someone who is really dealing with the issues and don’t always believe what your tv tells you. All they are doing is promoting hate. Who will we hate next? Yes people always say just get your papers like everybody else, but the truth is if it was that easy do you think people would be dying in deserts to cross a border. These people sacrifice there lives and leave everything behind for a better life and the truth is America makes it damn near impossible for these people to get papers. ITs as simple as a law saying mexicans can’t be citizens and thats it. And so many other countries too. People are inconsiderate because it is not their shoes but it shouldn’t matter we are all humans are we not? No matter how much they say immigrants are treated humanely they are not! They are hunted like dogs on those borders and most of the time they are just young boys or families. This is how far we have come in 2010 to be discussing civil rights its like what nerve…..didn’t the europeans and spainards kill the indians and walk them off the land in the trail of tears after they tought them to cultivate the land (thanksgiving) more like thanks for giving it. This land was stolen inhumanely and history is repeating itself by walking these people off the land. They were here First. Do your history. Or change history. We are generation X lets do things like they have never been done before. And as far as the rest of you on this ego power trip…..get over it. Times are changing.

Soudan

May 22nd, 2010
7:14 am

As an American of African decent I would like to ask:
Is anyone going to address “Ask A Native”’s questions?
They seem like valid immigration concerns

Native Response

May 22nd, 2010
5:29 pm

SOUDAN: I don’t see any valid immigration question from Ask A Native, except dwelling on the philosophical argument that we are all illegals and the Native Indians are the legal ones. Is that her/his point?

Following that thought, lets go back to the time when the continents are connected by land bridges ** grin ** are you sure its the indians that are natives here? are you sure?? Any anthropologist around? If none, let’s ask the theologeans– where did Noah’s decendants go after the flood? Did some make it to N. America? Perhaps they are the real natives and the indians illegals themselves… Does that satisfy Ask The Native questions??

Now here is my serious thoughts of the topic. We are a nation of immigrants, but legal ones. We went through Ellis Island, to LAX/SFO/CHI/etc ports-of entries, etc.At the time the English discovered America, there were no borders yet, there were no Laws (OK you can argue that there are oral laws of the indians) PUBLISHED and hence NO laws violated. The indians were even fighting among themselves because they cannot even define their own tribal borders. My great grandparents were from Asia and I learned that during their time, clear as much land as you can and its yours, it was a written decree made to all. Later the government that prevailed granted legal bounderies on those lands. NOWADAYS, it is a written decree for ALL nations and ALL peoples that the United States of America has known bounderies and people of other nationalities should respect that as we respect theirs.

G. RAMIREZ

May 23rd, 2010
3:38 am

I’m Latino, Democrat, Gay, and I support this Arizona law!

The fact is, illegal aliens have “more” rights than gay people. Illegal aliens can see their opposite sex partners in hospitals, and up until over a month ago when Obama signed an executive order allowing same-sex couples to see one another in hospitals, same sex couples would have been continually barred from seeing one another. Illegal aliens can marry an American citizen, gay people cannot marry in most states in the US. Illegal aliens can march on Washington and request some type of amnesty from a president who supports selective amnesty, gay people can march on Washington, but Obama doesn’t support same sex marriage.

Adult Illegal aliens broke the law entering our country and are using their “anchor babies” (born here in the USA) to anchor onto benefits that taxpayers pay for which include: public housing, free rent, food stamps, and free healthcare. When adult illegal aliens or their children go to the emergency room, it’s mandated by law that they be treated. Guess who pays for the bill? YOU! You pay for it in the form of HIGHER healthcare costs and rising premiums! And for the “anchor babies” you also pay for their state-funded Medicaid and the cost to educate them and others in the public school system throughout the country!

There’s really nothing to stop them from having more kids in order to convince a judge to let them stay in the US. On the other hand, many states don’t allow gay Americans to adopt children.

Illegal aliens should all be deported now. We need to end birthright citizenship for anchor babies, and deny illegals access to basic social services. Americans are ultimately left to pick up the bill for the billions in services they receive for free all the while paying nothing into the system and then sending all their earned money back to Mexico to help our their country, not ours.

Citizens paying taxes into the system, regardless of sexual orientation, should come FIRST.

Lee

May 23rd, 2010
11:11 am

The politically correct pathogens cannot understand why most Americans are fed up with the ILLEGAL ALIEN. Perhaps this story will shed some light:

http://www.king5.com/news/local/Investigators-Edmonds-rape-suspect-deported-nine-times-94637479.html

Luisa48

May 24th, 2010
8:03 pm

I believe in obeying the laws of this country the USA ….period….

Luisa48

May 24th, 2010
8:07 pm

If we went to Mexico to live and start a business without citizenship of that country, they would throw us in their barbaric jails and forget about us. It would be difficult to get out of there if you can’t hire a good lawyer from the USA. Mexicans want rights here but the Mexicans in Mexico won’t give us our rights in their country. And it’s no longer safe to go to there country anyway.

Luisa48

May 24th, 2010
8:12 pm

I am not a racist, I just don’t want aliens (red, white, black, brown etc) coming to this country to cause trouble. I don’t want murderers, drug pushers, thieves, pedophiles, perverts, and those who do not love this country to come here to live. This country is for law abiding humans who are going to obey the laws of this land who are peace makers. We love this country and we want to keep it safe for the citizens who live here.

A college student.

May 26th, 2010
11:09 am

First of all I want to say that I technically have an illegal status here. NOT because I came here illegally, SINCE I CAME HERE BY PLANE WITH A VISA WHEN I WAS 11 YEARS OLD, but becuase I along with my mother stayed here to live. I am now 20 years old and I am attending community college. To all the people who say “ILLEGALS ARE TAKING MY MONEY,” well sorry to say we are not. In high school I was involved in everything, fooball, wrestling, band, latin club, and student council, oh and I almost forgot to mention I was a member of the national honor society. My mom, ALTHOUGH AN ILLEGAL, has been paying taxes every year to this amazing country for your “legal” children to go to college with financial aid and loans, yet that doesn’t allow me to get any of the money my mom is paying in taxes, because ALTHOUGH she can pay taxes SHE CANT LEGALLY FILE AN INCOME TAX RETURN OR ANY OTHER TAX RETURN WHATSOEVER. I managed to get a band scholarship that gave me enough for the first year of comunity college. And this next year we gotta pull out money out of our own pocket. The band scholarship was for all seniors and out of about 20 seniors 4 people applied for it, so where’s the “MANY LEGAL CITIZENS” THAT I AM TAKING COLLEGE TUITION FROM???? Answer: none. If your child was beat to a scholarship by an “illegal” then it is because that Illegal child was more QUALIFIED for it. This is a great country that I have lived in basically half my life, yet I can’t get a drivers license, I can’t get a job, can’t even get an id, can’t apply for student financial aid (yet my mom is paying taxes). I never got in trouble in school, so I’m not a trouble maker, don’t brake no laws, yet I have citizen friends that brake laws everyday, ex. Drinking underage, driving intoxicated, runnning from the cops, smoking pot. Yet that’s overlooked becuase he is a citizen??? Ohh and by the way he is not black or Hispanic, he is white with blue eyes and is very smart, and he is studying engineering at Texas a&m. All Im trying to have is an opportunity here to make something of myself. I don’t wanna go back to my country of origin. I grew up here, my life is here, why should I have to go??

billy bob

May 27th, 2010
8:19 pm

why should someone that is technically not allowed be allowed?

Joe

May 27th, 2010
8:41 pm

I am filled with distain for those who come to my country illegally, and are breaking my laws and showing this lack of respect. Then demanding we change our laws to suit them. We don’t need to change any laws, we need to ENFORCE EXISTING laws. SECURE THE BORDERS. When a terrorist enters from Mexico and/or Canada, that will be more devastating politically than ever upsetting the Latinos.

Rowdy Boots

May 27th, 2010
9:15 pm

Yes, this is a major civil rights case.

Only white males are exempt from having civil rights.

Remember, you white males (I am Italian so I do not consider myself involved with this perverted color system) do not have rights–you had too many before so we took them away from you!

lol, yes, I am not a racist, but if you disagree with this Italian you are a racist (see Code # 333 under the New Progressive Rights Act for A Facist World–it says: Anyone complaining about a racist attack shall be heard and have the full force of the United States Military on their side, unless such victim is white, male and alive.)

Have a Nice Socialist Fascist Holiday FOOOLS.
Rowdy Boots

Caring Citizen

May 27th, 2010
11:23 pm

to a college student:

I understand that you were brought here by your mother and kept here against your will. No one asked your mother to work and pay taxes. She made the choice to stay here illegally and work illegally and send you to school illegally,

Our laws are our laws and you and your mother have disrespected our laws and all legal status people now in America. I truly understand that your country may not be the best in the world, but it’s up to you to change it, not our responsibility to do it for you nor should we be forced to accept you without reguards to our laws. You and your mom can go home and try to enter our country legally again and start over. You do not have a right to stay here. No non-citizen does.

I think all illegals and their children should be send home. We showed compassion in the 80’s to illegals already here and all it did was to cause a flood of more illegals. Close the boarders, deport the illegals, and enforce the laws on the books now. Oh, and vote the commies out of office!

John

May 28th, 2010
7:05 am

Every time I go to the food store there are people that I know and every one else knows is here illegally yet they whipp out there Georgia peach food stamp card and the people of GA pay for a load of food. HOW DO THEY GET THESE CARDS! If i go apply they want to know all about me! SS# DL# were i work?How much I make? What do they ask these people????

Chad B

May 28th, 2010
7:22 am

Michael Broz-

Well ” ….rich European countries adjacent to poor ones seem have fewer illegal immigration issues” than us for fairly simple reasons.
(1) No way you are getting any kind of job in those places if you are not there legally.
(2) If you are there illegally, you will be deported without any angst.

I suspect those two things implemented here would yield the same results, there are many ways to implement each.

Vic Bailey

May 28th, 2010
3:25 pm

Laws are Laws unless you are a lawyer or an INVADER. Laws were only made for the normal law abiding citizen everything else is excluded!!! Such as Senators, Congress, Presidents, Federal Judges, Police,any Politicial S.O.B.’s such as Mayors, Governers, all the rest of the working people that have built and keep this country running are governed by the crooked laws that only lawyers understand. The working man makes the money and the non-working steal it. And we’re supposed to like it and ask for more injustice, because it isn’t bad enough that our families aren’t safe on any street anywhere in America, but they will plea bargin for a murder’s life after he killed a whole family. But a rapist and that same murderer will be out in 7 years, to do it again. You think you have rights? THINK AGAIN!!! Just like George Carlin said, The Great American Dream, You Have To Be Asleep To Have IT!!!! The only ones are getting the American Dream are the Crooks and INVADERS of our once great country. I know our forefathers are proud of us, and of the cowardice we have shown this crooked Socialist Government!! So, you all stay asleep and your American Dream Will Come To You!!!

Disgusted

May 28th, 2010
4:24 pm

Since when is coming here illegally, residing here illegally, working and/or driving illegally, etc., are not crimes? Since when have all these things become “civil rights” as long as you are an illegal alien?

Barbara

May 31st, 2010
10:43 am

Barr
The Republican Party is just as receptive to illegal’s as the Democratic leadership as their constitutes use them as a form of cheap labor. Ronald Regan was the first to offer amnesty to illegal’s in the 80’s. That did not fix the problem these people are here because they find work as landscapers, maids, nannies, and the home owner who needs some work done for cheap. Don’t blame one party as both sides have a dog in this fight. Also the largest concentration of states with illegal’s voted Republican. Texas, Arizona, Florida, Utah. They also have Republican governors and offer college education to illegal students. That’s the problem everyone wants to blame a political group rather than ban together as Americans and say fix this issue. EVERYONE should come here legally no exceptions. This young woman is no Rosa Park her civil rights are not violated.

Barbara

May 31st, 2010
11:07 am

A college student

How can your mother pay taxes if she has no social security number? Why don’t both you and your mother apply for residency? Why did you and your mother over stay your visa allowing you into this country? I understand your desire to remain here however your wrongs don’t make a right. I agree that you worked hard for the scholarship and was awarded it bases on you meeting qualifications. The problem I and most people have is that you are here illegally the question of the behavior of US citizens is another issue altogether. You are attempting to assimilate into the American society and continue the build this great country. Other seem bent on only taking and refusing to learn English which cost in educating their children, Public forms printed in several languages and the medical cost paid by tax payers is maddening. Do the right thing go thru the process and become legal. This country was built with the blood, sweat and tears of many people. You do not get a pass because it will be difficult to correct your illegal status.

ozz,

May 31st, 2010
9:53 pm

In reading these posts it seems apparent many of the writers are probably illegally in the country as the subject girl. Many of the writers are right in that she is not a hero, but a thief, liar, and an illegal alien. BFD if she is in school, and even of she was a 4.0 student it don;t take away the fact she is an illegal, and she well know such. As one of the other writers I too was rear ended by an illegal, no license, no insurance, spoke no English, and 2 Mexican cops let her drive away, they gave me their alleged names and address. Their car was not registered to them.Surprise either they lied about who they were and where they lived, as when I went (with a Mexican friend) there to where they were supposed to live, and the place was vacant. The neighbors did not know of them. And in several trips by the address their car was never around. About $2000 in damages. I am all for deporting them all immediately if they can not provide positive proof of citizenship. I am not anti Mexican, as I have had a couple Mexican
neighbors for over 25 years, and they are wonderful people, and legal. I have had many Mexican employees over the years ( some of whom were probably illegal) before they have become so blatantly arrogant. Today I have no compassion for any of the illegal’s. The clown with the mayflower (in this post-and likely an illegal himself). In the subject of deporting any/all illegal’s goes all the way to Obama, if he continues to refuse to provide proof of being a natural born citizen or if he is unable to do so. It is proven he is a liar, and has several social security card (numbers), the one he is presently using as president was issued more than before he was born. I guess he started young ??? And I am a firm believer he is illegally holding the office of president, and at this time I question if he is even a citizen. I all for Obama being impeached and tried (but not by the sorry assed congress) (preferably by a military court as he is commander in chief)for treason, federal fraud, and countless other charges. I firmly believe he ought to spend the rest of his life in federal prison for his efforts in his destroying this country. Also any/all other who are aiding and abetting his fraud ought to be tried for treason. For the simple minded ones who might read this my family history goes back to native Americans (Indian for the slow thinkers). And for the benefit of those who feel it necessary to respond back (patricianly negatively) know in advance I will not be back on the site to read it, so have at it. I have typed this slow so you can understand it ;-}

Doug Denehie

June 2nd, 2010
4:42 am

Mr Broz; Not only are you incorrect in your assumptions, your comparison of our immigrant situation to other modern rich countries leaves out “many facts”. The only reason America is having this problem is that through selective application of the law we afford illegals “all” the benefits od citizenship without the trouble of obtaining it. That is completely illegal according to Federal law but thr Feds and many states have chosen to ignor those laws or simply dictate through burecratic edit, therefore trampling the law. All those issue you say we shouldn’t have are the result of this willingness to selectively apply the law. Those other country’s you compare us to don’t do that.

Aaron humes

June 8th, 2010
4:40 pm

Either she IS legal or she AIN’T.

How can a topic with no gray area become so confusing?

[...] Illegal immigrant student is not a hero Monday, June 21st, 2010 Illegal immigrant student is not a hero Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) … and while walking by Time Square, noticed a scrolling headline billboard for CNN blaring to the world that the case of Jessica Colotl, the illegal alien … http://blogs.ajc.com/bob-barr-blog/2010/05/19/illegal-immigrant-student-is-not-a-hero/ [...]