The U.S. needs college students like Jessica Colotl

WASHINGTON —  If immigrants represented the best and the brightest, we’d eagerly welcome them into the United States, right? If they learned to speak English. If they were strivers and achievers. If they worked hard and reached for the brass ring, we wouldn’t deny them the opportunity to join the American mainstream. Would we?

Yes, we would.

Jessica Colotl, 21, is a senior at Kennesaw State University, a political science major and a member of Lambda Theta Alpha, a college sorority. She wants to attend law school.

However, she came to this country illegally, with her parents, when she was a child. And her detractors don’t care what she’s accomplished since then. They want to send her back to Mexico, a country she barely knows.

Following a routine traffic stop on campus in late March, Colotl was arrested and sent to a federal detention facility to await deportation. After an outcry by friends and support from faculty members, immigration authorities agreed to defer action on her deportation for a year, giving her time to finish her undergraduate degree. Said college president Daniel Papp, “We are especially thrilled she will be allowed to continue her studies here at KSU.”

But that has infuriated some hardliners. For them, Colotl’s illegal entry is the most salient fact on her resume, her lack of a green card more important than her grade-point average. Her academic achievement, her English skills, her all-American sorority girl status — none of that placates the “WHAT PART OF ILLEGAL DON’T THEY UNDERSTAND?” crowd. As one suburban Atlanta newspaper columnist wrote, “Most citizens don’t care how much ‘potential’ the young lady has.”

The uproar, though ugly, accomplishes something important: It brushes away the layers of pretense, polite subterfuge and politically acceptable criticism. The truth is laid bare: We’re a recession-weary nation wrestling with a bout of brutal, racially-tinged nativism — seeking scapegoats for economic failure, unsettled by demographic upheaval, unable to cope with a flatter world.

The intense backlash against undocumented immigrants — especially those from south of the border — isn’t really a reaction to overtaxed public services or rising crime. (In most of the country, including Arizona, crime is down.) Instead, it’s a backlash against the dizzying pace of change, against a cultural landscape growing more diverse, against a voting base growing browner with each census.

Arizona’s ugly immigration law — which, according to polls, is supported by a majority of Americans — is one sign of the harsh climate toward those without papers. Other signs dot the political landscape: Sen. John McCain’s retreat from his earlier embrace of comprehensive immigration reform; the reluctance of a Democratic Congress to wade into the debate before mid-term elections; the eagerness of other states to copy Arizona’s brand of apartheid.

Even the nation’s Latino Republicans feel the fury of their neighbors’ xenophobia. Writing on a conservative Web site, Robert Gonzalez, a Mexican-American attorney and a Republican, described the discomfort he felt as he overheard campaign volunteers, whom he had enlisted to work in Tucson for George W. Bush, talk about Mexican immigrants:

“Some of the things I heard coming from these volunteers, regarding “the Mexicans,” shook me: about how they should be kept out, about how the border fence could not be built high enough, made it seem as if we were the real threat to American society,” he wrote.

In Georgia, Colotl’s troubles continue. She is in the gun sights of a local sheriff who says she gave him a fake address  (lying to law enforcement authorities is a crime) and of anti-immigration activists who have made her an unlikely symbol of a failed system that, they claim, unfairly subsidizes illegal immigrants. GOP gubernatorial candidate Eric Johnson, meanwhile, has proposed that illegal immigrants be shut out of the state’s colleges and universities, a plan that represents an embarrassing step backward.

But Johnson’s proposal has this virtue: It makes clear that he doesn’t care how well undocumented immigrants speak English.

845 comments Add your comment

Granny Godzilla

May 14th, 2010
9:11 am

Chris

I did.

Your turn.

Saxby 770-763-9090

Johnny 770-661-0999

Amir

May 14th, 2010
9:11 am

I really feel for this young lady on a personal level and wish her luck. The problem here is not what happens to one person (this young lady) but the repercussions and precedent that will follow. By letting this young lady and others like her to stay here we saying that it’s ok for anyone to bypass our immigration laws as long as once you are here you get an education and become a productive member of American society. This will lead to more foreigners (and not just from Mexico) to bypass our immigration laws and just come into our country. People need to come here through legal means. As far as this young lady – I personally think they should let her finish her education at KSU, but pay out of state tuition and shen she should go back to her home country and after 3 years be able to apply though legal means via the US Dept of Immigration to gain legal access. People can’t just go to any country they want and decide to stay there. FYI – my family and I immigrated to the US from the Middle East when I was 8 (legally of course).

Jeny

May 14th, 2010
9:11 am

Oh my gosh…Tucker is SO predictable. “Let her stay”.

Of course….let’s just let her and all the other FELON ILLEGAL ALIENS stay in our country. How many are there? Millions.

Tucker, I used to work with your husband. Do you realize the hell you put him through everyday with your assinine columns? The boy wsa the outcast of the office….I can’t even imagine having to live with you full time.

“let her stay”. Soon they’ll be bumper stickers, billboards and websites….”let her stay”.

Grow up, Tucker.

Chris

May 14th, 2010
9:12 am

Because lying to police about where you live, or having to have a license to drive, or having to go through the proper channels to be in this country legally IS THE EXACT SAME THING as Jim Crowe laws.

Not going to fall for your race baiting today, chief.

Richard

May 14th, 2010
9:12 am

CT = Typical Liberal
She has her talking points, then suddenly disappears when legitimate intellectual debate begins. There are around 50 posts following her piece, and she has only managed to respond to one of the few posters who actually agrees with her. (RealisticGeorgian) So, you know she is reading all of these posts but is very selective when she posts. I found it very amusing that she never responded to the individual who posted the letter to President Obama and the list of requests for the Mexican President when he ILLEGALLY moves to Mexico.

crabapplejoe

May 14th, 2010
9:14 am

Chris wrote: “who, in the case of a beneficiary of a petition for classification, or an application for labor certification, described in subparagraph (B) that was filed after January 14, 1998″

You are dancing aroung Section 245(i) of the Act which was an amelioritive statute that allows folks who had petitions on their behalf filed before April 30, 2001 to adjust their status by paying a $1000 fine. I can only assume that nobody in Jessica’s family filed a petition on her behalf before that date since they are all probably illegal. Moreover, I doubt that an employer filed a “labor certification” on her behalf before that date since she would have been about ten years old at the time.

Chris

May 14th, 2010
9:14 am

Granny – I sent both of them (and my Rep) emails when the Arizona law got passed. Way ahead of you.

And joe, I pointed out where I disagree with you (and someone else has anecdotal evidence to contradict you). But if she has to go back to Mexico for an inordinate amount of time..tough.

kayaker 71

May 14th, 2010
9:16 am

Granny,

The Demos wouldn’t like what the Repubs proposed. They wouldn’t like it at all. We are not an “angry mob with pitchforks”. Neither is the Tea Party an angry bunch of “racists”. We are just tired of Bozo and his gang trying to turn this country into something that the majority of Americans do not want. If you read the vast majority of posts on this blog today, you will see that around 2/3 of the electorate believes that illegals should go home. That leaves about 33% who believe otherwise. Might that be the black contingent and the latinos screaming “discrimination” and “racism”. Arizona is fed up, the majority of white America is fed up and I am surprised that a well meaning citizen of this country, like yourself, who obeys the laws of the land is not fed up as well.

Joel

May 14th, 2010
9:16 am

Searching for the hue and cry over Shane Finn- 14 year old autistic young man in Ga being investigated as a terrorist for drawing stick figures with guns.

Granny Godzilla

May 14th, 2010
9:16 am

Chris

No it appears we are tied…..I did some correspondence on the issue as well….

Did you ask them to bring an immigration bill to the floor?

Ed C Smith

May 14th, 2010
9:17 am

She is Illegal. To remain in the USA, she needs to return to Mexico and then apply for legal entry into this country. It may take a while. Once here, she should apply for to be a US citizen. If she is unwilling, she needs to remain in Mexico. As of now, she is breaking the law of the USA.

Moderate Line

May 14th, 2010
9:17 am

Jessica Colotl, 21, is a senior at Kennesaw State University, a political science major and a member of Lambda Theta Alpha, a college sorority. She wants to attend law school.
+++++++++++++++++++++
Ok. Cynthia made the argument that we should make it illegal to hire illegals immigrants why is should she not be demanding KSU kick here out of school. Wasn’t that the argument that if they have no jobs they would go back to Mexico.

Doesn’t KSU have the lengthy application process that Cynthia indicated would stop illegals.

Plus do we really need more lawyers. We need more people with science and engineering degrees not political science degrees.

Cindy

May 14th, 2010
9:17 am

Those hispanic people should be all be prosecuted for coming to our country illegeally. Deport them all, they are all illegeal. They belong in to the trashy country they came from.

Chris Broe

May 14th, 2010
9:18 am

Pardonnez-moi, Ragnar, avez-vous des Grey Poupon?

Chris

May 14th, 2010
9:19 am

I did one better and wrote some key pieces for them. Including a proposition that provides for every single illegal to become a citizen at a steep fine.

Granny Godzilla

May 14th, 2010
9:19 am

Kayaker 71

Are you saying the Republicans are afraid of what the Democrats might say about there immigration proposals – so afraid in fact that they won’t even try?

Fed up? You betcha’ -with the bitchin’ about it from the right and as usual not so much as a teeny weeny itsy bitsy attempt at action.

Jeramy

May 14th, 2010
9:20 am

I guess the next time I get a speeding ticket, I don’t need to pay the fine. After all, even though I knowingly broke the law, I shouldn’t be held accountable for my actions.

RoswellYellowJacket

May 14th, 2010
9:23 am

I love how she wants to be a lawyer…she’ll be good at it, since she’s already very good at BREAKING laws. SEND HER BACK!

Charles

May 14th, 2010
9:26 am

Those using legality to justify their position, did you also support separate but equal when it was the law? I guess all of you demanding she be thrown out of the Country would in another time be sitting on a bus demanding Rosa Parks get to the back where by law she belonged……

kayaker 71

May 14th, 2010
9:27 am

No, I am saying that Bozo and his gang are not about to turn over responsibility for this type of legislation to anyone but themselves. They have too many votes to lose. Your suggestion to allow the Repubs to have a voice is a mute point. They haven’t opened the doors yet except in a pathetic show of “bipartisanship” that no one really believes is happening. Bozo has to maintain strict control of his agenda with no compromises to anyone who would interfere. His chin in the air arrogance won’t settle for anything else.

Mike O.

May 14th, 2010
9:28 am

@ Rev, you’re for real? Rosa Parks, the Great Dr. Martin Luther King, you’re honestly equating what those great people did to illegal immigration? You do know they “were” citizens and fighting for equallity and not trying to go around the law, but right thru it. Think before playing the race card and show some sort of knowledge on a subject other than what you read in this entertainment rag.

Terry

May 14th, 2010
9:28 am

The Census wants me to tell them who lives in my house; tells me that this info is not shared for immigration purposes, but isn’t this the problem? This country wants to continue to “federally fund” people who are here illegally. When I enrolled my children in school, as well as my parents for me, proper documentation was required. When I applied for federal funds for further education copies of my legal status was requested. THERE IS A PROCESS!!! Everyone should be required to follow IT! This is not about being prejudice. I am an African-American and through the years my ancestors have helped pave the way in hopes that I can be a productive CITIZEN and I have to abide by the laws just like everyone else. If I lease a residence, I have to show that I am capable of paying by bills (that I have a job, ID, & SSN). If I want to purchase a car; before I drive off the lot, I have to show my driver’s licsence, and proof of insurance. My illegal neighbors live three or four families deep and this is overlooked, but my lease reads “no more than two people per bedroom”. I have to purchase full or no-fault insurance because if anyone (including illegal immigrants) hit me, not only am I out of the deductable, but they go untouched, plus they don’t show up to court and the system spends no time prosecuting them, SO AGAIN “WE CITIZENS” are left paying the tab. When I was a young mother in need of assistance I went to DFACS for help. They asked me where the father of my children was (who was in the system for Child Support) and after being grilled about every aspect of my life I was still denied, but again I furnished all documentation and was still denied because my income was too high for a family of three. Okay, I understood that I had to do the best I could to raise my children; work harder, get raises, PAY TAXES! I witnessed whole illegal families in the same offices with the father holding illegal children getting benefits from my “legal citizen tax dollars” and you wonder why our hospitals, schools, and other “legal citizens” are losing funding! I SAY DEPORT ANYONE HERE ILLEGALLY, ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO ARE ON TEMPORARY STATUS GETTING EDUCATION, INSIGHT ON OUR COUNTRY’S SECURITY SYSTEM, USING THE GOVERNMENT TO FUND THIER CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, AND CAUSING HARM TO THOSE WHO TRUST AND ALLOW THEM SOME KIND OF FREEDOM. Fair is fair. If I have to establish citizenship so should everyone else. I have no sympathy for this young lady or anyone else who abuse the system, even my fellow citizens that my tax dollars fund. I am for any group that helps get anyone fired, jailed, fined, and put out of business that allows such activities.

Matt

May 14th, 2010
9:28 am

The self righteous are out in droves today.

Richard

May 14th, 2010
9:28 am

Moderate Line wrote:

Ok. Cynthia made the argument that we should make it illegal to hire illegals immigrants why is should she not be demanding KSU kick here out of school. Wasn’t that the argument that if they have no jobs they would go back to Mexico.

Doesn’t KSU have the lengthy application process that Cynthia indicated would stop illegals.

Great Comment Moderate Line: Waiting for your response Cynthia….

Use Some Sense

May 14th, 2010
9:29 am

So she was brought over the border illegally at age 10, by her parents. Now she is older and actually trying to make something of herself, and become a productive member of society. I guess the teabaggers’ personal responsibility argument doesn’t apply here. Glad you all were experts in the laws at age 10.

Chris

May 14th, 2010
9:29 am

And the ostriches, too. Is the sand warm?

CRB

May 14th, 2010
9:31 am

@Cynthia…

How does she expect to practice law is she’s not a legal resident?

kayaker 71

May 14th, 2010
9:32 am

Terry,

Well said, my friend, well said.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

May 14th, 2010
9:34 am

Dear Chris @ 9:18, apologies, left it in my other riding coat.

Ryan

May 14th, 2010
9:34 am

Enter your comments here

Shawny

May 14th, 2010
9:35 am

Chris at 8:34 nails it.
nice job.

There is no hating. Just play by the rules and we will all get along.
She broke and is breaking multiple laws.

Liberals like laws, providing they are laws they are in favor of. Other laws… not so much.

Other countries have WAY more restrictive citizenship policies and border control. We have some controls on the books, but refuse to enforce them. That is why AZ has to pass their own laws of enforcement.

Old Man

May 14th, 2010
9:35 am

Sigh…Cynthia, I don’t think you recognize the inflamatory language you use in your posts. I finally got it that you deliberately ignore all viewpoints that aren’t yours. I got it that it’s ok for you to call names, but not ok for your opponents. But until this moment I didn’t get that your intent is either to inflame or that you are ignorant of how you inflame.

Cekker

May 14th, 2010
9:35 am

A question for you Cynthia –

How would you respond if the undocumented, unlicensed, illegal St. Jessica was stopped after running over your baby instead of something more ‘routine’?

Would you still be crying for her rights as an illegal immigrant?

Granny Godzilla

May 14th, 2010
9:36 am

Kayaker 71

sorry no excuses

this is the issue that the GOP should be leading on. don’t we hear how many people approve of the new AZ law?

why are the republicans afraid to bring a bill?

shouldn’t it get tons of press, aid in the mid terms and rally the base?

are you saying the GOP will only stand up for their professed ideals and write appropriate legislation if there is a guarantee of winning?

really?

wow.

lovelyliz

May 14th, 2010
9:36 am

The 1996 welfare reform bill disqualified illegal immigrants from nearly all means-tested government programs including food stamps, housing assistance, Medicaid and Medicare-funded hospitalization. The only services that illegals can still get are emergency medical care and K-12 education.

According to a study by the Urban Institute, the 1996 welfare reform effort dramatically reduced the use of welfare by undocumented immigrant households, exactly as intended.

Whats Important

May 14th, 2010
9:36 am

Cynthia, I see under your byline that you are in Washington. I am sure there are problems there that you can “report” on (although you blatant proselytizing hardly qualifies as reporting), so why don’t you get to it and let Georgia and Cobb County worry about themelves. As to KSU needing this young woman, why do they need a student who has knowingly broken the law on several occasions throughout her illegal stay in the U.S. KSU has wait-listed very good candidates, from Georgia and other states, who could have and would have taken the spot at KSU that Jessica illegally obtained. The fact that Papp aribtrarily decided she should receive in-state tuition costs, shows how far afield “political correctness” can take you.

Scout

May 14th, 2010
9:38 am

How is she going to practice law? She can’t get a job as an illegal.

Cythia ……… I’m waiting for a response to me 8:46 post …………….

Gator Joe

May 14th, 2010
9:38 am

Cynthia,
This young lady’s story is more typical in many ways of undocumented immigrants than not. Most learn English, work hard to earn honest livings, and become educated. Your article, I believe, gets to the heart of the issue, that is, the US is rapidly becoming more diverse both racially and culturally.
Once again it is necessary to remind those lacking compassion that were they, or their relatives, facing starvation, poverty, or persecution they would seek to enter this country anyway possible, illegally if necessary. Many of their relatives did just that, except that it may have been centuries ago.

Common Sense

May 14th, 2010
9:38 am

Thank you Cynthia. Born and raised a Republican, I am embarassed by people like Eric Johnson. His views are not what true Republicanism is based on. My party has apparently left me.

Kamchak

May 14th, 2010
9:38 am

There are around 50 posts following her piece, and she has only managed to respond to one of the few posters who actually agrees with her.

I find it very amusing when people believe that everyone should be soooo into them.

:roll:

Felipe Calderón

May 14th, 2010
9:39 am

Hello Americans. Please continue to educate and subsidize my citizens. Once this young lady tugs on enough heartstrings I plan to send more and more of our our citizens to your country to receive a free education, health care and living expenses. Don’t think I can? I already provide them with information on how to sneak in and get a place on your gov’t teat.
Please completely open your borders soon so the leaders of the other central American countries can send their poorest to you. I mean, what would Jesus do? Certainly you can afford to take care of all the world’s poor… you are a rich country. It’s not like you have a huge defecit or anything. Pasta lasagna mi amigos!!!

Billy T.

May 14th, 2010
9:39 am

Send her home.
She broke the law.
She knew she was illegally in this country.
She lied to police.
She did not have a driver’s license.
She received the in-state tuition rate that cost the rest of the taxpayers.
Ship her home.
Allow the people that follow the law and apply for residency in the USA to come first.

Libertarian

May 14th, 2010
9:39 am

She can’t become a lawyer in America. Any real law firm would complete an I-9 form at the time of hiring her. She would have to produce certain documents to prove her immigration status.

I bet CT, realisticgeorgian et al would change their tune if Jessica has slammed into their cars, killing/injuring one of their family members and then she has no insurance to pay for it (BC you can’t get car insurance without a license).

That said, I think immigration laws should address the issue of children who were brought here by their parents when they were under a certain age. Perhaps give them a way to apply for a visa/greencard once they turn 18.

Richard

May 14th, 2010
9:41 am

Exactly Shawny! Selective application of law…I would love to be a fly on the wall in Cynthia’s office to hear how she really feels about certain events such as the vandalism that occurred to the cross Mojave Desert Cross. I wonder if she believes the individuals who committed this crime should be punished???

HDB

May 14th, 2010
9:43 am

Jethro May 14th, 2010
8:29 am
Fundamental to the core of our nation is the idea that we are governed by laws of the people, by the people, for the people. The laws apply to everybody. And while I do admire the stated goals and intentions of Ms. Colotl, I cannot abide by the fact that she is attempting to achieve these goals illegally. It doesn’t matter if her last name is Colotl or O’Shea or Lubyenka or Schmidt or Nguyen or Mbosa. The law – unlike you – doesn’t discriminate.

Problem is…the law DOES discriminate…..because those who APPLY the law discriminate!!
1) Ms. Colotl was educated in Georgia schools as a child…and they applied the law to allow her to be educated here. Her HS transcripts were from Georgia schools. By law, she was entitled to in-state tuition!
2) Ms. Colotl was admitted to KSU on that basis…and maintained an exemplary academic record; that granted her financial aid UNDER CURRENT LAW

The only laws that were broken were her traffic violation and false address to the police!! NOW, the law wishes to vilify a woman who up to this point, followed the law while she was here! I’d hide too from all of the persecution that people here are giving her!! I venture to say that if she were white with blonde hair that this wouldn’t have even made the news!!!

Like the old saying states: If you’re white, you’re right; if you’re brown, get down; if you’re black, get back; if you’re red, you’re dead!!
3)

Chris

May 14th, 2010
9:45 am

Her simply being here was a violation of the law. What fantasy world do you live in?

Joel

May 14th, 2010
9:45 am

Obama just had a fund raising dinner in NY- the cost 50k yes 50,000 thousand per plate. He, like Bush Jr., are so in touch with the common folk.

Ryan

May 14th, 2010
9:45 am

Two people down the street have had a warrant out for for their arrests for the meth they have been selling for the last 3 years. Please oh please don’t arrest them, they have done so well in college, donate to the humane society and in the future they could turn their lives around. I so hope you look the other way.

Ponder

May 14th, 2010
9:46 am

And so it begins… build up the government dependent Dem voter base –

Pelosi Calls for Amnesty for Illegal Aliens
Thursday, May 13, 2010
By Nicholas Ballasy, Video Reporter

(CNSNews.com) — Speaking at the Asian-American and Pacific Islanders Summit held at the Capitol on Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for amnesty for illegal aliens in the United States, a proposal she called a “path to legalization.”

Chris

May 14th, 2010
9:49 am

I hope Pelosi is advocating at least a $10k price tag per person.

Who am I kidding.

Anyway, it’s glad to see the majority of folks (just like in real life) are grounded in (actual) reality. I’m out.