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

Libertarian

May 14th, 2010
10:20 am

@Felipe Calderón
Obviously you don’t obey the law either. Employment law in America is that you must fill out an I-9 on every employee. Hope you don’t get audited by the US dept of Labor.

Cynthia is Sexy!!

May 14th, 2010
10:20 am

Jomama

May 14th, 2010
10:18 am

And yet another bigot raises its ugliness.

Ed

May 14th, 2010
10:21 am

The USA does not need mediocre college students like Jessica. It needs to concentrate on the woeful educational status of its own citizens. Cynthia do you know you have to be a citizen to attend Mexican schools?

HDB

May 14th, 2010
10:21 am

Chris May 14th, 2010
10:13 am
There is nothing racist nor xenophobic about the prosecution of this lady. She broke the law – period. What the liberal/selfish special interest groups are trying to pull off is just plain wrong.

It IS xenophobic when Ronald Reagan was FIRST to offer amnesty and no one raised a stink about it until now; it IS racist that no stink was raised by the Tea PArty and those who do so now when Bush was in charge vs. now when Obama is in charge!!

I’m not saying that the issue shouldn’t be addressed…but there’s MORE to this than people wish to acknowledge! People are railing about “selective prosecution”…but isn’t that what happens EVERY TIME?? What about the Cubans and the multiple policies (wet/dry)? What about the Haitians? What about those who enter illegally but qualify for asylum?? The circumstances dictate the application…and THAT qualifies the selectivity!!

Let’s be real here!!

ctucker

May 14th, 2010
10:22 am

Ed, Why do you describe Jessica as ‘mediocre?”

mit

May 14th, 2010
10:22 am

scout, I am suppose to care about commencement speeches? they are just pep talks and don’t mean all that much no matter who gives it. But I am sure you tivoed all the ones in the country and pick through them with a fine tooth comb looking for what exactly? seems to me your in love with obama.

Whats Important

May 14th, 2010
10:22 am

Para aquellos de ustedes que piensan que está siendo terriblemente inteligente por la contabilización en una lengua extranjera, hay una aplicación de traductor vivo disponible para que todo el mundo pueda entender le.

Mike O.

May 14th, 2010
10:23 am

أعتقد أنه ينبغي أن يسمح جيسيكا على البقاء وتحقيق المزيد من أسرتها الكبيرة هنا.

Joel

May 14th, 2010
10:24 am

From the posts it sure seems like “DC – we have a problem” Holder may want to be bothered to read the 10 page Az document and our boys and gals may want to forgo a little steak and lobster tonight and work on a plan. My guess we will go back to healthcare reform good, big oil bad- where are my lobbying $s

Felipe Calderón

May 14th, 2010
10:24 am

Libertarian, obviously you are correct. And I request my subjects do not either. Now please continue to pay your taxes so we can get free or low cost (to us) educations and send money back to Mexico.
Mike O., gracias amigo.

Bob

May 14th, 2010
10:25 am

Cynthia, you are the voice of reason. Why does law enforcement have any right to ask for any ID’s or expect someone to give a proper address. In fact, the census asks us what our names are to match to our address and for some reason it is against the law to lie on that form. I have not been paying attn lately but I am sure you have come out against this info being on the census. We should stand on solodarity with Coloti and tell the racist gov that they have no right whatsoever to know where we live and if we lie to authorities it’s because they are bigots and we are the good guys, standing on principle.

Mike O.

May 14th, 2010
10:26 am

Well said Whats,just tring to brighten the day of the hard heads on both sides. The old opionions are like….. thing :)

Whats Important

May 14th, 2010
10:26 am

O.K., we’ve had Spanish and Arabic, what’s next, Klingon?

Felipe Calderón

May 14th, 2010
10:27 am

Yes, What’s Important, see how easy it is?

crazytrain2u

May 14th, 2010
10:27 am

@jomama It’s not hatred, its a matter of principle in this case. Dem’s are the ones that are constantly spouting the words “hate” and “racist”. Racism will not end unless you stop the “Johnnie Cochran method” of accusing Conservs of being racists everytime something happens to a minority. I would ship her ass back if she was illegally from England.

Libertarian

May 14th, 2010
10:29 am

@Felipe Calderón
Will do, glad I can help!

Jack

May 14th, 2010
10:30 am

“The system is obviously broken” says one. It is: It was broken with welfare.

Bob

May 14th, 2010
10:30 am

felipe, you might think your funny but we are not the ones living like roaches 15 to an apartment. Remember this simple fact, the Calderons of the world come to America, and the standard of living of America goes down. When Americans go to the countries of the Calderons, the standards go up. Why can’t you guys support yourselves in your homeland ?

Cynthia is Sexy!!

May 14th, 2010
10:36 am

With all this talk Im thinkin Mexican for lunch!! Oh…sorry for the bigoted statement.

Richard

May 14th, 2010
10:37 am

HDB: My father was a huge supporter of Ronald Reagan, but he has always mentioned the amnesty bill passed under the Reagan administration as being a huge mistake! Although I voted for Bush twice actually, I don’t believe he was a very good President and deplored his inaction on the immigration issue.

I can’t speak for everyone else, but I don’t think ANYONE from any country should be allowed to enter this country illegally regardless of race/ethnicity. There is a process in place to enter the United States and it needs to be followed!

One of the major problems we have in the United States is partisanship and following their party’s idealology on ALL issues. Although I tend to side with conservatives on most issues, I don’t believe that conservatives are right 100% of the time. I am also open-minded enough that if someone can make a compelling argument supported by reliable evidence, I might change my mind or at least soften my stance. That is why I continue to call out Ms. Tucker for not countering at least one poster from the other side of the argument. And no Kamchak, it does not have to be me!

Joel

May 14th, 2010
10:38 am

I think keying on “mediocre” is truly missing the forrest for the trees- meaning we should be advocates of good wholesome folks who are illegal immigrants?- I assume we could set up a gov’t panel to monitor the activities of each? The country of Mexico is blessed with as many natural resources as the US and Canada and its folk are just as bright and innovative. Mexico needs to be challenged to move more to a self sustaining economy or we should say all in and merge the 3 (or 2 countries)- grown ups that are not bribed can figure this out.

Drifter

May 14th, 2010
10:38 am

There are a lot of people whining about illegal immigrants here, but 95% are whining out of an irrational fear that they’re coming here to take our jobs. For nearly all of them, they are coming into a new culture with a new language and virtually no money. If you can’t compete with them, then you need to upgrade your education, skill set or work ethic.

I was fortunate enough to have Hispanic work crews do work on my home on 2 occasions and it was clear to me that they worked harder and did a better job than “Americans”. I also talked to a building contractor who said my experience was not unique – it’s the norm.

Felipe Calderón

May 14th, 2010
10:40 am

Bob, that makes too much sense my friend. Rather than my people staying here and bettering our coutry it is easier to go to yours, reap the rewards, and send money back to Mexico. That’s why I provide pamphlets to help my people sneak over and stay under your radar.

Silly love songs

May 14th, 2010
10:42 am

Colotl should stay and finish her education at taxpayer expense because you never know when the Girls Gone Wild video crew will show up on the Kennesaw Campus, man.

A country can never have enough girls gone wild.

That’s a fact, jack.

Auburn Fan

May 14th, 2010
10:42 am

Cynthia, what if she was a rich white person that was here illegally?

mouth

May 14th, 2010
10:44 am

Face the truth, illegal immigrants in the US have more rights than legal citizens do. If I were to falsify information so that I could steal from a university by paying cheaper in-state tuition than out-of-state tuition, I would expect expulsion and I’m sure any university in the US would gladly kick my white ass out. But if I’m illegal, I can just cry racism (and get a bunch of other simple-minded high-school grads to cry racism with me) and suddenly everything’s good in the hood. She should be made to pay back every cent of her loans and tuition and court fees, fines, and violations tickets before her illegal ass is shipped back to the Yucatan.

Huh

May 14th, 2010
10:44 am

Drifter, I don’t think people are worried about competing. I think they are worried about the financial drain illegals place on a community.
Competing is easy. Financial hemmorhaging, especially during a recessing, is worrysome. I pay enough taxes – other countries can take care of their own.

Empathetic but Realistic

May 14th, 2010
10:51 am

I feel sorry for the situation Jessica is in. She is an over-achiever and our country needs more people like her, but they need to be here legally.

Jessica was driving without a valid US driver’s license which brings up the question – who’s car was she driving and was she insured? If I had an expired license would the officer just let me go because I am a smart college graduate? The answer is NO.

She knew what she was doing was illegal, she knew she was in this country illegally. Being a great person and a college student does not excuse breaking the law.

Drifter

May 14th, 2010
10:54 am

I doubt that illegals place any financial drain whatsoever on a community. From everything I see, they’re contributing more to society than they’re taking out.

We need illegals

May 14th, 2010
10:56 am

If we don’t have them, who will do the crappy jobs around my house?

resno2

May 14th, 2010
10:57 am

Auburn Fan

May 14th, 2010
10:42 am

That’s a trick question, right? Or do you really not know what side of the issue CT would be on?

DCB

May 14th, 2010
10:57 am

Cynthia Tucker’s comment in her May 14th AJC editorial (The U.S. needs college students like Jessica Colotl) is not only off the mark, but is a thinly veiled use of the college scene as just another of her left-wing entrees in support of allowing the 12 million plus undocumented immigrants to remain in the United States: “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.”

Its great now to see the legal immigrants to this country who have earned their citizenship come forward in support of “the system” – earn your right to call yourself a U.S. citizen through the legal process that has worked so well over the decades. And if that system is broke as the Tuckers of this world might contend, use the system to determine how and fix it.

As to those who would say our economy would collapse without the minimum-wage earners doing the ugly jobs that evidently fall beneath U.S. citizens, I suggest that our unemployment and welfare system be adjusted to “help” those currently enjoying the benefits provided by the tax-paying citizens of the country. No work, no money. Provide free bennies only to those proven to be unable to help themselves. For those with children, provide day-care staffed by some of the unemployed if necessary. And provide supplements if necessary to bring the take-home pay up to livable standards. But yes, unless proof of some work production is given, deny the free health services, the free food, the free schooling and weekly checks that the current welfare system offers. Let’s see how fast those minimal wage jobs are gobbled up by Americans citizens. Let’s see how many illegal or undocumented immigrants, by whatever name, head back “home”. And just as important, let’s see how quickly the future free flow of illegal immigrants that we can’t seem to stem now, slows down.

I’m not surprised that college students stood in support of this young lady. at Kennesaw State. They are young and still living in an ideal world. But I am at the administration and faculty. Supporting the law first should be their mantra, not following only their hearts. And let’s not try to fool anybody here.
Regardless of whether or not it ends up that she did knowingly give the police an incorrect address when stopped for a traffic violation, this young lady knew her green card had expired. She knew she was driving illegally. She is not a victim here.

Let the Cynthia Tucker’s of this world and the liberal faculties of our colleges and universities cry foul not when an illegal immigrant is caught and faced with deportation whatever the situation is (including our college brightest and best), but rather when those same individuals are denied entry through the process in the first place.

Ivan

May 14th, 2010
10:58 am

__________________
In 2 nights, Calhoun Police say they have arrested 24 people, and are still looking for about 6 more. They say the illegal immigrants were all using false documents and false identities, a crime they say has more consequences and victims than you may realize.
In Calhoun, Georgia, Police Lt. Tony Pyle says, “They were able to pick up about 24 people that they were looking for.”
Pyle tells us they’re all charged with identity theft and possession of fraudulent documents. They say they had all purchased a name, social security number, and birth certificate illegally to work here in the U.S.
___________________

Illegal Immigration is not a victimless crime. Were Jessica to be let go, (or as smart as liberals make her out to be), she’d have done what those arrested in Calhoun did. Purchase stolen identities, or stolen the identities herself. The longer they are here illegally, the more crimes they will commit to save themselves from the law. From tax evasion, hit and runs, drug smuggling, kidnapping, and the identity frauds committed mentioned above; to milking the entitlements law abiding citizens pay taxes for in the first place, there is 100 more disturbing scenarios for every “heart wrenching” story like Jessica’s.

Should have put her on a back list for a Visa and sent her and her parents back to Mexico instead of let her finish college.

Go Arizona!

Gotta get back to work now. Bye all.

David Galban

May 14th, 2010
11:00 am

I have followed your column for quite a while. I am glad that you have the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, It is called empathy. You are not afraid to speak up, to confront ignorance in any of its ugly forms. We need more people like you in society. I am very proud of people like Dr Papp and you.

mouth

May 14th, 2010
11:01 am

“There are a lot of people whining about illegal immigrants here, but 95% are whining out of an irrational fear that they’re coming here to take our jobs. For nearly all of them, they are coming into a new culture with a new language and virtually no money. If you can’t compete with them, then you need to upgrade your education, skill set or work ethic.”

I have a good job with a nice salary and a pay scale that insures I will never be passed over for a raise or earn less than I feel I deserve. That being said, unemployment is very high right now so it makes sense that “they’re stealing our jobs” feeds a lot of legal American’s anger. The thing I worry about most, what I’ve heard from applicants and low wage earners whom I talk to in the course of everyday routine, is declining wages.

Illegal immigrants that will not register for a work visa and will not apply for legal citizenship and will not pay taxes will take jobs that pay less than minimum wage. This is horrible news for the American worker. Wages have been declining in the past 10 years because as more illegals cross our boarder, their low-wage workforce grows which has a negative effect on the rest of the legal workforce. My uncle, who owns a construction business, recently told me about a _15!!!_ year old Guatemalan that he hired for $4.00 an hour. He didn’t tell me about the kid because he’d already fired him, but he had him on roofing (very dangerous work) and the kid had somehow, in the course of his work, measured something wrong and cost him thousands of dollars in setbacks.

You are hiring, in many cases, unskilled labor when you are hiring illegal immigrants. While it’s true that you’re putting an American citizen out of work when you hire illegals, you are doing something far worse, which is devaluing the American worker and the American dollar. People that are struggling to pay for their rent and electric bills aren’t going to pay for cable or a fancy TV to watch it on. It’s VERY unpatriotic to hire illegal immigrants, almost as unpatriotic as it is to buy shoes at WalMart that were Made In China.

Huh

May 14th, 2010
11:01 am

Drifter, qustion: How much property tax does a typical homeowner pay per year?
Answer: much less than it costs to educate one child.

Another question: How much of a students true college cost is covered by in-state tuition?
Answer: much less than is costs to educate that student.

Another question: how much does an illegal usually pay for a trip to the emergency room?
Answer: much less than the visit actually costs.

Much less = financial drain. Is that clear now?

Sookie

May 14th, 2010
11:04 am

It’s always alarming to me how little Americans know about how their own immigration system works.

A child was brought into the country illegally by her parents (a crime, i’m sure you’ll agree, that her parents should be punished for, but not her). Even if she had wanted to become legal since she turned 16, as some of you have suggested (which would have been the correct thing to do), it can take a LEGAL immigrant more than 10 years to get a green card, let’s not even talk about citizenship. The only path to a green card for an illegal immigrant would involve returning to her ‘home’ country and applying from there. A home country that, if this article is to be believed, she has not been to since she was a child.

My point is this; while it is not the US’ responsibility to look out for the interests of illegal immigrants (however they got there), do not flippantly dismiss her case and say she ought to have “gotten legal” as though it’s as straightforward as going to the Post Office. It’s difficult (damn near impossible, if you entered illegally) and it’s prohibitively expensive.

The article is biased and if i didn’t know better, i would be on the “Deport Her” bandwagon. But she was caught between a rock and an impossibly hard place.

mouth

May 14th, 2010
11:04 am

Oh, and I’m a very liberal Democrat, not all Democrats oppose stricter immigration enforcement.

The Tar and Feathers Party

May 14th, 2010
11:05 am

Wrong Cindy, we do not need liars and cheats in our colleges. She cheated a Georgia resident out of a place at KSU, cheated the State and the University out of the out-of-state tuition she should have paid, lied about it all to the University, lied to the police, and is now playing victim. Send her packing.

HDB

May 14th, 2010
11:05 am

@ Richard May 14th, 2010
10:37 am

The problem I have with this is the selective outrage that’s being vented towards a woman who has attempted to assimilate and who has maintained a 3.8 average in college…and the only infraction is a traffic violation!! If she were not Hispanic, it would not have made the news!! Conservatives created the amnesty program…but not a howl of indignation! Conservaatives attempted to continue the amnesty program under Bush – no indignation!! Now, Obama is President…and now….total indignation against minorities!! It’s quite evident that there is MORE to this than just the law…….

See, imigration policy has consistently shifted….people of European heritage easily pass into the country; people of Far Eastern heritage are granted access due to education and technical expertise; people of darker hues catch the blues trying to enter the country!! Look at the multiple policies pertaining to the Cubans (wet vs. dry); look at the policies against the Haitians; look at our current dilemna with the Hispanics; look at those foreign nationals that enlist in the military…they are GRANTED American citizenship because of their service!!

There needs to be uniformity in the law….but there isn’t!! This woman is caught in the black hole of the law…..and everyone wants to throw her to the wolves……

The law is NOT universal…..it IS selective….and we have to recognize the selectivity of the law!! If you want to note how selective the law is — check out Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution…..

Down in Albany

May 14th, 2010
11:05 am

You still have not answered the question: what part of illegal do you not understand? What if this person were a known felon or terrorist? Would they get to stay and live their life as if nothing were wrong? I didn’t think so.

Cynthia is Sexy!!

May 14th, 2010
11:06 am

Silly love songs

May 14th, 2010
10:42 am

Hmmmm….Im may need to reconsider my position on this matter. Thanks for the heads-up!!

Huh

May 14th, 2010
11:07 am

HDB wrote “…and the only infraction is a traffic violation.”
I call BS Sir.

Who Is John Galt?

May 14th, 2010
11:09 am

“Following a routine traffic stop on campus in late March, Colotl was arrested and sent to a federal detention facility to await deportation.”

That’s not exactly how it happened. You conveniently left out the part about giving law enforcement a false address (a felony) which was followed up & discovered by the AJC, not ICE or any other arm of the law. That’s what started her REALLY BIG trouble. Had she been forthright in her dealings with authorities, she likely wouldn’t be in this deep of whole.

She wants to be a lawyer, but committed numerous felonies to get where she is. Mmmmmm…… I’m not aware of any other felons still practicing law or accepted into the Bar.

We as a nation need to decide if things are black/white or at what shade of gray do we begin to enforce our immigration laws. Draconian?? I think not. We have some of the most lax laws of any developed country. And, we quibble amongst ourselves about when, where, & to whom we should enforce them.

Elvis

May 14th, 2010
11:10 am

Cynthia, you hit the nail on the head. Thanks for telling it like it is. Too bad your insight into the real issues is way over the head of most your detractors. They used to call Hitler the “terrible simplifier”. All the simplistic cliches that keep being thrown around in this debate like “what part of illegal don’t you understand?” and the fact that 2/3 of Americans seem to have that mentality, scare me as to the future of this great American experiment. When the majority is blind, the minority must keep on preaching the truth.

Finally, the Bible tells us over and over again to “welcome the alien in your midst”. How do these good christian folk from the Bible belt live with their hypocrisy? This is not what Jesus would do. They just can’t accept that Jesus was an outspoken activist who was always on the side of the poor and powerless.

Richard

May 14th, 2010
11:12 am

Drifter: I don’t think you are going to win over any fencesitters with “illegals are not burdening our government programs.” If illegals are not paying federal and state income taxes, yet they are using emergency rooms as their primary care facilities and their children are receiving an education from public schools (one student = $10K per year), that is huge finanical burden on taxpayers. Are you kidding me?

Libertarian

May 14th, 2010
11:13 am

@HDB I’m so tired of your “this is bc of Obama, where were you when Reagan gave amnisty” BS. Maybe you’re right with some people…maybe some people really are racists that just hate obama. But I’m not. Reagan was president when I was BORN. So I couldn’t really be outraged at the age of one. We’re not all as old as you. But we get it…everyday you’re on here slinging racists accusations at everyone. I’m sorry that you’re so filled with hate for white people, I really am.

atlshirt.com

May 14th, 2010
11:14 am

lets see, she is here Illegally, she is in school to be a Lawyer, the left wants her to stay, and think she will be a good civil rights lawyer, I say lets vote her has President, she cant be any worse than what we have now….

Rev Sharp Tongue, I am not predjudice, I hate everyone equally… Yes, I dislike white people, black people, brown people, old people, young people, fat people, skinny people, I even hate myself… Some of us are white in skin, but our ancestors are from ALL OVER THE WORLD… I have to check multiple boxes on my census… I am sure it pisses our government off LMAO !!!!

resno2

May 14th, 2010
11:15 am

Elvis

May 14th, 2010
11:10 am

At what point do you start enforcing our laws, or should we just open our borders to any and all, and let them just live off of the taxpayers.

Not every illegal immigrant is a freeloader, and not every one is a Jessica. Where should the line be drawn?

J Kase

May 14th, 2010
11:17 am

The U.S. needs more college students like Faisal Shahzad. He studied for five semesters in 1997 and 1998 at the now-defunct Southeastern University in Washington, D.C., where he took mostly business classes. In 2000 he transferred to the University of Bridgeport. his former teachers at the University of Bridgeport said he appeared to be quiet and unremarkable. He received a B.A. in computer science and engineering, with his parents attending his graduation on May 13, 2002. Just before graduation, in April 2002, he was granted an H1-B visa for skilled workers. He remained in the U.S. for three years on that visa, earning an M.B.A at the University of Bridgeport in the summer of 2005.
He worked as a junior financial analyst in the accounting department at the Elizabeth Arden cosmetics company in Stamford, Connecticut, while he was still working on his master’s degree from January 2002 and until June 15, 2006, when he resigned to work elsewhere.
Shahzad was granted a permanent residence status (a “green card”) in January 2006 He bought a single-family three-bedroom home in, just outside Bridgeport in 2006, at which the family lived. From mid-June 2006 to June 2009, he worked as a junior financial analyst, a position paying an estimated $55,000 to $80,000.
He was granted U.S. citizenship on April 17, 2009, due to his marriage to his wife. A few weeks later, he abruptly quit his job and stopped making payments on his house, defaulting on the $218,400 mortgage. He moved out around May 2009, with his wife following about a month later. Shahzad and his family moved to Pakistan. He then defaulted on his $200,000 mortgage, and was sued by the bank in September 2009 as it foreclosed on his home. A Shelton neighbor said that Shahzad and his wife had two young children, a girl and a boy.
Now here we have a legal immigrant with an education, a family, and an income that pays taxes. Now all we have is that this nice fella violated a silly little law that says we can’t go around blowing up people. But, the bomb didn’t even go off and he did try to leave the country legally. Where’s the outrage, he was educated and trying to turn his life around and made one “little” mistake.