KENNESAW, Ga. - The federal government took away Jessica Colotl's protection as a "DREAMer, but now the face of Georgia’s immigration debate is fighting back in court to prevent her from being deported.
Colotl's attorney Charles Kuck, along with the American Civil Liberties Union, filed a Temporary Restraining Order in United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, asking a judge to stop immigration authorities from detaining her.
Kuck said Colotl fears agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement could arrest and detain her, any time now.
“They could come to her house and pick her up. They could put her in a detention center,” said Kuck said.
A spokesperson with ICE tells FOX 5, a judge has not ordered Colotl removed from the country, and ICE agents will only act once a removal order is in place; Kuck, however, said he has seen ICE detain others under similar circumstances.
“We have seen them detain people with no criminal convictions... simply undocumented,” Kuck said.
Kuck's law firm and the ACLU are also requesting that a judge restore all federal protections given by DACA to Colotl, as an undocumented immigrant brought into the country by her parents.
Colotl's protected status under the Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals program created by former President Barack Obama was taken away two weeks ago by immigration authorities, preventing her from legally finding a job and endangering her stay in the United States. Court documents obtained by Kuck, from ICE, recommend for a judge to Colotl her back to Mexico due to her "criminal history."
ICE attributed the criminal history to her 2010 arrest at Kennesaw State University for driving without a license. Those charges were later dropped.
Kuck argues this move by ICE for an “arrest without conviction” is unpresented.
“[DACA is] a protection based on equal guarantees. It’s not based upon whim,” Kuck said.
An ICE spokesperson said federal authorities can and have revoked protections for numerous DREAMers who have simply been arrested or connected to criminal activity.
Kuck said for seven years, Colotl's only option to stay in the United States is through DACA. Until Congress changes immigration laws, there are no ways for a DREAMer like Colotl to obtain a Green Card or seek a path to citizenship, he said.