Rally held in support of woman at center of immigration debate

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A rally was held Saturday in support of Jessica Colotl, an illegal immigrant and a former Kennesaw State student, who has become a ‘face' of Georgia's immigration debate.

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Colotl's case became widely known after her 2010 arrest for driving without a license. Authorities learned that she had been brought into the U.S. illegally by her parents when she was a child. Soon after her arrest, Colotl was ordered to leave the country. But she was then granted a deferral of her deportation. Colotl eventually graduated from college and was allowed to work.

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The American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia and the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, which has joined Colotl’s legal team, joined dozens who gathered in support of Colotl, whose protected status under the "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" program has been revoked by immigration authorities.

“The overwhelming support shown for Jessica here today sends a clear message that the people of Georgia will continue to stand up and speak out against Trump’s mass deportation force,” said Andrea Young, Executive Director of the ACLU of Georgia. “Jessica has devoted herself to improving her community and was previously granted DACA twice under the same circumstances, but Trump’s Department of Homeland Security terminated her status and made her a priority for deportation anyway. This is outrageous, unlawful and needs to stop.”

Colotl, who has since graduated from KSU and worked as a paralegal, was not present at Saturday's rally.

“The fact that the Trump administration has revoked Jessica's DACA status when nothing has changed in her history is an unacceptable and alarming breach of trust," said Young. "This rally will send a strong message that the people of Atlanta stand with Jessica and all Dreamers against Trump's racist and draconian immigration policies." 

Several organizations rallied in support of Colotl, including Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Black Lives Matter Greater Atlanta, Georgia Alliance for Social Justice, Georgia Equality, Georgia NAACP, United We Dream and St. Mark UMC.

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