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The U.S. needs college students like Jessica Colotl

7:30 am May 14, 2010, by ctucker

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.

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She came over as a small child and therefore could did not willfully or maybe even knowingly break the law. I think that deporting her may be the wrong way to go. Her parents on the other hand, they need to have action taken against them.

The article as a whole was biased and wreaked of left-wing liberalism.

i am all for taking a hardline stance about illegal immigration, but let her pay a fine, pay for her paperwork, and let her stay.

we definitely need immigration reform. It is ridiculous to grant citizenship or residency to a married couple and not automatically grant it to their kids (whether or not this is the case here)

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She came over as a small child and therefore could did not willfully or maybe even knowingly break the law. I think that deporting her may be the wrong way to go. Her parents on the other hand, they need to have action taken against them.

The article as a whole was biased and wreaked of left-wing liberalism.

Maybe so, but I am never mad at anybody that wants to better their life. This is the type of story the right wing wants to ignore. Got to love gov Schwarzenegger for speaking against Arizona. My real question is: who is she hurting?

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Maybe so, but I am never mad at anybody that wants to better their life. This is the type of story the right wing wants to ignore. Got to love gov Schwarzenegger for speaking against Arizona. My real question is: who is she hurting?

That's conflating an awful lot of issues. Girls like this young lady are hardly the reason Arizona passed their law.

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Maybe so, but I am never mad at anybody that wants to better their life. This is the type of story the right wing wants to ignore. Got to love gov Schwarzenegger for speaking against Arizona. My real question is: who is she hurting?

you can't look at it that way since illegals as a whole do hurt this country.

our government knows what needs to be done, but they don't want to fix what is wrong because they use it as a hot topic to rile up their constituents for a better showing at the polls

secure the border, offer amnesty that involves paying a fine and doing the paperwork (I would even consider payment plans since it is not cheap), grant residency to any minor whose parents get it, and give some sort of time limit on it

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That's conflating an awful lot of issues. Girls like this young lady are hardly the reason Arizona passed their law.

What I see is a parent that might want the same for their kids. Not everybody coming in illegally are criminals, or for criminal purposes.

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I am all for the AZ law, just so you know. Being a border state, they are having a real problem with the illegal immigrants crossing the border and after repeated calls for help to the feds that fell on deaf ears, they had to take matters in to their own hands.

I don't have a problem with people wanting to better their lives but I do have issue when they break the law to do so. This girl seemed to have gotten caught up in something beyond her control and now the hardliners are wanting to make her pay. I don't agree with that. I do think that legal action should be taken towards the parents. What that would entail, I'm not sure.

Amnesty and citizenship. What was their record for the past 30 years? If they were a detriment to society, get them out of here. Otherwise, they are tax paying citizens that wanted to better their lives and have a track record.

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What I see is a parent that might want the same for their kids. Not everybody coming in illegally are criminals, or for criminal purposes.

No one says they are, at least not that they have criminal intent (coming here in the first place is a crime, but I know what you mean).

That doesn't mean Arizona lacks an interest in protecting its citizens. That some people may come to Arizona with good intentions doesn't mean that the drug smuggling and crime associated with it are not a legitimate governmental reason for Arizona to act.

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The U.S. needs college students like Jessica Colotl

7:30 am May 14, 2010, by ctucker

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.

This is just shameful...she could be a leader of her community some day...she is not here to commit crimes just wants to better herself. I am all for immigration reform, but this is just over the top.

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This is just shameful...she could be a leader of her community some day...she is not here to commit crimes just wants to better herself. I am all for immigration reform, but this is just over the top.

The argument of what an illegal immigrant could be is just about the worst one that could be made in support of leniency. She could just as well be a leader of a terrorist cell, no one really knows. I personally doubt her intentions are for anything other than what you described, but that's not or shouldn't be the basis for immigration enforcement.

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The biggest problem with the article is it doesn't really propose any kind of solution, it just says "hey, make an exception because this is a good girl".

This country needs to actually come up with some kind of system that makes sense for dealing with illigal immigrants. Maybe the solution is to tell them it is all good and make it super easy for them to become legal. I am fine with that, but put SOMETHING, ANYTHING in place.

The idea of going around and selectively enforcing immigration law based on the righteousness of the particular illigal immigrant, well, that just seems kind of dumb to me.

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What I see is a parent that might want the same for their kids. Not everybody coming in illegally are criminals, or for criminal purposes.

Actually everyone who comes in illegally is a criminal.

Doesn't mean they are a bad person, but they have committed a crime.

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The biggest problem with the article is it doesn't really propose any kind of solution, it just says "hey, make an exception because this is a good girl".

Yeah, that's what I don't like about it.

I kind of get the feeling that she is saying: Hey, this is a good immigrant, not like those dirty chicken plant or construction workers. They can all go back, but not this sorority girl.

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I think we're all missing the most important question: Is she hot?

Can't be going around deporting Latina hotties. It's wrong. IT'S WRONG!!!! :angry:

Inredibly valid point. Please disregard all that other garbage I was saying about fixing immigration law.

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IMO, the problem is the opportunity that these folks find in the US. I cannot blame them for wanting it. However, I do blame the employers for providing it. I say have the ICE inspectors hit the farms and factories in AZ and everywhere that they find undocumented workers, charge them a 2% tax against profits to fund subsequent inspections against other employers and audit the crap out of their books. How can they be in compliance with tax laws while paying people under the table?

If caught doing it three times, remove their status as a business entity. If we have a glut of illegals who are breaking the law by being here, then their employers are harboring and enabling criminals by providing them with a place to work.

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I think we're all missing the most important question: Is she hot?

Can't be going around deporting Latina hotties. It's wrong. IT'S WRONG!!!! :angry:

I didn't read too closely, but I think the article said something like she was flat.

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IMO, the problem is the opportunity that these folks find in the US. I cannot blame them for wanting it. However, I do blame the employers for providing it. I say have the ICE inspectors hit the farms and factories in AZ and everywhere that they find undocumented workers, charge them a 2% tax against profits to fund subsequent inspections against other employers and audit the crap out of their books. How can they be in compliance with tax laws while paying people under the table?

If caught doing it three times, remove their status as a business entity. If we have a glut of illegals who are breaking the law by being here, then their employers are harboring and enabling criminals by providing them with a place to work.

It doesn't sound like the worst idea, you would just have to make sure the punishment eclipsed the savings they were gaining by hiring illegals.

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As surprising as it is, I'm going to have to call total BS on this one.

Here's my major issue with this story:

People are pulling the "Well she's working so hard and doing so well to be successful" card because she's in college and is Americanized and such. But if we're playing the "well it's ok if you're illegal but you do well for yourself" card, where do we stop?

To some people, some random construction worker who works 12 hard hours a day and takes pride in putting in a days worth of hard work building things is also successful. And I'm sure plenty of them have been sent back to mexico despite applying for citizenship (just like this girl), but they didn't get stories. Why? They're not a 20 year old female college sorority girl and being a 40 year old construction worker doesn't draw that kind of sympathy.

Besides, if we're talking about right and wrong here, she was driving without a license (only god knows if she has car insurance), she lied to the police about her address (which is a felony), and she was paying in state tuition when she shouldn't have been. I know people who went to school here and had to bend backwards because they did it right and paid out of state tuition. This is all aside from the fact that likely her and her parents likely paid next to no taxes. Is she ever going to pay back the $50,000 dollars she likely saved by lying if she gets legal citizenship? The money she's saved on taxes and god knows what else she's skimped on? Once again I know plenty of people who ate ramen through college because they had to deal with those things that she didn't.

I'm not going to lose any sleep or anything if she ends up getting citizenship, but she doesn't have a leg to stand on here and I'm sick of this whole "You CANT deport her" mentality. Would going through college only to get deported suck? Yep. Who's fault is that at the end of the day though? The parents.

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It doesn't sound like the worst idea, you would just have to make sure the punishment eclipsed the savings they were gaining by hiring illegals.

The purpose of ICE would be to remove the illegals. If they lost their business license after doing it three times, I think it's safe to say the punishment is pretty bad.

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As surprising as it is, I'm going to have to call total BS on this one.

Here's my major issue with this story:

People are pulling the "Well she's working so hard and doing so well to be successful" card because she's in college and is Americanized and such. But if we're playing the "well it's ok if you're illegal but you do well for yourself" card, where do we stop?

To some people, some random construction worker who works 12 hard hours a day and takes pride in putting in a days worth of hard work building things is also successful. And I'm sure plenty of them have been sent back to mexico despite applying for citizenship (just like this girl), but they didn't get stories. Why? They're not a 20 year old female college sorority girl and being a 40 year old construction worker doesn't draw that kind of sympathy.

Besides, if we're talking about right and wrong here, she was driving without a license (only god knows if she has car insurance), she lied to the police about her address (which is a felony), and she was paying in state tuition when she shouldn't have been. I know people who went to school here and had to bend backwards because they did it right and paid out of state tuition. This is all aside from the fact that likely her and her parents likely paid next to no taxes. Is she ever going to pay back the $50,000 dollars she likely saved by lying if she gets legal citizenship? The money she's saved on taxes and god knows what else she's skimped on? Once again I know plenty of people who ate ramen through college because they had to deal with those things that she didn't.

I'm not going to lose any sleep or anything if she ends up getting citizenship, but she doesn't have a leg to stand on here and I'm sick of this whole "You CANT deport her" mentality. Would going through college only to get deported suck? Yep. Who's fault is that at the end of the day though? The parents.

Great points, all. Her contributions as an up and comer make her no better than the guy who grunts his butt off to feed his family 12 hours a day, 6 days a week. It's rather elitist to state that we should feel bad about sending her home and not the others. IMO, most of them are hard working and otherwise honest contributors to society. But unless we're adding Mexico as the 51st state, we cannot allow free flow of people between there and the US.

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I think we're all missing the most important question: Is she hot?

Can't be going around deporting Latina hotties. It's wrong. IT'S WRONG!!!! :angry:

I already got mine so I really don't have a problem with it

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