Immigrant Voices: Young, Ambitious, Proud of the Nation and Illegal

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Israel silhoutte Gabriela silhouette

Immigration is an explosive topic in this nation. It has deep implications for the economy and the social and cultural landscape of the country. It has and will continue to have a huge impact on politics, especially for the presidential election.

We know all that, of course. Anyone who follows the news the least bit, knows that. What a lot of people don’t know too much about, however, is the impact growing anti-immigration sentiment and the passage of severe, some would say, draconian anti-immigration laws have on families, especially their children.

News outlets have told these stories before, gotten below the surface of the debates, to show the struggle of good, law-abiding, hard-working families faced with deportation and an end to a life they have know for many years.

Today, JJIE goes a step further by giving you the voices of three Georgia college students who, though they have lived in the country many years and are ambitious, stellar students, have a hint of a Georgia twang, root for the Georgia Bulldogs, or the Atlanta Falcons, are subject to deportation because they entered this country illegally, as children.

In the interviews that follow you will hear from Jessica Colotl, a recent graduate who was arrested and sent to a detention center for more than a month to await deportation. The other interviews are with two students, Israel and Gabriela, who asked that only their first names be used. They are still in college but since they are illegal, they fear arrest and deportation.

The nation needs a reasonable debate over immigration policy; that much should be clear, even to the casual observer. But it is also clear that voices such as these should be included in that discourse.

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