Felony Charges Dropped Against Young Undocumented Student at Heart of Immigration Debate

A nearly three-year legal battle has come to an end for a young undocumented immigrant whose 2010 arrest sparked a national debate over U.S. immigration policy, particularly the right of undocumented immigrants to attend public universities. Thursday, a Cobb County, Georgia, judge dismissed a false-swearing charge against the now 23-year-old Jessica Colotl stemming from her arrest on March 29, 2010. A Kennesaw State University (KSU) police officer stopped Colotl, a KSU student, for a traffic infraction on campus. She was arrested the following day after failing to produce for authorities a valid driver’s license. Colotl’s case has been widely publicized nationally, drawing renewed attention to the use of 287(g) programs, which allow local police agencies to enforce immigration law and detain suspected undocumented immigrants.

Comics Journalism: ‘Jessica Colotl: In the Eye of the Storm’

Jessica Colotl says her life is a series of hearings since the struggle began between her and federal and state authorities over whether she can stay in the country she’s called home since she was ten years old. Read the English version here and the Spanish version here. Colotl is young; she’s in limbo like many other immigrants, her story shifts from her college to a detention facility to a presidential announcement to a tenuous freedom. It’s a story that’s dramatic, tense, and now it’s presented in a way more accessible to young people. Furthermore, the story is reported through an innovative new form: illustrative or comics journalism.

Dreaming of a Better and Legal Future

My husband, Steve, and his first wife, Laurene, moved to Eastern Europe shortly after the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall. The day before they boarded the plane to move to Bratislava, Slovakia, Steve and Laurene discovered that they were expecting, unexpectedly, twins!  Since Bratislava’s medical care was still behind those of Western Europe and the birth of twins is a higher risk pregnancy, they chose to go to Vienna, Austria for the pregnancy care and birth. Early one morning Laurene’s water broke and they made a harried run across the Danube River for the Slovakia/Austria border. Before long David and Paul made their dramatic debut about a minute apart via C-Section. Steve and Laurene planned on living  there long-term, but a breast cancer diagnosis short-circuited those dreams. At six months of age, the twins were brought to America for the first time.

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

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.