The story of 21-year-old undocumented student Jessica Colotl made headlines when she faced deportation after being arrested in 2010 for driving without a license. It was a debate: Was Colotl a law breaker who should be penalized, or a bright young woman, brought to the United States at 11, facing a too severe punishment?
“Just because someone is driving without a license or ends up in jail for a minor traffic violation … [they] should not have to be deported,” said Colotl, who is now 28. “I think that’s a cruel and usual punishment that’s actually against the Constitution.”
Now a paralegal with her sights set on law school, Colotl and immigration attorney Dustin Baxter — a partner at Kuck Immigration Partners in Atlanta — share their thoughts on the current state of Latino immigration, deportation and the heightened criminalization of the undocumented.