Monday, May 17, 2010

Student’s Arrest Tests Immigration Policy
Published: May 14, 2010
The New York Times

ATLANTA — Jessica Colotl, a 21-year-old college student and illegal Mexican immigrant at the center of a contentious immigration case, surrendered to a Georgia sheriff on Friday but continued to deny wrongdoing. Ms. Colotl was arrested in March for driving without a license and could face deportation next year. On Wednesday the sheriff filed a felony charge against her for providing a false address to the police.

The case has become a flash point in the national debate over whether federal immigration laws should be enforced by local and state officials. And like Arizona’s tough new immigration law, it has highlighted a rift between the federal government and local politicians over how illegal immigrants should be detected and prosecuted.

“I never thought that I’d be caught up in this messed-up system,” Ms. Colotl said Friday at a news conference after being released on $2,500 bail. “I was treated like a criminal, like a threat to the nation.”

Civil rights groups say Ms. Colotl should be spared deportation because she was brought to the United States without legal documents by her parents at age 11. They also note that she has excelled academically and was discovered to be here illegally only after a routine traffic to complete article

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