Traffic stop puts KSU student in jail as an illegal immigrant
by Kathryn Dobies
kdobies@mdjonline.com
May 01, 2010 12:00 AM | 11731 views | 103 103 comments | 61 61 recommendations | email to a friend | print
KENNESAW - Kennesaw State University student, Jessica Colotl, 21, will be heading back to her home country of Mexico after her worst nightmare came true when her undocumented status was discovered following a routine traffic stop by university police on her way to class.

On March 29, at about 11 a.m. as Colotl was pulling her gold Honda Civic into a parking lot on KSU's campus, she was stopped for what KSU Officer J.K. Kimsey described as impeding the flow of traffic. When Kimsey asked the senior student to present her driver's license and she was unable to, he "cut her a break" according to KSU officials, and asked her to come to his office the following day with the license, instead of arresting her on the spot.

According to Colotl's friends, however, the police officer wasn't very accommodating. Instead, they said he demanded she report to his office the next day, even going as far as threatening her that "he would go issue an arrest warrant and look for her during her classes," stated a press release written by two of Colotl's friends and fellow sorority sisters, Claudia Caycho and Lila Parra.

Caycho and Parra both said that as instructed, Colotl reported to Officer Kimsey's office on March 30 in hopes that she could explain to him her situation.

Colotl is an undocumented citizen who has lived in the U.S. since she was 7 years old. Her parents came to Atlanta illegally in 1996 from southern Mexico to escape a life of severe poverty. While friends say the family moved around most of Colotl's childhood, she eventually graduated from Lakeside High School in DeKalb County with a GPA of 3.8, according to Parra. She enrolled at KSU and began taking classes there in the fall of 2006 as a freshman.

For the university's part, KSU officials said Colotl came to them not as an undocumented citizen, but as a Georgia High School graduate.

Although Colotl explained the situation to Kimsey and presented him with a Mexican driver's license and an expired Mexican Passport, the officer still arrested her for failure to present a valid driver's license and took her to Cobb County Jail where she was eventually released to Immigrations Customs Enforcement in Atlanta.

Parra, who met Colotl at the university in 2007, said that as a high schooler Colotl realized her parents brought her to the country illegally and decided to file for documents for herself and a younger sibling. But Parra said she still has yet to receive them.

"Her parents, they didn't have that higher education, essentially her parents are ignorant," Parra said. "She took it upon herself to do that for herself and her younger sibling. She was like, 'I've been here forever, I consider America my country.'"

Friends say once she was in jail, Colotl was able to obtain legal representation with Kazuma Sonoda, of the Sonoda Law Firm, an immigration attorney in Atlanta. Sonoda did not return repeated phone calls on Friday regarding his client.

Arlethia Perry-Johnson, Special Assistant to the President for External Affairs at KSU said the university learned about Colotl's case on April 29 from administrators in its Student Success and Enrollment Services division and its chief diversity officer. Perry-Johnson said the school has been in direct contact with the national president of Colotl's sorority as well as her attorney. But the university stands by Kimsey and claims the officer followed the correct protocol when addressing the situation.

"She (Colotl) was arrested on the subsequent day; the officer could have arrested her on the first day," Perry-Johnson said. "The officer actually cut her a break by allowing her to come back and present the license that she said she had. ... None of that negates the very unfortunate situation that our student is now faced with."

Caycho, a friend of three years and University of Georgia graduate who met Colotl through their Latin sorority Lambda Theta Alpha, said that Colotl was denied bond because she refused to sign papers without her attorney present. She was then taken to a larger immigration jail in Gadsden, Ala. on the night of April 1.

On April 25, Caycho, who currently works at an immigration law office in Atlanta, visited Colotl at the Gadsden prison and spoke to her through the jail's video chat. She said Colotl was hoping to get bond to return to KSU for the next few months until she graduates in Dec., but that hope is now only memory.

On Wednesday, Colotl had an immigration hearing in Atlanta and was denied bond, but granted voluntary departure, instead of being deported. According to Caycho, Colotl will have to leave the county in 20 days via her own transportation, but she will be able to return to her home region on southern Mexico. If she would have been deported, she would have been taken back to Mexico and dropped off anywhere south of the border, making it difficult for her to get in touch with her father who is currently living in Mexico.

"Literally she just wanted to graduate and then she was just going to go back home," Parra said. "Her ultimate goal was to do things right, because she knew the way her parents brought her here was not right. It's sad because it's probably 85 percent into the school year; we're starting finals next week. She's not leaving for another 20 days, so she could have even finished out the semester."

Perry-Johnson said the president of KSU, Dr. Daniel S. Papp, even provided an affidavit of support to Colotl's attorney, stating that she is a student in good standing with the university and reporting that the university wanted to do anything they could, within the law, to help her obtain a college degree.

Caycho and Parra both said despite the bad news, Colotl remains in good spirits. She asked her two friends to tell her story and warn other illegal students to obtain their documents as soon as possible to avoid going through the same kind of nightmare.

"Yesterday in her hearing she (Colotl) said I know that the judge ruled against me and I want you guys to tell my story. I know that there's a lot of Hispanic students out there like me," Parra said of her friend on Thursday.

The two friends, along with the help of the Georgia-Latino Alliance for Human Rights have organized a march on the Georgia Capitol for Colotl today at 10 a.m. The event, 'I march for Jessica,' intends to bring attention to Colotl's case and ask that she be allowed to finish her college career in the U.S.

"I've never seen anybody fight so hard for their education," Parra said "She pays for it all on her own and pays out of state tuition. She doesn't want to just get by - she wants to get that 4.0 GPA. ...We want other students to not get discouraged by situations like this, and for them to move forward. There's so many students, they just want to be educated, because they realize their family is not."
Comments
(103)
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OnOneToTen
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May 13, 2010
If she was a bit hotter, then I could understand letting her stay and finish her degree. The fact she is about a 3 out of 10, justifies her deportation.
gunnypapa
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May 13, 2010
Ms. Coloti,

Shame on you! I made a posy awhile back, I didn't support you status here but I did offer you well being and encoragement on your education. I defended the actions of the KSU Officer , as well as his descretion. I defended and exaplined the actions of the ICE Deputies in our Sheriffs Office.

However, you lied. You lied to the Sheriffs Office, you lied to the ICE Deputies. You lied to the Board of Regents and as far as I am concearned stole money from the State of Georgia bytelling and wrting lies on every from , application you filled out, since day one. You may even prevented an citizen of the USA and the State of Georgia to attend a GA College with HOPE.

You have now caused turmoil within the KSU Student body and faculty. All you had to do is tell the truth, oh thats right you wanted to be a lawyer..

Do the right thing now and turn yourself in and save us some money and manpower. We will find you.

GunnyPapa/CCSO
pissed off vet
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May 13, 2010
I can't believe this, I am a proud vet, who has been slapped in the face, not only by our own government, but by the people who live here in the United States. I fought alongside others to protect the freedoms and rights of the AMERICAN PEOPLE, I have witnessed the spilling of blood from those who proudly protect this country, and for what? Through time I have witnessed illegal immigrants sue our schools; for the pledge of allegiance, the right to celebrate holidays, (Christmas,Thanksgiving, etc.), use of the English Language, because it is against their religion, they don't speak the language, and so on and they won. They apply for financial aid to colleges and get it, while I have to jump through hoops trying to get financial aid for my kids. They are here illegally and they still get a job while countless Americans are unemployed. Now America is turning against Arizona because they have utilized a Federal Law to fix this, what is wrong with this picture. Now that this girl was finally caught (because she is here illegally), we should feel sorry, for what, she broke the law, her employer broke the law, and the college failed to do it's job properly, and I am floored that the Government is stepping in and allowing her a year to obtain citizenship, what is wrong with the government, they are allowing this to happen, but yet they bring charges against our own soldiers. Where does it stop?

Abraham Lincoln one said, “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
PossumRed
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May 12, 2010
A more recent article states the students' mother doesn't speak English;here for eleven years with a daughter in college,yet can't be bothered to learn the language? How did the student obtain insurance without a valid U.S. license?
Bernie Winter
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May 10, 2010
This is a travesty. KSU should be ashamed. What part of ILLEGAL don't they understand. ILLEGALS are criminals, illegally trespassing into our Country.

You cannot make exceptions to a law that's already on the books. For Shame KSU. and Dr. Daniel S. Papp.

A criminal is a criminal in spite of her 3.8 GPA.

a Concerned citizen
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May 08, 2010
Let me get this straight...you're telling me a person came to our country illegally in 1996, was able to get

into a Georgia public school system at the age of 7 (without the proper identification) then was able to go thru her whole elementary, middle school and high school career, and finally three years of college without a RED FLAG being raised to school officials...I understand KSU admitted her because she was an in-state student but there are many forms and identifications that must be shown to many school officials to get into the system that obviously weren't? You've got to be kidding me! WOW! Then she gets caught with NO drivers license (needless to say she has been driving for several years without one, unbelievable!) Then of course the icing on the cake, she is ASKED like she is going to leave VOLUNTARY, yeah right! Let's all play Lotto too and win the grand prize and live on the beach!

This is just another sad testament to our country's future fate due to the massive amount of illegal aliens living in this country.....U.S. taxpayer's can't keep paying for everyone's free ride....we are at the breaking point...... and sadly too many people FORGET THE RULE OF THE LAW! I don't care that Ms. Coloti had a 3.8 GPA. The law is the law!

Think about how many times you have to show your picture ID to get anything done in this country.....how was Ms. Coloti able to do this for so many years without raising a RED FLAG, if it were you are me, we would still be in jail.
anonymous
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May 08, 2010
Sr. Parra is a shameful person and should be removed. Ms Coloti should be sent back to her real home and allow a legal immigrant to have her spot at the college. How typical of people like 'itsanewyear' to pull out the race-card and 'me-' to use the compassion bit for us irrational people. Two of the Socialists typical ploys when they are wrong. Doubt me? Read some of Marx/Lenin's works and see how they explain how it should be used. They divide citizens against each other with class warfare.

Noble of her to file papers to try to correct her status but doing that and following it to conclusion are as different as night and day. I doubt her sincerity and would prefer she be sent back to her real home. But then, I am must not be compassionate enough for a racists, too. Enough already...laws are laws, as we are often reminded by these same name callers when trying to support their agenda.
crzysprmom
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May 07, 2010
So she was brought here at 7, so up to that point it isn't her fault. BUT at the point she returned to Mexico to get a passport and driver's license then came back illegally - she broke the law. She had been driving here illegally!! No innocence here, sorry guys and big sorry to you KSU.

How was she attending KSU? Hope? Like Barry did for Harvard? (immigrant status for aid) She got the free education up to 12th grade and was probally at Kennesaw for free. That kills me, I worked my buns off paying for college on my own. I didn't qualify for aid because my dad would not stop claiming me as a dependant. I had to prove I was not a dependant or living in his home to get emancipated to get a loan for the last two years. I only went through that because I didn't want IRS trouble if we both filed claiming me. I worked for a CPA so I really knew that was possible.

Check out the stories on the Dustin Inman Society's website. Google it - I bet links aren't allowed.
John Wayne
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May 06, 2010
Hmmm I wonder

Was she getting HOPE money?

Did she say she was an American citizen on her application to college? If so she falsified a govt document (felony charge).

She didnt have a license at all. This story is wrong. The officer gave her a chance to present him one the next day, and she showed up with out one. DRIVING WHILE UNLICENSED... No matter what color you are its ILLEGAL.This officer gave her everychance possible to not go to jail. If she wants to blame somebody, she should blame her parents.
reality check?
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May 06, 2010
How is she taking up American space in the college, Oh Dear? I thought it was a meritocracy system, aka smart people get accepted, as well as a non-quota one.
Spellcheck?
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May 06, 2010
@ Redbarron06--

I bet that "immagrant" has a better grasp of the English language than you do.
anonymous
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May 04, 2010
Thank you to everyone who posted that renters do pay property taxes therefore school taxes. I believe that was the point of "work2gether"'s post. By renting they are also paying property taxes indirectly. Same as everyone else. Institute the Fair Tax and we are all on the same playing field.

Stop them at the border, before they get here!! Don't treat others with such disdain because our government can't keep them out. Stop the influx.

And where are all the "kids" that would love a manual labor job. I have employed some kids who only want to get off work early, complain and have no work ethic. No, this does not apply to all teenagers but I would say a good majority.

If your teenagers want to work, have them knock on doors and ask? It is a full time job these days to find a job and it is not because illegals are taking the one's that everyone wants.
Redbarron06
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May 04, 2010
Fist she is not "undocumented" she is a criminal immagrant, her parents are criminals. They should all be deported.

She knew she was here illeagly, at some point she went back home and got a drivers license. She came back illegally so the argument that mom and dad brough tthe poor child over and she had no choice is pure BS unless Mexico issues drivers licenses to 7 year olds.

The fact that a law office is trying to help cater to her criminal status goes to show how bad it is in this country.

Hats of to KSU for locking her up and reporting her. How did a criminal get a car? Cant get insurance without a DL, cant get tags without insurance? She is a career criminal and if found in the US agagin with a visa should be jailed.
Mackagain
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May 04, 2010
me wrote "seriously? obama hasn't even been in long enough to have an "obama college loan scheme! when will you folks stop blaming this man for things initiated before his time?"

I believe I expressed my thoughts before on how the major Political Parties cater to the ILLEGALS. The problem for at least the last 20 years is too many Elitist Politicians from both major Political Parties, have been willing to turn the United States into a welfare state to insure most of our citizens obtain Third World status by importing ILLEGALS for cheap labor to take United States Citizen’s jobs for their Political Contributors and Special Interest Groups or outsourcing United States Citizen’s jobs to Third World Countries. You may thank our past and current Presidents, the Congressional Leadership(?), and local elected and appointed officials!. Too many U.S. Citizens are wrapped up into winning one for their political party and our nation's survival becomes secondary to PARTY Loyalty!
me-
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May 04, 2010
to "oh please"...seriously? obama hasn't even been in long enough to have an "obama college loan scheme! when will you folks stop blaming this man for things initiated before his time?

to "let's work together"...compassion is often too much to ask of irrational people.
Mackagain
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May 04, 2010
letswork2,

Not too long ago I read an article concerning the high rate of unemployment among U.S. teenagers and now the Elitists want to give Blanket Amnesty to the ILLEGALS and leave the number of various visas such as the H-1B visa wide open. This would allow U.S. corporations to hire non U.S. Citizens to force down labor cost instead of hiring U.S. teenagers for what we use to call entry level jobs or U.S. Citizens with appropriate training and experience for the technical jobs.



I worked from the time I was 12 thru college at various "entry level" jobs that are no longer available to Teenagers who are United States Citizens; mowed lawns (many of these jobs now given to ILLEGALS by ILLEGAL EMPLOYERS), cleared land for housing (again jobs now given to ILLEGALS by ILLEGAL EMPLOYERS), dug ditches and laid pipe for city water lines (yet again jobs now given to ILLEGALS by ILLEGAL EMPLOYERS), worked turnarounds at refineries during the summers (as you may have guested by now, jobs now given to ILLEGALS by ILLEGAL EMPLOYERS), stocked groceries overnight (you know, again jobs now given to ILLEGALS by ILLEGAL EMPLOYERS), and etc.

Maybe our Government should subsidize U.S. Teenagers and U.S. Citizens for the lost opportunity to earn money for education or daily living that the ILLEGALS and their ILLEGAL EMPLOYERS have stolen, instead of just another HANDOUT to the ILLEGALS as the ILLEGALS and their Anchors believe they are entitled.

There are also many U.S. Citizens who have the training and experience for the "H-1B" visa technical jobs. They are not considered because they have too much experience and would expect more from the U.S. Companies than the foreign workers who would not create problems as would those PESKY U.S. Citizens. The foreign H-1B visa workers function more or less as throwaway workers if they were to create problems.

JennyMay
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May 04, 2010
Why does she have a Mexican drivers license and expired Mexican passport? BTW, instead of complaining, she should thank the state of Georgia for her free K-12 education.
ohwhatever
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May 03, 2010
to letswork2gether:

people that rent be it an apartment, house or trailer DO pay school taxes. How? Just because its a rental property doesn't mean it's exempt from school taxes. They also pay SPLOST. So yes everyone pays school taxes.
anonymous
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May 03, 2010
this girl had no intention of fixing her status. How can a person knowingly break the law and drive without a license on top of it all and then say she wants to be a lawyer? My wife was a documented LEGAL immigrant and she attended HS and college. Difference between her and this girl? My wife is a US Citizen now and can work /live here LEGALLY. She did that by honoring the current law and never falling out of status once during her 13 years here as a HS student / College student and then employee. How about some stories from the millions of LEGAL immigrants that are part of this country, not these illegals who break the law, then cry for mercy when they get caught.
Oh please...
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May 03, 2010
To Letsworktogether: My American teenage boys would GLADLY pick up a hammer, sweep out construction sites or do physical labor at a nearby jobsite, but why would a supervisor hire them when he can get four for the price of one by hiring an illegal? Come on! Our young men in America used to do this type of work, even if it was just for summer to supplement their college. These days, we're raising a whole generation of American youth who don't know the meaning of hard work because they're not able to experience the satisfaction of hard work and earning a paycheck. And don't tell me they're all spoiled. That's completely untrue. They want to work, but since the wave of illegal workers began to flood in, there was no way they could get hired. I grew up in the west, and had more than one boy friend who worked summers in the stockyards and yes, even the slaughterhouses. The money was good, and it was how many put themselves through college...but of course, now days we have Obama's college loan schemes that just keep our young people enslaved to the government for years and years. This is all a big mess, and common sense people will only take so much of immigrant whining, demonstrating and acting as though they are the priviledged people who are above the law.

Not only was this young woman taking up space in an American college...if she is to be believed, she was also taking at least two jobs away from American workers. I'm sorry for her plight, but I hear Mexico is very pretty in some areas. I hope she enjoys going back to her homeland.
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