Jessica Colotl, a 29-year-old Mexican woman from Georgia whose deportation case has received widespread attention in the media, will be allowed to stay in the United States, a federal judge ruled this week, temporarily protecting her from deportation. Colotl had been brought to the United States by her parents when she was 11 years old and had avoided deportation under DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), but saw her protected status revoked under President Trump’s more stringent immigration enforcement last month. Her legal trouble began after she was caught for driving without a license in 2010, and lied about her address to the campus officer who had stopped her. After pleading guilty, she completed community service and a pretrial diversion program, and the felony conviction was dropped from her record. Her DACA status was renewed in 2013 and 2015, but the Department of Homeland Security denied her the renewal last month, citing the felony, even though it did not appear on her record. During a hearing, government lawyers could not provide a valid reason for the denial, so Judge Cohen ordered her DACA protection to be reinstated and the status renewal application to be reconsidered. “Jessica is very excited to see justice prevail in this case,” said Charles Kuck, who represents her and runs the law firm where Colotl currently works as a legal assistant.
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