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Gabriela Melendez,

June 12, 2017

A federal district court today granted a preliminary injunction blocking the Trump administration from revoking Jessica Colotl’s status under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The DACA program allows immigrants who came to the U.S. as children to apply for a work permit and temporary protection against deportation.

“This is good news for Jessica and for the rule of law,” said Michael Tan, American Civil Liberties Union staff attorney representing Jessica. “We thank the court for acting quickly to block the government’s action while her renewal application gets the fair consideration it deserves. Now it’s up to the Department of Homeland Security to make good on Trump’s pledge that DREAMers are not a priority for deportation and renew Jessica’s DACA protections, as it has done twice previously under the very same circumstances.”

Jessica Colotl said, “I’m thrilled with the court’s decision and so relieved that I’ll be able to get back to my life here in Georgia while the government reconsiders my application. I hope that officials will grant me DACA as they have twice before, and reaffirm all DACA recipients are protected by the same rules.” 

“The court’s decision today has huge implications for all DREAMers,” said Lorella Praeli, ACLU director of immigration policy and campaigns. “The government can’t just break its promises for no reason and start revoking DACAs. The judge confirmed that DACA hasn’t changed and that recipients are not an immigration enforcement priority. The government should act based on facts and not on whims.”

The Trump administration had arbitrarily revoked Colotl’s DACA status, alleging she had a felony conviction. However, they admitted in a court filing that she does not. Colotl’s DACA status was granted by immigration authorities twice previously without objection. On May 23, the ACLU, the ACLU of Georgia and Kuck Immigration Partners LLC filed legal action demanding that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reinstate Colotl’s protected status and work permit under DACA and re-evaluate her renewal application under the same consistent standards it used to grant her previous approvals.

“We're pleased the court recognized that the Trump administration was wrong to suddenly and arbitrarily revoke Jessica's status without following its own procedures,” said Andrea Young, ACLU of Georgia executive director. “We will continue to fight for Jessica's right to live and work in the country she calls home.”

Colotl has called Georgia her home since she first moved to Atlanta at the age of 11 and graduated from Lakeside High School in DeKalb County in May 2006, with honors. She then attended Kennesaw State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in political science in 2011. Since graduating, Colotl has worked as a paralegal at Kuck Immigration Partners LLC and aspires to attend law school to become an immigration lawyer. She has also continued to serve the community, volunteering for the Annual Latino Youth Leadership Conference, donating blood at the Northside Hospital in Atlanta, and fundraising for St. Jude Children’s Hospital. She is a member of Saint Patrick’s Catholic Church in Norcross, Georgia, and a passionate advocate for immigrants’ rights and immigration reform.

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