The DACA program is intended to provide hard working, ambitious, and law-abiding young people with the opportunity to live, study, and work in the United States. This opportunity was limited to young people who were brought to the United States as children and who had developed ties to the community and the United States at large. Underlying this policy is a fundamental sense of fairness in the fact that these individuals did not choose to come to the United State but have nevertheless worked hard and contributed to make our society a better place.
Unfortunately, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals has come under scrutiny under the Trump Administration. While status revocations and deportations of criminals and gang members did occur under the Obama administration, these actions seemed to focus on people who represented a potential danger to society. Unfortunately, under the Trump administration, enforcement actions have seemingly been less targeted and therefore people with only minor issues – or no criminal issues at all – have been caught up.
If you have concerns about your DACA status, the lawyers of Colombo & Hurd may be able to provide careful guidance and help you prepare for an array of situations.
Exemplary DREAMER Faced Deportation over 2010 Traffic Stop Arrest
Jessica Colotl was arrested in 2010 for driving without a license. During the course of the traffic stop, Ms. Colotl provided the police officer with an address that was not accurate. She pleaded guilty to one charge of providing false information to an officer which allowed her to enter into a diversionary program. Following completing ordered community service, the case against Ms. Colotl was dismissed.
However, the events in 2010 could have turned out much differently. Ms. Colotl was actually detained for 37 days and nearly sent back to Mexico. However, Mr. Colotl’s sorority sisters, college president, and others who knew her testified on her behalf regarding her good character. This was apparently enough to allow her to stay in the United States.
In 2012, she would apply for entry to the DACA program. In 2013, the Obama administration allowed Ms. Colotl to enter into the DACA. She was able to successfully renew
DREAMER Now Faces Deportation for Second Time over the Same 2010 Traffic Stop Arrest Incident
However, despite Ms. Colotl’s track record which included graduating from college, finding full-time employment at a law firm, and no further legal issues she is now facing the second challenge to her ability to stay in the United States. According to a spokesperson for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE):
Jessica Colotl, an unlawfully present Mexican national, admitted guilt to a felony charge in August 2011 of making a false statement to law enforcement in Cobb County, Ga. Ms. Colotl was subsequently allowed to enter a diversionary program by local authorities; however, under federal law her guilty plea is considered a felony conviction for immigration purposes.
It is unclear why ICE has determined that it is now appropriate to revoke Ms. Colotl’s DACA status and removal proceedings. The lack of a particular event, arrest, legal trouble, or other clear articulable reason for this action may signal that ICE will be less discerning in its application of immigration enforcement actions.
For DREAMERs who may have had minor run-ins with the law years ago, this type of development is particularly troubling. In many ways, it is a betrayal of the promise that DACA recipients who worked hard and kept their nose clean would be protected from deportation. Furthermore, aside from the personal impacts and consequences, basing immigration enforcement actions on nearly a decade old mistake where the individual cooperated despite aggressive prosecutorial action is simply bad policy. If a DACA recipient’s cooperation in a seemingly minor proceeding will be used against them in a later proceeding, the impetus for cooperation vanishes. While this type of policy may allow the Trump administration to tout that it is “tough on immigration” in the short term, the policy is likely to do real damage not only to law enforcement efforts targeting criminals who actually pose a danger but also the communities who lose ambitious and productive young people.
Work with Immigration Attorneys in Orlando and Miami
If you have concerns regarding you DACA status or have other immigration questions or anxieties, the immigration lawyers of Colombo & Hurd can help. Many of our attorneys are immigrants themselves and therefore understand and identify with the difficulties and worries that can come with being an immigrant to the United States. To schedule a confidential consultation, please call 305-692-0232 today.