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System to blame for illegal student’s predicament?

By Don McKee Marietta Daily Journal ”I never thought that I was going to be caught up in this messed-up system.” So said Jessica Colotl quite candidly about being found out after living in this country illegally for 10 years and enjoying its benefits including enrollment in Kennesaw State University. She went on to say: “So I’m just hoping for the best and waiting for something positive … I think that people should be more educated about the subject because the problem is that there are so many generalizations and stereotypes about immigrants.” Colotl spoke at a news conference arranged by a squad of lawyers and so-called immigrant activists organizations after being freed on bond from Cobb County Jail on a charge of making false statements about her address. That stemmed from her first arrest on March 30 for not having a valid drivers license on the KSU campus when her illegal status was discovered. Poring over news reports and tuning in the TV news, I looked for any words by Colotl taking responsibility, offering any apology or regret or defense of her illegal status. Granted, she was brought to this country at age 11 by her parents, also illegal immigrants, according to what she said. She could not help being brought here from Mexico as a child, but as a 21-year-old senior at KSU she knew she was in this country illegally. Maybe she was trying to obtain legal status, but that’s not the point. The point is, she wants to blame someone else for the fix she’s in because of, first, her parents, and second, herself. But she blames the “messed-up system” – the U.S. immigration system that happens to require people wanting to immigrate here to follow the law. The system is messed up, all right, because of the millions of illegal immigrants pouring across the border from Mexico and the ongoing failure of the federal government to enforce the law and secure our borders. Colotl also said she thinks “people should be more educated about the subject” – meaning immigration or illegal immigration? And she said the problem is “there are so many generalizations and stereotypes about immigrants.” Even if that’s true, what in the world does it have to do with illegal immigration and her case in particular? One of her lawyers, Christopher Taylor, said the “system” has failed her and the charges against her are politically motivated. She and her parents never failed the system or did anything wrong, to hear her lawyers talk. It’s that old messed-up system’s fault. Speaking of stereotypes, Colotl supporter Jerry Gonzalez, who heads the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, hurled his own stereotype at Cobb Sheriff Neil Warren for the second arrest of the illegal immigrant. Gonzalez labeled the sheriff “Wild West Warren” and accused him – get this – of “a political ploy to score political points.” Instead of blaming the “system,” how about Jessica Colotl and her family taking responsibility for their actions?

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