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Oh, What A Tangled Web...

Two days ago, my colleague Chone wrote about Jessica Colotl, a young college student who had been pulled over for a moving violation. She also had no driver's license, and as police looked further into her case, this pre-law senior turned out to be an illegal alien -- her parents had brought her here from Mexico when she was 11. She had attended public schools, then been admitted to Kennesaw State University.

According to her supporters, this is an outrage. She was pulled over for a minor moving violation, and her registration had an old address -- she hadn't updated it. And since she was an illegal alien, of course she didn't have a driver's license.

There's an old aphorism that there is no such thing as a single lie. As soon as a lie is questioned, it almost demands more lies to protect it. Similarly, Colotl might not have been guilty of the "original sin" of entering the country illegally -- her parents brought her, and only an idiot would hold a child responsible for the actions of their parents -- but she is responsible for her own actions since she became an adult.

The original charge against Colotl, the one that drew the attention of the police, was "impeding the flow of traffic." The particular statute seems to cover stopping in an intersection (causing gridlock), blocking traffic, going too slow, or in general being a pain in the ass to other drivers. It's a piddling charge, and I'm sure most of us have done that sort of thing in our lives. (Personally, I remember with great chagrin the last time I entered an intersection I wasn't sure I could get through, and spent an embarrassing amount of time blocking traffic. And I've cursed out others for doing just that.)

So, should Colotl be deported for this incredibly trivial motor vehicle violation? No.

Likewise, she hadn't updated her registration after moving. That's something else I've done, and it is technically providing a false address to the police. In most cases, it'd get you a scolding or perhaps a fine, unless she actively gave her old address to the police. Again, not the sort of thing you throw someone out of the country over.

But she was also driving without a license. Yes, as an illegal alien, she wasn't eligible to have one. But dammit, there's a line in an old Bob Dylan song: "to live outside the law you must be honest."

When you're already a wanted person, you have to toe the line even tighter. You have to be incredibly paranoid and follow every single law as best as you can. You have to make certain you don't get caught breaking any laws and drawing the attention of the police. And when you're an illegal alien, whose very presence is a violation of the law, you have to be exceptionally careful.

Colotl was driving without a license. That is a serious offense, and "I couldn't legally get one" is no excuse. If you can't get a license legally, don't drive. Period.

But her entire story raises a host of questions that no one else seems to want to ask. Wizbang commenter (and occasional PITA) "bobdog" raised quite a few in a comment on Chone's piece. Since he was recently a pain in my own ass, I'm going to steal his and expand upon them.

She was driving her own car, which she did legally register (albeit didn't keep up to date, but the registration was current). That's good. She didn't have a driver's license (which, as noted, is bad), but one needn't have a license to register a car.

But did she have the legally mandated insurance on that car? That raises an interesting dilemma -- as an unlicensed driver, she's pretty much presumed to be at fault in any accidents she gets into, as she has no legal right to even be on the road.

How did she get the car? She couldn't work legally, so she had no legal income. Her parents are still also illegal aliens, so they can't legally work either -- certainly not enough to afford vehicles.

How did she pay her tuition? She was granted in-state tuition, which reduces the cost of her education, but again that's a significant amount of money.

As part of the admission process, KSU verified that she was a resident of Georgia to qualify for in-state tuition -- a highly significant savings. Why doesn't the school also verify that the would-be student is also here legally? I am personally rankled that she was accorded better treatment than I, a United States citizen, would receive.

Did Ms. Colotl have an on-campus job as part of her student aid? I knew a lot of kids who used "work study" funds to get through school. Did the school verify her eligibility to work then?

Did she have any job while going to school? Again, if so, how did she pull that off?

Once she graduated from KSU with her pre-law degree, and then completed her law degree, what the hell did she plan to do with it? She can't work legally in the United States, and I can't imagine an illegal alien being admitted to any bar. Her only hope for pursuing her "dream" of being a lawyer in the United States would have been for an amnesty program of some sorts. Absent that, she's going to be another "undocumented," unhireable worker with a fancy degree heavily subsidized by the people of Georgia.

But the one thing that offends me most is this statement from one of her lawyers:

Her criminal defense lawyer, Chris Taylor, said Friday that his client's case is a perfect example of why U.S. immigration law needs reform.

"Jessica may not have the documents that show that she's an American citizen, but she's an American," Taylor said. "She's an American in her heart because she believes in the values of this country."

No, Mr. Taylor, being an American isn't simply feeling like one and wanting to be one. Being an American is defined as citizenship, which falls into two simple categories.

If you were born here, you are an American by birthright. You have documentation to prove it. And unless you renounce it, you will be a citizen until the day you die.

If you were not born here, you can be naturalized. You can ask to become an American. You demonstrate your respect for the nation by following all the rules, passing all the tests, and proving that you are worthy of the privilege of becoming an American.

Ms. Colotl is a citizen of Mexico. She has, apparently, never taken a single step towards changing that in the three-plus years she was here illegally. And she was fully aware of her illegal status, which interest in a legal career even more intriguing.

An argument can be made that her situation is tremendously unjust. And I am sympathetic to that. But the original "sin" at the root of her problem was the actions of her parents. And while, as I said, we should not punish her for their offense, nor should we allow her or they to benefit from it.

Ms. Colotl's grievance is with her parents, for engineering the situation she now finds herself in. And as sympathetic as her plight may be, it simply isn't our responsibility to make amends.

No, our responsibility is to the countless other would-be Americans who are following the rules and trying to gain citizenship the right way. To reward a "line-cutter" like Colotl or her parents would be a gross insult to all those others, and they do not deserve that.

No, they deserve our apprecation and our respect.


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Comments (31)

And how was all of this don... (Below threshold)
Soozer:

And how was all of this done without a SSN? And if she had one, how did she get it? Enquiring minds...

Exactly, Sozzer. Banks and ... (Below threshold)
goddessoftheclassroom:

Exactly, Sozzer. Banks and credit card companies require SSNs. How did she pay for her tuition--cash?

Driving without insurance is a BIG deal, too.

"So, should Colotl be depor... (Below threshold)
retired military:

"So, should Colotl be deported for this incredibly trivial motor vehicle violation? "

If she is here illegally then the answer is YES.

""She's an American in her ... (Below threshold)
retired military:

""She's an American in her heart because she believes in the values of this country.""

I am a billionaire at heart because I believe in the values of this country. Now, where's my money?

If she believed in the values of this country she wouldnt be breaking its' laws. And knowingly doing so.

And I dont want to hear the crap "Well her parents brought her over"

When she hit 18 it stopped being her parents problem and started being hers.

Last time I checked you had to use a SSN to get into college. That means she falsified documents as well. All of her transcripts should be null and void.

Compare her story to the st... (Below threshold)
Rodney:

Compare her story to the story of the young man who pulled the wool over Harvard's eyes for couple of years. He claimed 1600SAT, 4.0 from High School, plagiarized papers and got $45000 in tuition money. Guess what he is in jail, and unable to make bail. Anybody want to defend him? Be willing to bet nobody defending her will.

See ya, Jay Tea. I'm outa h... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

See ya, Jay Tea. I'm outa here.

"So, should Colotl be depor... (Below threshold)
retired military:

"So, should Colotl be deported for this incredibly trivial motor vehicle violation?

If the answer to the above quesion is no then the answer to question below should also be no.

If she had gotten pulled over by a traffic stop and had $100 million of stolen artwork plainly visible in her car then should she go to just for an incredibly trivial motor vehicle violation?

Obviously the answer is yes to both.

She was committing a crime just by being in the country illegally.

Yeah, she's an American in ... (Below threshold)
Don L:

Yeah, she's an American in her heart because she believes in the values? Doesn't that make me eligible for access to all that Kuwaiti wealth because I believe in money?

The largest evil the left has done is the systematic and delliberate destruction of truth and the relativization of morality. It's called insantity, unless you plan to destabilize a once stabile sane nation?

"Jessica may not h... (Below threshold)
JLawson:
"Jessica may not have the documents that show that she's an American citizen, but she's an American," Taylor said. "She's an American in her heart because she believes in the values of this country."
If she believes in them so much, why the hell didn't she FOLLOW THE DAMN RULES?

Case in point - in our shop we've got a tech from Ivory Coast. He applied to immigrate, jumped through the hoops, moved here, got a job, worked on becoming a citizen, and we were VERY happy for him when he became an American.

This woman? She's been false all the way through. It's not her fault her parents brought her here - but she's HAD to be untruthful and deceptive in order to STAY.

BTW, in GA? You go to JAIL if you're driving with no insurance. They take it seriously.

Either we have a government... (Below threshold)
mathman:

Either we have a government of laws, or we have a government of men. The Obama Regieme has adopted the standard that they ignore laws which they do not like. See the Arizona immigration law for details.
Thus Obama and his cronies endorse anarchy.
If Colotl were a citizen, she should go to jail for driving without a license.
Since she is not a citizen, she should return to Mexico and get in line for legal immigration.
The only other choice is for each of us to make our own decisions about which laws we keep and which laws we ignore. I don't want to go there.

bobdog"See ya, Jay T... (Below threshold)
retired military:

bobdog
"See ya, Jay Tea. I'm outa here."

Dont go away mad. JUST GO AWAY.

bobdogSorry , I t... (Below threshold)
retired military:

bobdog

Sorry , I thought you were someone else.

"It's called insantity, ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

"It's called insantity, unless you plan to destabilize a once stabile sane nation?"

Don L -

Our overall stability and sanity might be somewhat doubtful - (After all, look at Prohibition, Disco, and Leisure Suits...) - but the country's been working fairly well more often than not - and I think it's because like a house on stilts in a hurricane zone there's a lot of different supports.

And since there's a lot of different supports, you can lose one or two of them and it won't affect the whole structure - much.

Lose a lot of them, and the structure gets shaky. Lose too many of them - and the whole edifice collapses.

The left has been busy whacking out supports for a long time. They weren't needed, they blocked the view - after all, who really WANTS things like individual responsibility? Have government do everything for you - it's so much easier. Make sure everyone knew what their rights were - and strip away the responsibilities that came with the rights. That was the way to happiness! Spend trillions on social programs designed to alleviate poverty - only you end up with about the same numbers on assistance. But to make things worse, you've now created an entire culture where education is denigrated, women aren't worth respecting, and thuggish behavior is seen as laudable. Employment? Hah! Guns and drugs equal money - who needs a job?

Somehow, I don't think that was what the 'great society' was hoping to end up with!

Education's taken a beating. Schools are useless without good teachers, but you can't get (or keep) good teachers - because the schools can't control the students and the teacher's unions preserve the jobs of those who can't teach. Parents have been conditioned to NOT discipline their kids or teach them self control or respect for others. (And let's face it, the plethora of kid's programming with clueless parents or other authority figures doesn't help to establish a parent's authority.)

And the wierd thing is - I don't believe the left is doing it deliberately, or the media is doing it deliberately, or the schools are doing it deliberately - it's all part and parcel of the same thing.

The law of unintended consequences.

It's a fearsome bitch, and won't be denied. The 'nicer' an idea sounds, the more expensive it'll probably be and the more chance something will go wrong down the line in the implementation. It sounds GOOD to be a friend to your kid. It sounds GOOD to be permissive in schools. It sounds GOOD to give mortgages to folks who can't afford it. It sounds GOOD to move all that icky oil drilling off-shore. It sounds GOOD to give $4000 rebates to encourage people to buy cars. That an individual rebate cost a total of $24k was irrelevant.

'Good ideas' will bite you hard in the ass if you aren't careful in their implementation - and sometimes even if you ARE.

Either we have a governm... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Either we have a government of laws, or we have a government of men. The Obama Regieme has adopted the standard that they ignore laws which they do not like. See the Arizona immigration law for details.
Thus Obama and his cronies endorse anarchy.

No, not anarchy. Instead, an autocracy. THEY decide what rules will be enforced or ignored - after all, it's the Chicago way. You know the right folks, and the rules don't apply. Don't know the right folks, follow the rules, and you MIGHT be able to get ahead, if you known how to navigate the maze of bureaucracy that's been set up.

It's the golden rule. He who has the gold (or authority, in this case) decides what rules to follow.

"So, should Colotl be depor... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"So, should Colotl be deported for this incredibly trivial motor vehicle violation? No."

BULLSHIT, JT!

She should be deported BECAUSE SHE IS HERE ILLEGALLY.

"Son of Sam" was caught because of a parking ticket. Should he have been prosecuted for all those murders for such a "minor" offense as a parking ticket?

Same argument.

In the local paper, we've got an ILLEGAL alien mother crying and denouncing the police because they've TWICE pulled her over, found she had no driver's license, and therefore, BY LAW, impounded her vehicle for 30 days.

WHY HASN'T SHE BEEN DEPORTED?

So how exactly did she GET ... (Below threshold)
OLDPUPPYMAX:

So how exactly did she GET all of those tax dollars? Did she use one of Hussein's 28 Social Security numbers?

In state tuition rates, car... (Below threshold)

In state tuition rates, car registration, it looks like illegal stay was being Jessica Colotl's illegal stay was being abetted. Knowingly and legally? Most likely yes to both.

I find it amusing that Colotl wanted to go into Law, yet was so indifferent to obeying it herself. She fit perfectly into Obama administration.

I do suspect, that if state quit making easier for illegals to be here, we would have less of them. Can the tax payers expect to be repaid for the cost of Colotl subsidized education? Not a chance.

Multiply this situation by ... (Below threshold)
Constitution First:

Multiply this situation by 20 million, and this young lady is the cream of the crop.

The very existence of Illegal Aliens in this country cost everybody else who has to play by the rules, I don't see how advocating otherwise is a winning political formula.

If the concept was to improve the process of evaluating and selecting which applicants are beneficial to the Nation, then the vast majority of people of this country would get behind it. But that does not seem to be the case with Democrat "reform" legislation. They unapologetically advocate open borders, and that is simply insanity.

So, this person, a senior i... (Below threshold)
Matt:

So, this person, a senior in Law School, wasn't smart enough to create or procure a falsified birth certificate?

Jay,you manage to ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Jay,

you manage to swerve (inadvertently apparently) into the truth right at the end when you state that her beef is with her parents.

She's here illegally. If any of us were caught breaking the law do you honestly think that anyone would be standing p saying that it's unfair? What's unfair is that her parents put her in this situation. What's unfair is that because she is a sympathetic minority people want to give her a pass.

She wants to stay in this country maybe someone should cut her a deal to rollover on her parents so THEY can be deported.

As a white male I would never get an inch of slack for breaking the law. Why is it that she should get more mercy than I would be afforded because she is female and hispanic?

The truth of the matter is that breaking the law often has tragic consequences. The longer you go before correcting that misdeed the worse those consequences become. She was brought here illegally as a child. She has little knowledge of her legal home. Her parents have created a worse situation than would otherwise have been if they had followed the rules and come here legally. It might have taken them longer to move to +America, but then their dream of a better life for their daughter wouldn't be dying a premature death.

Jim M"you manage t... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Jim M

"you manage to swerve (inadvertently apparently) into the truth right at the end when you state that her beef is with her parents."

After she turned 18 then the beef is not with her parents.

I am so sick of the nanny state.

If you kill someone at 18 you go to jail as an adult (no being tried as a kid).

If you commit other offenses (except of course breaking immigration laws) than chances are you going to jail as an adult.

After 18 it was HER choice to stay here. I could give a squat less about why she is here the fact is SHE IS HERE ILLEGALLY.

What the defense attorney m... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

What the defense attorney meant by "we need immigration reform" is he presumes the reform will grant amnesty to all illegals.

She was 11 when she came to this country illegally by her parents but she has been an adult for some time with full knowledge of her status. A "good american" would have approached the system to try and legally change her status but she chose to continue the lie and illegal behavior. The ones really at fault are her parents and then her, not the system. They ignored the system and basically said "screw you" to all the candidates for citizenship that legally applied. When are we going to stop feeling sorry for people who do not want to operate within our law structure? ww

Oohhh---ALONE.Jay ... (Below threshold)
Leag:

Oohhh---ALONE.

Jay Tea, I read the whole thing, thank yall very much, and owe yall apology.

That Jessica and her family of wetbacks are here illegally was discovered when detained for that offense and they should be deported for it and what proceeded from it.

So, we agree they all should be deported.

I made a mistake once before but can't remember what was.

Thanks for bringing this once to me attention.

Methinks well enough, but fer this once.

Peace to yall.

"...she believes in the val... (Below threshold)

"...she believes in the values of this country" ??? I guess that respect for U.S. law is no longer a value of this country. Maybe he meant "free lunches for people who are willing to play the role of victim as a career."

Makes me think that Colotl would have entered the law field with an agenda of overturning immigration constraints because of a personal grudge of sorts.

Well if Obama's "auntie" ge... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Well if Obama's "auntie" gets to stay, I guess this woman has as much right as well. Hell, let's invite Obama's whole extended family over. Barry can sponsor them and they can all stay at his place. It's not like he doesn't have the money.

Georgia has the HOPE schola... (Below threshold)
twolaneflash:

Georgia has the HOPE scholarship program paid from lottery sales. From what I've heard of this criminal invader's grade point average, she would qualify for those scholarship dollars. Along with in-state tuition rates, did she also defraud the state of Georgia of HOPE scholarship money? As a Georgia taxpayer and as a father who has put one daughter through Kennesaw State with an MBA, and has a second daughter who is in her junior year there, I want her family deported, their property confiscated to reimburse the state of Georgia for the resources stolen, and all them permanently declared persona non grata in America. I am not opposed to shooting invaders at their first step onto American soil. Dead right there! Damn serial criminals.

Barry would like to uncrea... (Below threshold)
914:

Barry would like to uncreate the web. But I digress, That being said. Is this final Jeopardy... Where the questions get real un- prompted answers or your scaggy racist ass is dumped out of an unregistered cab in Crime town US of kkA.

In Texas, during my first s... (Below threshold)
Poole:

In Texas, during my first semester of Law School, the Texas Supreme Court required all prospective applicants for the Bar Exam to submit a certified copy of their birth certificate and submit to being fingerprinted - all ten fingers.

All students were asked if they had any criminal record of any type. Quite of few had to fill out forms for that admission.

Did she plan on going to law school, graduating, taking the bar and practicing law? How?

Can you imagine a judge saying "Congratulations on winning your first case, Counselor. Too bad you're arrest."

When she gets deported, she... (Below threshold)
Joe:

When she gets deported, she should have to choose one liberal to take with her.

Just think of the benefits of that...

I am really getting tired o... (Below threshold)
Jania:

I am really getting tired of people calling this racial profiling. First of all she is an illegal. Do people not understand the definition of the word illegal? I guess not. She also broke our laws. She gave false information to the authorities, which is a felony. If she has or had her car registered did she steal someone's information in order to do so? She needs to pay for her actions. Her parents did not tell her to lie, write down false information on her college transcripts, and lie about her illegal status. She is no longer 11 years old but a 21 year old women who is capable of making her own choices and decisions. She chose to lie and give false information. She should be penalized for her actions. I like how everyone screams racism this has nothing to do with racism. If a white male did the same thing he would be thrown into jail. Look at the Harvard student who falsified his college documents and transcripts he is now is jail. What makes her so special?? She has no rights here since she is not a citizen. Why should we just give her a slap on the wrist and say she did nothing wrong when she cheated the system. If she wants to finish school she NEEDS to apply for a Visa and do it the correct way and pay back any sort of HOPE money she acquired seeing she had a 3.8 GPA in HS and pay back the instate tuition she owes. It is not fair to legal immigrants who come here to learn and are sent back to their country because their Visa(s) expired. Why do the illegals get more privileges and rights then American Citizens, Legal Immigrants, and students from other countries who come here on a VISA? Where is the justice in that? She is an illegal. She broke the law and does not deserve any special accommodations. We have laws for a purpose and I guess it is okay for Illegals to break those laws but when citizens break those laws we have to pay the penalty.

So what was she supposed to... (Below threshold)
Frank Coleman:

So what was she supposed to do? Pack up for Mexico on her 18th birthday, tell her family goodbye, and leave? Unreal. The state and federal government sit idly by collecting income and sales tax from illegals but then denounce them for having the audacity to use a state benefit like in-state tuition. Driving without a license isn't a crime of moral turpitude, neither are any of the other "crimes" you accuse her of. What a bunch of hypocrites most of the posters on here are.




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