Our network

Mixed Georgia reaction to President's new immigration policy | Education

Title (Max 100 Characters)

Mixed Georgia reaction to President's new immigration policy

KENNESAW, GA - The immigration policy shift announced on Friday by President Obama is either a life-saving second chance or crass political pandering, depending on who you ask.

It could be a fresh start for 24-year-old Kennesaw State University student Jessica Colotl.

She became a national poster child for the so far unsuccessful Dream Act legislation when she was almost deported from Georgia back to Mexico two years ago.

Her parents brought her to the U.S. when she was only 11.

RELATED | Administration sparing some from deportation
MORE | Reporter interrupts Obama's remarks

She grew up here, graduated from a DeKalb County high school and was attending KSU when a routine campus traffic stop in March of 2010 landed her in custody because she didn't have a drivers license and wasn't in the U.S. legally.

Still battling deportation to a home country she doesn't know, Colotl is one of hundreds of thousands of young people who may now get a chance to stay in their adopted country on a renewable work permit.

As she watched the President's speech on Friday, she told NBC News she felt the President was speaking directly to her.

"I see it as a baby step, you know, something we need to fix our current failed immigration system," she said.

That's exactly what D.A. King of Kennesaw fears.

He believes the President's latest move is just the first step toward full amnesty.

The immigration enforcement activist of the Dustin Inman Society helped craft Georgia's controversial immigration reform law last year.

He told 11Alive News he believes the President's latest move is nothing more than political pandering.

"If candidate Obama was interested in legalizing these children, he would have done so on his first day in office, not when he's sinking in the polls," King said.