When Jessica Colotl walked into a Cobb County courtroom on Monday, she likely didn't expect to spend the rest of the day in jail. Her immigration case, which has garnered national attention, took a surprising turn when Judge Katherine Tanksley ordered Colotl back to jail to finish her sentence.
Colotl, now a Kennesaw State University graduate, appeared in court with her lawyer, Jerome Lee, to ask Judge Tanksley to reconsider her sins for driving without a license. The judge denied her request.
"I have no grounds and no reason to change the sentence I've already imposed. So, I will formally again sentence you, Miss Colotl, to the 12 months on the guilty verdict on the one count," said Judge Tanksley.
And with that, Colotl was ordered to spend eight hours in the Cobb County Jail. She was released before 9 p.m. Lee said his client was disappointed with the decision.
"They're elected officials and I understand that. And their constituents feel very strongly about this issue, even though with the recent executive order from the president. This issue is dead," said Lee.
Lee says the decision to send Colotl back to jail is a political one.
"I've been disappointed on how little progress we've made. The world is a changing place and for us to still be playing these silly games is kind of pointless because the rest of the world is racing ahead," said Lee.
Colotl was still a student at KSU when she was arrested. After she was taken into custody, it was revealed she was in the country illegally, having been brought to the U.S. by her parents when she was 10 or 11 years old.
Her case was one that influenced President Obama's executive order halting the deportation of those illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as minors.
Colotl's case won't end here. She still faces 11 months of probation, and will have to pay more than $1,000 in fines.