ATLANTA - The Kennesaw State University graduate who was arrested and nearly deported for being in the county illegally, is grateful a judge dismissed the final charge against her.
Jessica Colotl has been at the center of the national immigration debate since her arrest in 2010.
Colotl, whose parents brought her to the U.S. illegally from Mexico when she was 11, was stopped for a minor traffic violation in March 2010 and then arrested for driving without a license and lying about her address and phone number.
On Thursday, a Cobb County Superior Court judge threw out the felony false-swearing or false statement charge against her.
"For this I was just expecting the worst, but I remained hopeful. I’m glad that it's now over," Colotl said.
The judge dismissed the charge because of an agreement Colotl had with the district attorney. The agreement said, if
Colotl went through a pretrial diversion program and completed 150 hours of community service the state would not prosecute her.
After Colotl's traffic stop in 2010, the Cobb County Sheriff's Office turned her over to federal immigration authorities and she spent more than a month in a detention center in Alabama. Immigration authorities eventually released her, saying they would give her a year to finish her studies at Kennesaw State University.
Colotl has since graduated from Kennesaw State. She told Channel 2's Erica Byfield she is now working as a legal assistant and hopes to one day become a U.S. citizen and lawyer.
"I'm just very thankful this odyssey is over forever. I've been holding onto my dreams and I think my dreams have been holding on to me," Colotl said.