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New InsiderAdvantage poll: Georgians want Jessica Colotl deported

By Gary Reese

May 18, 2010

Most Georgia voters who know about the he unfolding story of Kennesaw State University student Jessica Colotl want the 21-year-old illegal alien deported to her native Mexico. That’s according to a new poll conducted by InsiderAdvantage for Atlanta’s WSB-TV/Channel 2. 

The poll asked: “Recently a student at Kennesaw State University who entered the United States at the age of 10 from Mexico and who is now 21 has been in the news. Are you...” 

Aware of story and support efforts to deport her: 46%
Aware of story and oppose efforts to deport her: 16%
Not aware of the story and so have no opinion: 38% 

The poll was conducted by InsiderAdvantage for WSB on May 17, 2010. The margin of error is plus or minus 4%. The data have been weighted for age, race, gender and political affiliation.  

Colotl has become national news, all the more because her story has cropped up right when America is intensely debating the issue of illegal immigration, and particularly the new law passed in Arizona to deal with illegals.  

Colotl was arrested in March in Georgia for driving without a license. Immigration officials later placed her in a detention center in Alabama. She was released after much effort on her behalf by school officials, sorority sisters and others at Kennesaw. Now federal officials say they won’t pursue her case until after she completes her college studies. 

But Cobb County law enforcement officials obtained a warrant for Colotl’s arrest. Cobb Sheriff Neil Warren said she lied about her address when she was originally booked into jail – a felony in Georgia. So her legal problems continue, and her career at Kennesaw may still be in jeopardy.  Colotl turned herself in on May 14, and was later released on bail.

Whatever happens legally, Colotl’s story has become a political hot potato in Georgia and across the nation. Much media fanfare has been raised on her behalf, but most Georgians aren’t sympathizing with her.  

Significantly, opposition to Colotl staying in America isn’t coming predominantly from the political right. While 46% of all Georgia voters support deportation, the number swells to 67% among voters who label themselves as independents.  This startling number may tell us about more than just the illegal immigration issue; it may reveal broader implications about the political landscape in Georgia, the South and the nation as we head into the contentious 2010 election season. 

Said Matt Towery, CEO of InsiderAdvantage and a national newspaper columnist with Creators Syndicate: “The poll indicates that independent voters are more upset about issues such as illegal immigration than are established Republican voters.  

“The poll’s crosstabs show that self-identified 'independent' voters are far more aware of this issue, and are more likely to want a strict response to situations such as Jessica Colotl’s, than are even more partisan voters.  

“It also suggests that GOP primaries may be filled with voters who do not describe themselves as Republicans, and who may be moving to the more conservative side of issues,” said Towery.


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