Just when you think ICE can’t get any dumber, they’ll lower your expectations.
What are the odds that Jakadrien Lorece Turner, a black 15-year-old runaway who spoke no Spanish and had no demonstrable ties to Colombia other than a Hispanic name that she had made up could actually be from Colombia? To complement ICE’s abject stupidity, Colombian officials even created a set of travel documents to match her imaginary identity and placed her in a special program called the Colombian Government Family Institute.
Eventually her family located her through FaceBook postings, and she was returned to the U.S., by then impregnated by a 29-year-old man. Her mother has since filed a federal civil rights suit.
BBC: Runaway US girl Jakadrien Turner deported to Colombia (Jan 5 2012)
Immigration officials are attempting to unravel the mystery of how a 14-year-old American runaway was deported to Colombia despite having no Colombian ID and speaking no Spanish.
When arrested for theft in 2010, Jakadrien Turner gave Houston police the name of a 21-year-old Colombian.
She maintained this identity through a court case and the deportation process.
CBS News: Authorities: Texas teen mistakenly deported to Colombia due back in U.S. Friday (Jan 6 2012)
Colombian officials say a 15-year-old Dallas girl who was mistakenly deported to Columbia after giving immigration officials a fake name will return to the United States Friday.
The Columbian government said late Thursday that the American embassy had submitted the necessary documents for Jakadrien Lorece Turner to return to the U.S.
The girl, who ran away from home over a year ago, was recently found in Bogota, Columbia by the Dallas Police Department with help from Columbian and U.S. officials.
CBS Local DFW: Jakadrien Lorece Turner [Photo] (Jan 6 2012)
CBS Local Houston: Texas Teen Mistakenly Deported To Colombia To Return To US (Jan 6 2012)
The Colombian government says the teen had been working in a call center when Dallas police located her and alerted U.S and Colombian officials.
MSNBC: Deported teen reunites with family in US; she deceived us, ICE says (Jan 6 2012)
But the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the deportation took place because the girl lied about her identity and was not clear about her citizenship status, thegrio.com reported.
Turner was reported missing in November 2010 by her relatives in Dallas. When she was arrested for a minor theft in April 2011 in Houston, she reportedly used the alias Tika Lanay Cortez and claimed to be a 21-year-old from Colombia. She maintained the alias throughout her court appearances, conviction and jail time, Houston officials confirmed.
According to Houston police, Turner had apparently been using the name after running away from home after her parents divorced and her grandfather died.
ICE deported Turner — an African American who speaks no Spanish — as part of a program to remove foreign nationals from U.S. prisons.
Fox News: Mother Says Texas Teen Deported to Colombia Back in U.S. (Jan 6 2012)
A Texas teenager who was deported to Colombia after claiming to be an illegal immigrant was back in the United States on Friday and at the center of an international mystery over how a minor could be sent to a country where she is not a citizen.
The 15-year-old’s family has questioned why U.S. officials didn’t do more to verify her identity and say she is not fluent in Spanish and had no ties to Colombia. While many facts of the case involving Jakadrien Lorece Turner remain unclear, U.S. and Colombian officials have pointed fingers over who is responsible.
Immigration experts say that while cases of mistaken identity are rare, people can slip through the cracks, especially if they don’t have legal help or family members working on their behalf. But they say U.S. immigration authorities had the responsibility to determine if a person is a citizen.
Huffington Post: Jakadrien Lorece Turner, US Teen Deported To Colombia, Returns Friday (Jan 6 2012)
“Often in these situations they have these group hearings where they tell everybody you’re going to be deported,” said Jacqueline Stevens, a political science professor at Northwestern University, who is an expert on immigration issues. “Everything is really quick, even if you understand English you wouldn’t understand what is going on. If she were in that situation as a 14-year-old she would be herded through like cattle and not have a chance to talk to the judge about her situation.”
UK Telegraph: Colombia agrees to return runaway US teenager (Jan 6 2012)
Colombian authorities are investigating why their consular officials in Houston issued her a temporary passport and how she obtained documents in Bogota that gave her civil registration and access to employment.
The ministry said authorities had located the girl, Jakadrien Larise Turner, after her US family reported her missing. She had entered a government protection programme called the Colombian Family Welfare Institute (ICBF).
Miss Turner was deported to Colombia on May 23, 2011, the same day she arrived at El Dorado International Airport in Bogota, where she was met by officials of the Department of Administrative Security.
The confusion appears to have resulted from Miss Turner using a fake identity as Tika Lanay Cortez, a 21-year-old illegal migrant from Bogota.
MSNBC: US teen runaway mistakenly deported to Colombia could soon return (Jan 6 2012)
Colombian authorities are investigating why their consular officials in Houston issued her a temporary passport and how she obtained documents in Bogota that gave her civil registration and access to employmentThe Colombian government said the girl had been working in a local call center before her grandmother tracked her down using Facebook and alerted U.S. and Colombian officials.
The Dallas Morning News reported that the teen, who didn’t speak Spanish, was pregnant.
A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement official said the teen gave authorities a fake name when she was arrested in Houston last year for theft. The name was of a Colombian woman born in 1990, and Turner maintained the name through deportation proceedings.
It’s unclear if she’ll be charged upon her return for falsifying her identity.
NY Post: Texas teen deported to Colombia headed back to US (Jan 6 2012)
The teen, who ran away from home more than a year ago, was recently found in Bogota, Colombia, by the Dallas Police Department with help from Colombian and U.S. officials.
According to the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the girl was enrolled in the country’s “Welcome Home” program after she arrived there. She was given shelter, psychological assistance and a job at a call center, a statement from the agency said. When the Colombian government discovered she was a U.S. citizen and a minor, it put her under the care of a welfare program, the statement said.
Johnisa Turner said Jakadrien is a U.S. citizen who was born in Dallas and was not fluent in Spanish. She said neither she nor the teen’s father had ties to Colombia. Jakadrien’s grandmother, Lorene Turner, called the deportation a “big mistake somebody made.”
“She looks like a kid, she acts like a kid. How could they think she wasn’t a kid?” Lorene Turner asked on Thursday.
UK Guardian: 15-year-old girl deported mistakenly to Colombia returns to US (Jan 6 2012)
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity due to not being authorised to discuss additional details of the case, said Jakadrien was interviewed by a representative from the Colombian consulate and that country’s government issued her a travel document to enter Colombia. The official said standard procedure before any deportation is to co-ordinate with the other country in order to establish that person is from there.
The girl was given Colombian citizenship upon arriving.
The Colombian foreign ministry said Jakadrien was issued travel documents at the request of the US National Security Agency and with information submitted by US officials. Colombian officials are investigating what kind of verification was conducted by its Houston consulate to issue the temporary passport.
Washington Times: Texas teen deported to Colombia headed back to U.S. (Jan 6 2012)
Dallas Police detective C’mon (pronounced Simone) Wingo, the detective in charge of the case, explained that in August she was contacted by the girl’s grandmother, who said Jakadrien had posted “kind of disturbing” messages on a Facebook account where she goes by yet another name.
Wingo said the girl was located in early November through her use of a computer to log into Facebook. Relatives were then put into contact with the U.S. embassy in Bogota to provide pictures and documents to prove Jakadrien’s identity.
Lorene Turner, the grandmother of the girl, said she has spent a lot of time tracking down Jakadrien, whose family nickname is Kay-Kay.
At her work as a hairstylist, “in between customers I’d get on the computer looking for Kay-Kay, I was obsessed,” she said.
New York Daily News: Mistakenly deported Texas teen to return to United States (Jan 6 2012)
BBC: Colombia deportee Jakadien Turner returns to the US (Jan 6 2012)
There is still no explanation as to how US immigration authorities deported her to Colombia despite her having no Colombian ID and speaking no Spanish.
She apparently lived and worked in Bogota for several months before a relative found her via the internet.
Ms Turner’s grandmother, Lorene Turner, had contacted Dallas police when she found Jakadrien’s Facebook page – which she was operating under an assumed name.
KHOU: Texas teen deported to Colombia reunites with mom (Jan 6 2012)
Houston police said in a statement that her name was run through a database to determine if she was wanted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement but the results were negative. She was then turned over to the Harris County jail and booked on the theft charge.
The county sheriff’s office said it ran her through the available databases and did the interviews necessary to establish her identity and immigration status in the country, with negative results. A sheriff’s office employee recommended that an immigration detainer be put on her, and upon her release from jail she was turned over to ICE.
U.S. immigration officials insist they followed procedure and found nothing to indicate that the girl wasn’t a Colombian woman living illegally in the country.
CBS News: Mistakenly deported U.S. teen gets closer to home (Jan 6 2012)
Johnisa Turner said her daughter, a freshman at a Dallas high school, was experimenting with different hairstyles and clothes but “wasn’t a problem kid.” She was reluctant to go into any details about the deportation, saying she didn’t know any specifics.
“She didn’t have any reason to leave,” Lorene Turner said. “She lived in a nice home (with her mother and stepfather). We were very close. I don’t know why she left.”
L.A. Times: ‘Excited’ family awaits return of runaway teen from Colombia (Jan 6 2012)
Jakadrien’s family has questioned why U.S. officials didn’t do more to verify her identity, but U.S. immigration officials insist there was no sign the girl wasn’t a Colombian woman who had immigrated illegally.
No sign? Maybe the fact that she didn’t speak Spanish?
WFAA: Texas teen deported to Colombia reunites with mom (Jan 6 2012)
Stephen Yale-Loehr, who teaches immigration law at Cornell Law School, said hundreds of U.S. citizens are wrongfully detained or deported each year.
“There are a variety of legitimate reasons why somebody might not appear to be a U.S. citizen at first glance.” he said. “It’s the duty of the U.S. federal immigration agency to make sure that we do not detain and deport U.S. citizens erroneously. And this, unfortunately happened in this case.”
USA Today: to Colombia back in U.S. (Jan 7 2012)
The ICE official, speaking on condition of anonymity due to not being authorized to discuss additional details of the case, said the teenager was interviewed by a representative from the Colombian consulate and that country’s government issued her a travel document to enter Colombia.
Jakadrien was issued travel documents at the request of U.S. officials using information they provided, the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. Colombian officials are investigating what kind of verification was conducted by its Houston consulate to issue the temporary passport.
USA Today: Deported Texas teen reunites with family (Jan 7 2012)
Jakadrien’s family says they have no idea why she ended up in Colombia. Johnisa Turner said the girl is a U.S. citizen who was born in Dallas and was not fluent in Spanish. She said neither she nor the teen’s father had ties to Colombia. Jakadrien’s grandmother, Lorene Turner, called the deportation a “big mistake somebody made.”
Brownsville Herald: Texas teen deported to Colombia reunites with mom (Jan 7 2012)
The Age (Australia): Texan teen runaway deported to Colombia (Jan 7 2012)
Jakadrien Larise Turner, who is now 15, apparently reinvented herself as Tika Lanay Cortez, a 21-year-old illegal migrant from Bogota, when she was arrested in Houston last year on a theft charge.
In the weeks that followed, everyone who dealt with her – from the lawyer at her trial to the Colombian diplomat who met her before deportation – never suspected she was anyone other than who she claimed to be. Turner – who apparently speaks no Spanish – ran away from her Dallas area home in 2010 when her parents were getting a divorce, her grandmother Lorene Turner told local television station WFAA.
San Francisco Chronicle: Jakadrien Turner, deported teen, returned to U.S. (Jan 7 2012)
Houston Chronicle: Texas teen deported to Colombia reunites with mom (Jan 7 2012)
Washington Times: Texas teen deported to Colombia reunites with mom (Jan 7 2012)
Fox News Latino: Texas Teen Mistakenly Deported to Colombia is Back in US (Jan 7 2012)
Salon: Mother: Texas Teen Deported To Colombia Back In US (Jan 7 2012)
CBS Local DFW: Deported Dallas Teen Maintains Alias In Jail Calls (Feb 3 2012)
A Dallas teenager who was deported to South America under a false name never expressed concern during jailhouse phone calls that she was being misidentified as an illegal immigrant from Colombia.
The more than two dozen recorded telephone calls reviewed by The Associated Press show 15-year-old Jakadrien Turner expected to be deported to Colombia yet did not complain of having no ties to the country.
Instead, during several conversations she had with two men she identified herself as Tika Lanay Cortez and discussed renewing her green card and having her passport and Colombian identification card sent to authorities.
Turner says no one in Houston would believe her when she did tell the truth about who she was.
“It’s like the story of the boy that cried wolf,” Turner said. “I’ve lied multiple times before. I’ve never been honest. I’ve made a lot of stories up. I made the name up ‘Tika Cortez.”‘
KWTX: Mother Of Texas Teen Deported To Colombia Files Lawsuit (May 23 2012)
Johnisa Turner, whose runaway 15-year-old daughter Jakadrien Lorece Turner, was shipped to Colombia after providing a false name to authorities, has filed a civil rights suit against top federal officials claiming the girl was illegally detained and deported.
Johnisa Turner is seeking unspecified damages in the federal lawsuit filed Tuesday in Houston.
In April last year, Turner’s then-14-year-old daughter identified herself to authorities as a 21-year-old Colombian national after she was arrested for shoplifting.
She claimed to be an illegal immigrant even though she doesn’t speak Spanish.
CBS Local DFW: Mom Of Deported Dallas Teen Runaway Files Suit (May 23 2012)
The suit, filed Tuesday by Johnisa Turner on behalf of her daughter Jakadrien Turner, is asking for $15 million in damages. It also discloses publicly for the first time that while in Colombia, Jakadrien Turner became pregnant by a 29-year-old man.
… She subsequently was deported and spent seven months in Colombia living in shelters before she was returned to the U.S. in January after her grandmother and Dallas police tracked her down.
“Ms. Turner’s illegal detention and deportation are the direct and foreseeable consequence of official policies, patterns, practices and customs that manifest not only intentional discrimination based on race and ethnicity and a failure to recognize basic principles of due process, but also a reckless disregard for human life and liberty,” according to the lawsuit.