American Girl, Jakadrien Turner, Deported To Colombia By Mistake
… or so we’re told. 14 year-old Jakadrien Turner, a Dallas native, ran away back in 2010 after the devastating loss of her grandfather coupled with the harsh reality of her parents’ divorce. Her grandmother, Lorene, has spent nearly every waking moment since then trying to locate her. Nothing could have prepared her for what she would eventually find out.
The good news, of course, is that Jakadrien is alive. The unbelievable news, is that she was mistakenly deported to Colombia by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Turner speaks no Spanish whatsoever and was found with the help of the Dallas Police Department.
How in the hell does Immigration make the mistake of deporting an African-American girl who speaks no Spanish to Colombia? Did they not even check her social security number? Didn’t someone question her?
Well, it turns out that Turner had been arrested in Houston for stealing. She gave the police there a fake name, and that name belonged to a 22 year-old Colombian illegal immigrant. Thus, she was shipped off to Colombia.
OK, so the young lady isn’t exactly blameless here. This raises another question, though. Wasn’t there a picture that went with that name when the police ran it? If not, there’s no way the name alone should have been enough to deport her. People accused of crimes use aliases all the time. Surely there has to be a way to further validate a person’s identity besides taking them at their word that they are who they say they are.
Furthermore, ICE took Turner’s fingerprints but failed to verify her identity. To make matters worse, Turner was released in Colombia and given a work card, but she has since been held in a detention facility by the government. Government officials refuse to release her.
ICE released a statement regarding the matter, through Director of Public Affairs Brian Hale:
“ICE takes these allegations very seriously. At the direction of [the Department of Homeland Security], ICE is fully and immediately investigating this matter in order to expeditiously determine the facts of this case.”
Is it just me, or are internal investigations becoming more and more popular responses to government screw-ups?
We now await the same types of negotiations, public outcry, and celebrity involvement that Amanda Knox, Laura Ling, and Euna Lee received.