Teenager Missing Since 2010 Was Accidentally Deported To Colombia

A truly bizarre story from Dallas that, quite honestly, raises questions about the entire immigration system:

DALLAS – “It’s very frustrating,” Lorene Turner said.

She has spent hours on Facebook trying to find her granddaughter, Jakadrien.

“Once I get home I am up until 3 or 4 in the morning searching and looking,” Turner said. “It’s all I can think about. Finding my baby.”

Turner has been searching for Jakadrien since the fall of 2010, when she ran away from home. She was 14 years old and distraught over the loss of her grandfather and her parents’ divorce.

Turner searched for months for a clue.

“God just kept leading me,” she said. “I wake up in the middle of the night and do whatever God told me to do, and I found her.”

Turner said with the help of Dallas Police, she found her granddaughter in the most unexpected place – Colombia.

Where she had mistakenly been deported by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in April of 2011.

How, exactly, could a minor who had been reported missing in 2010 end up getting deported almost a year later? Well…..

News 8 learned that Jakadrien somehow ended up in Houston, where she was arrested by Houston police for theft. She gave Houston police a fake name. When police in Houston ran that name, it belonged to a 22-year-old illegal immigrant from Colombia, who had warrants for her arrest.

So ICE officials stepped in.

News 8 has learned ICE took the girl’s fingerprints, but somehow didn’t confirm her identity and deported her to Colombia, where the Colombian government gave her a work card and released her.

“She talked about how they had her working in this big house cleaning all day, and how tired she was,” Turner said.

Through her granddaughter’s Facebook messages, Turner says she tracked Jakadrian down.

U.S. Federal authorities got an address. U.S. Embassy officials in Colombia asked police to pick her up.

But that was a month ago, and the Colombian government now has her in a detention facility and won’t release her, despite her family’s request.

So a 14 year old runaway gives the cops a fake name. Not exactly an uncommon occurrence one would think. Somehow, that also happens to be the name of an illegal immigrant. They hand her over to ICE, but ICE never bothers to verify her identiy and instead just dumps her in Colombia. Bizzare to say the least.

And then there are the actions of Colombia itself, which is apparently refusing to release someone who is at least a legal resident of the United States and may be a citizen (the article is not clear on whether Jakadrien was born in the United States)? What’s up with that?

FILED UNDER: Borders and Immigration, Crime, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Just nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    I’ve needed a laugh all day. Thanks!

  2. bandit says:

    Another day in Obama’s Amerikkka

  3. DRS says:

    Radley Balko is also covering this story on The Agitator blog.

  4. Lifetime(tm) movie executives just wet themselves.

  5. It should be noted this happens to hundreds of people every year:

    http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2010/07/report_hundreds_of_us_citizens.html

    But they’re almost all minorities, so the anti-immigrants probably see this is as a bonus.

  6. rodney dill says:

    @john personna: Except the writers will have to make her a prostitute for a drug lord in Columbia, instead of a cleaning lady, to make the movie marketable..

  7. Bill Jempty says:

    Doug,

    I’ve blogged about the stupidity of ICE and our immigration system countless times. The Widow Penalty which I wrote about here at OTB, The widow of a Dead Marine being denied residency, United States citizens who were either deported or held by Immigration for months. Less than a decade ago there was the case of a US citizen who had been mistakenly deported who then was arrested when they tried to re-enter the United States. Even though they could prove their citizenship, for a while Justice Department attorneys insisted on prosecuting the person. Or read this

    In a stinging ruling, a Los Angeles federal judge said immigration officials’ alleged decision to withhold a critical medical test and other treatment from a detainee who later died of cancer was “beyond cruel and unusual” punishment.

    *****

    Castaneda, who suffered from penile cancer, died Feb. 16. Before his release from custody last year, the government had refused for 11 months to authorize a biopsy for a growing lesion, even though voluminous government records showed that several doctors said the test was urgently needed, given Castaneda’s condition and a family history of cancer, Pregerson said.

    But rather than test and treat Castaneda, government officials told him to be patient and prescribed antihistamines, ibuprofen and extra boxer shorts, the judge wrote in a decision released late Tuesday.

    Don’t even get me started on how my brother-in-law(A Filipino musician) ended up being barred for 10 years from entering the united states because he overstayed his visa by one day!. THe United States Immigration system isn’t just broken but an outrage.

  8. @rodney dill:

    Except the writers will have to make her a prostitute for a drug lord in Columbia, instead of a cleaning lady, to make the movie marketable..

    I’m afraid you’ve touched my worry for why Colombia did not freely release her.

  9. MstrB says:

    @john personna: The incarceration in Columbia will be a nice break from the typical Locked Up Abroad story line of “Hi, I’m a dumb European/American/Australian who went to (insert 3rd world country) and tried to smuggle drugs.”

  10. MstrB says:

    @Stormy Dragon: To be fair, the mistaken deportation of Americans account for less than 1% of deportations, while its not perfect its going to be hard to find any private or public program that runs at an error rate that low. Its not a reason to stop doing it, its a reason to make improvements to how the legal right to be here is determined.

  11. @MstrB: If one person’s liberty is unduly stolen from them by a government program, it must be stopped. Period. That is the worst thing we can do to a man, outside of *maybe* taking their life.

    @bandit: What in the heck does this have to do with Obama!?

  12. @MstrB:

    That would be true if there weren’t obvious fixes that could be put in place, but that the government refuses to consider. For example, thanks to the “only citizens have rights” brand of conservatism, once the ICE gets it’s hands on you, the burden of proof is on you to prove you are a citizen, rather than on the government to prove you aren’t. This is backward to begin with, but then it’s further complicated by the fact it’s pretty hard to do so (unless you’re wealthy enough to hire a big gun immigration lawyer of course) because you don’t have any guarantee of Due Process rights while in immigration detention.

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    It almost happened to me when “a large Hispanic male” got a hold of my identity (probably from one of my many trips SOB) fortunately I am 5-9, 150, blond and blue eyed. The cop just didn’t buy it. (for 45 mins he entered my data and kept coming back with “L-H-M”) When I called ICE they refused to tell me anything because I was not related to the “fugitive”.

    No, I’m just the guy you have an arrest warrant out for. Funny thing… 2 days later it all disappeared. Never did figure out what was going on.

    @bandit: And that was ’02-03′ for whatever diff it might make.