After searching for her missing granddaughter since November of 2010, Lorene Turner finally discovered her whereabouts - Columbia. Apparently, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) wrongfully deported Jakadrien Turner, 15, in April of 2011. The question on everyone's mind is: How did this happen? Especially to an American teen.
According to Ms. Turner, then 14-year old Jakadrien became distraught over the simultaneous death of her grandfather and parents' divorce. She ran away from her family home in Dallas and somehow made it to Houston where she was eventually arrested for theft. She gave a fake name. Unfortunately, the name she provided matched the identity of a 22-year old illegal immigrant from Colombia with warrants out for her arrest.
Now, here's my question: Knowing it's commonplace for people who come in contact with police to sometimes give a fake name in order to avoid more serious punishment, why didn't ICE confirm this young girl's identity before deporting her to a foreign country?
ICE took Jackadrien's fingerprints, but when they were unable to confirm her identity (probably due to some bureaucratic mix-up or oversight), they deported her anyway - an African American minor who didn't even speak the language. Red flags should have gone up all over the place. Not to mention the fact that it should've been impermissible, even illegal, for ICE to deport this child to a foreign country by herself. If nothing else, the child's family or guardians in her "native" land should have been identified, contacted and transported to an agreed-upon pick up location, either in the U.S., at the Colombian Embassy or at an appropriate Colombian government facility.
There is absolutely no excuse for doing what ICE did. Anything could have happened to this child. And, for all we know, bad things did happen to her once she was dropped off on foreign soil to fend for herself.
Lucky for Jakadrien, her family didn't consider her a throwaway like ICE apparently did. Her grandmother searched for her diligently from the moment of her disappearance, combing social networks and other resources until she came across a clue on Facebook. That clue turned into the eventual discovery of Jakadrien in Colombia where she was working as a cleaner. It seems the Colombian government issued the teen a work card upon her arrival in the country.
Check out brief news clips of story (below).
The Colombian government has since been informed of the "accidental" deportation and has placed Jakadrien into custody. She has now spent over a month in detention and it was recently discovered that she is pregnant. To make matters worse, the Colombian government refuses to release Jakadrien into the custody of her family. In effect, Jakadrien is in limbo and it is all courtesy of the U.S. government.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
Would ICE have been so quick to deport an underage white teen under the exact same circumstances and characteristics as Jakadrien (underage, no confirmation of identity, doesn't speak language of supposed native country, etc)?