Dallas Teen Deported To Colombia Back In North Texas

keyframe36 e1325902675408 Dallas Teen Deported To Colombia Back In North Texas

Jakadrien Lorece Turner

DALLAS (AP) – A 15-year-old Texas girl who was deported in May to South America after claiming to be an illegal immigrant was back in the United States and at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on Friday evening.

The teen was deported to Colombia after claiming to be an illegal immigrant.  She is now 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.

“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.”

Her mother, Johnisa Turner, told the Associated Press that she planned to meet her daughter when she arrives in Dallas Friday evening..

“Our day has been hectic, hers is, too,” Turner said. “Just as long as she makes it home, just as long as she gets here.”

Turner said she has “a gazillion questions” for Jakadrien. Federal and local officials may have plenty, as well.

The saga began when the teen ran away more than a year ago. Jakadrien’s family said she left home in November 2010. Houston police said the girl was arrested on April 2, 2011, for misdemeanor theft in that city and claimed to be Tika Lanay Cortez, a Colombian woman born in 1990. It was unclear if she has been living under that name.

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.

An ICE official said the teen claimed to be Cortez throughout the criminal proceedings in Houston and the ensuing deportation process, in which an immigration judge ultimately ordered her back to Colombia.

Standard procedure before any deportation is to coordinate with the other country in order to establish that person is from there, the ICE official said.

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.

The girl was given Colombian citizenship upon arriving in that country, the ICE official said.

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.

“If she looked like an adult, and she told them she was a 21-year-old Colombian citizen, and she didn’t show up in their databases, this was inevitable,” said Albert Armendariz, an immigration attorney from El Paso.

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.”

“She looks like a kid, she acts like a kid. How could they think she wasn’t a kid?” Lorene Turner asked on Thursday.

Lorene Turner, a Dallas hairstylist, said she spent a lot of time on the Internet trying to track down Jakadrien.

Ultimately, the girl was found in Bogota by the Dallas Police Department with help from Colombian and U.S. officials.

Dallas Police detective C’mon (pronounced Simone) Wingo, the detective in charge of the case, said she was contacted in August 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.

Colombian officials said when the government discovered she was a U.S. citizen and a minor, it put her under the care of a welfare program.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the case was brought to the State Department’s attention in mid-December.

“We didn’t have any involvement at all in this case until it came to light that there may be a problem with an American minor in Colombia, and that — and then we became involved both with Colombian authorities and with folks in Dallas,” Nuland said.

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.”

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(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


One Comment

  1. loki laufeyson says:

    Hmmm. I’ve always wanted to visit Ireland. I wonder if I could get a free trip there compliments of ICE if I tell them that I’m an illegal Irish immigrant named Patty O’Table?

    1. Mitchell B. Sandlin says:

      This little criminal was using a false ID and was in jail for theft. She should not face the theft charges if she has not already. If she wewre a boy I would call her a punk. What is a name for a girl punk?

      1. Gumby Rules says:

        “What is a name for a girl punk?”


      2. sadiedog says:

        tram# , bitc# or slu#

      3. Paul says:

        La punka? punquita?

  2. Bill Haley says:

    There is SO much more to this story. The girl didn’t want to come back, Momma did not do anything to find her, Grand Ma did all the detective work. Why blame ICE? Who in their right mind clings to a false story of ID all the way through the process and court appearances? She never spoke up so…
    Another article says the girl is pregnant too. Sounds like she was having a blast down there!

    1. Ms. PI says:

      I totally agree with you Bill. I give her a year and she will be gone again

      1. William says:

        Just after the lawsuit is settled.

    2. Cheryl Cheney Fox says:

      I agree, the brat ran away from home and her loving grandmother was sick with worry. Of course they found a way to make money by suing! Just listen to her lawyer.. He could care less about the family, he only cares how much money he can make!! Sickening…

      1. Ms. PI says:

        I hope they won’t get a dime. Yea the lawyer definitely don’t care and looking at the Mom she don’t either. I’m pretty sure the girl will be living with her grandma

  3. Jack Kraatz says:

    She lied. She is the only one responsible for her trip south.

  4. Valerie says:

    This story is so twisted by the media right now making her look like she is a victim where in fact she is the cause of all of this trouble. The family should be forced to pay back all of the money the people have had to put out to get her back in Texas. She ran away from home, she shoplifted and was arrested for it, she lied to the officials, she said she was an ilegal from columbia. She got a free trip home. So why did she run away in the first place CPS now needs to get involved.

    1. Ms. PI says:

      Exactly. That’s what I need to know why was she running away and how she got to Houston. Nobody asking those questions just worrying about Columbia. We need to start at the beginning. We know how she got to Columbia because she lied and by the looks of it she was not looking for her family. Grand ma was searching day and night. I’m praying for the grandma God give her strength I’m pretty sure her mamma wasn’t in her life anyway. Didn’t see a tear drop from her face

  5. Incensed! says:

    I hate how the media is totally spinning this story! She wasn’t interested enough to tell the truth and now they plan to sue ICE for their brat daughter’s inconvenience? This is insanity! I say instead of the government (read-Tax payers) giving a boatload of cash to the family, instead, send her pregnant butt back to Columbia and call it a day.

    1. Doc says:

      I agree. She lies and steals yet someone else is to blame??? Now they want their big payday in court. Typical.

  6. Ben says:

    Lock her up.

  7. Paul says:

    Colombian gals are usually hot .. Are they sure she’s from there??? ugh

  8. FedUpTxn says:

    She created her own problems with her own behavior. One big question is how she got the ID of a known criminal in the first place. What I’d like to know, is how much did it cost American tax-payers to deport her, track her down, and get her back? It shouldn’t cost us ONE DIME! Now that she is pregnant, I’m sure she be on the welfare roles as well and become yet more of a burden. She should have been left there where she at the very least had a job!

  9. R. C. says:

    Everyone on this board is not thinking. Do you really think a 14 year old came up with this. This has adult manipulation written all over it. Why do you think she used that name out of all of the names in the world. I bet she has been exploited since she left Dallas. She was probably coached on how to get deported. And how do you think a 14 year old can just start a life in a country where she doesn’t know the language? Come on people, obviously there is a lot more to this. Don’t be so quick to judge.

Comments are closed.

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