Immigration officials are looking into how a teenage girl from Dallas was mistakenly deported to Colombia in April.
Jakadrien Turner is now 15 and pregnant, and sitting in a Colombian jail while authorities there decide how to proceed, reports WFAA-TV
of Dallas-Fort Worth.
Turner had been arrested for shoplifting in Houston after running away from home at 14, purportedly because she was depressed over the death of her grandfather and the looming divorce of her parents, an explanation that has since been disputed. Turner gave police a fake name that belonged to a 22-year-old illegal immigrant from Colombia wanted on criminal charges in the United States.
Even though she knew no Spanish, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) sent the teen to Colombia, where authorities gave her a work card and released her. Turner was working as a maid when her grandmother, Lorene Turner, tracked her down on Facebook and alerted police.
“She talked about how they had her working in this big house cleaning all day, and how tired she was,” the grandmother told WFAA. She also accused ICE of shoddy work. “How do you deport a teenager and send her to Colombia without a passport, without anything?” she said.
An ICE statement released Tuesday said the agency is taking the matter “very seriously.”
“ICE is fully and immediately investigating this matter in order to expeditiously determine the facts of this case,” according to the statement.
Meanwhile, a comment posted about the story on Gawker.com by someone who claims to have inside information sheds some light on how Turner may have wound up in South America. Gawker poster “EmilyStutters” writes, “Here’s what I know, or at least what I’d be allowed to say.”
EmilyStutters claims that Turner ran away from home with her much-older drug-dealer boyfriend, who may have had ties to a drug cartel, and that she had angered the boyfriend’s criminal associates after the two split up in Houston. The fake name she gave police was that of a “drug mule/dealer” associated with the boyfriend, the poster maintains.
“After she was picked up, she lied every single step of the way,” writes EmilyStutters. “Had she said at any point that she was a U.S. citizen, she could have brought this whole thing to a halt.”
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