The Blame Game


First we start off with a weird story:

Dallas teen missing since 2010 was mistakenly deported

“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.

“They didn’t do their work,” Turner said. “How do you deport a teenager and send her to Colombia without a passport, without anything?”

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.

“I feel like she will come home,” the grandmother said with tears in her eyes. “I just need help and prayer.”

There are still many unanswered questions about how an African-American girl who speaks no Spanish is mistaken for a foreign national. Immigration officials are investigating and released a statement late Tuesday.


Then we get a lot of hysterical reactions by the usual suspects.

(ZOMG! Stormtroopers!)

Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

Things started to go wrong for young Jakadrien when she decided to run away from home. I’m gonna make a wild guess and say that there was probably a little bit more to this story than her being “distraught over the loss of her grandfather and her parents’ divorce.”

We aren’t told where she was or what she was doing until she gets arrested for theft 250 miles away in Houston. We also don’t know who she was with or how long she was gone before she got arrested. But when she is arrested she gives a fake name. This was her third mistake.

It’s fairly common for people to lie about their identity to the cops. But when the fake name turns out to have warrants it usually jogs the person’s memory. This is where it gets weird.

All Jakadrien had to do was give the cops her real name and it would take two seconds for them to confirm she was a runaway. Did she tell the police or the ICE agents her real name? Did she say anything at all during the deportation process? If not, why not?

So she gets deported to Columbia where she is issued a work card and is cleaning houses until her grandmother locates her via Facebook? Jakadrien has a Facebook account in Columbia and she isn’t contacting anyone back home? WTF?

David Dayen:

But this is a massive error. ICE is supposed to base their deportations on fingerprint matches. In this case, they based it off this fake name. Jakadrien’s identity was never confirmed. She’s African-American, not Hispanic. She doesn’t even speak Spanish.


Sorry Dave, but not everyone has fingerprints in the system that can be matched against. Lots of people in Columbia (as well as other parts of Central and South America) are of African descent. Many illegals don’t speak Spanish because they came here as little kids and grew up speaking English.

Here’s the big question: Why hasn’t Columbia sent her home yet?

Cases like this one don’t prove anything, except maybe you shouldn’t run away from home, steal and lie to the cops.


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52 Responses to The Blame Game

  1. DandyTiger says:

    If she were screaming the whole time, but I’m so and so, and ICE ignored here, that would be a whole different story. But if she were going along with the lie the whole time, then she basically was going along for the ride. Of course if there were finger prints to match, then ICE messed up.

    Wild story, even wilder reactions. Wonder why Colombia is holding her still. They could be stubborn assholes. Or there could be more to the story.

  2. It is an interesting study of the blamers based on what little we know and what she appears to have done. If you really want to pretend you’re an illegal alien who has committed crimes, and then actually commit one and get caught, you too can have a ride out of the country.

  3. WMCB says:

    *shrug* Mistakes get made. One obviously was made here, and the ICE agent should be routinely disciplined for not following protocol. Usually those mistakes (like failing to fingerprint her) would not result in a kid getting deported. That mistake likely would not have done so, either, except for HER failures and HER own wrong actions.

    In addition to myiq’s questions, I’m also curious how she readily knew the exact name of a Colombian female criminal. It must have been a distinctive name, as “Maria Gonzalez” would have gotten a lot more than one hit in the database. Did she know this Colombian woman? Were they hanging out together in Houston? Was she arrested in company with an entire Colombian gang? Lots of questions.

    I feel sorry for the girl, because she’s young and stupid, but guess what? Being young and stupid does not negate there being direct consequences to YOUR actions.

    • WMCB says:

      The fact that she had Facebook access in Colombia, and that the govt there is not wanting to release her, but now has her in a “detention facility” makes me even more suspicious that perhaps she was very involved with some Colombian drug criminals, was arrested in company with and deported along with them, and continued her association with them in Colombia.

      I could be wrong, but it reads like they are trying hard to not say that, but the pesky facts keep implying those questions.

      • votermom says:

        It really looks like she may have gotten used as a patsy by a drug ring. But she’s a minor and it’s very wrong that our legal system threw a minor citizen into a foreign country.
        Minors, as well as the mentally impaired, should get more protection.
        If she was blond and blue eyed would they have deported her to Finland if she picked a Finnish fake name?

    • myiq2xu says:

      There are always some cases that fall thru the cracks. Sometimes it’s a lazy ICE agent, sometimes it’s a bureaucratic snafu. Shit happens.

      That doesn’t mean the whole system is screwed up.

  4. DeniseVB says:

    When she initially ran away, did her parents and grandparents file a missing persons report. With a photo? She could have been in a database of runaway teens….or at least on a milk carton ?

    During my dd’s rebel without a clue years, about 14 or 15, she threatened to run away to a friend’s several states away where she’d “be loved and appreciated” yada, yada, yada.

    I said fine, but here’s what I’m going to do …. immediately report you to the local authorities as missing, give your photo and names of all your friends. That is my job as the parent of a minor. They WILL find you, but just not sure what they’ll do with you after. She never left 😀

    Raising teens, even under ideal family conditions, is the hardest job in the worrrrrrrrrld.

    • myiq2xu says:

      When my kids were teens and threatened to run away I offered to help them pack.

      • Lulu says:

        My daughter ran away when she was six. I made her a sandwich and she put it with toys and clothes in her little pink wheel barrow. I watched as she walked one half block and made a U turn. She said an owl watched her hooted at her and creeped her out so she came home. I watched her from the sidewalk. I never said a word.

      • foxyladi14 says:

        I did pack.but they came back. 😆

  5. Lulu says:

    There is a gang boyfriend somewhere in the mix. Houston is a major drug dispersal area for the rest of the US and she may have been being groomed to be a part of it. “How do you deport a teenager and send her to Colombia without a passport, without anything?” Most illegals do not have passports and that is part of the reason they are illegal. They try very hard not to have an identity especially if they are mixed up in illegal stuff. I hope she did not get so far into it all that her family can pull her out. She could have told ICE in five seconds who she was but her handlers did not want her to do so and so she did not. I guess she did not like the house cleaning part while she was waiting to be smuggled back in. She’s fourteen and she has the right to change her mind and come home. But this is not ICE’s fault.

  6. myiq2xu says:

    Now here’s a screw-up:

    A Vietnamese immigrant charged with theft was mistakenly placed on trial in a Florida court as the defendant in a murder trial-despite his cries of, “Not me, not me.” No one, not even the attorney of the murder defendant, noticed the mistake for two days, when finally the judge declared a mistrial.

    […]

    The Vietnamese immigrant wrongly tried in the Florida court was Hen Van Nguyen, who, in 1985, was booked in county jail on suspicion he was behind a rash of petty thefts.

    Two witnesses in the murder trial even identified Nguyen as the murderer. The actual murder defendant, Ngoc Tieu Nguyen, also a Vietnamese, was in another cell at the county jail.

    Even Tieu Nguyen’s lawyer, who had talked to him for an hour just two weeks before the trial, did not notice he had the wrong defendant.

    Hen Van Nguyen spoke little English, and protested, “Not me, not me.” Near the end of the trial someone recognized him as the wrong defendant and the judge declared a mistrial.

  7. yttik says:

    She got a work permit and a job???! Dang, I wish somebody would deport me to Columbia.

  8. foxyladi14 says:

    so that’s where jobs are. 😦

  9. Lola-at-Large says:

    While you ask some of the same questions I had, especially with regard to Facebook, I think it’s important to remember here that she was a 14 year old girl at the time, and remains a minor today. Surely some sympathy can be mustered for that. What a horror this must have been for her, even if she did go along for whatever reason her teenaged mind came up with. I’m a little uncomfortable with the level of blame in this thread considering the fact of her age.

    • votermom says:

      I agree with you – I’m not blaming her – I am wondering what the hell was so wrong at home that she would rather get deported?
      I hope she gets help.

      • sandress says:

        A lot of the girls who run away at that age are being chronically sexually abused, and a lot of the girls who deal with that kind of shit would probably rather be arrested or even deported than go back home to the abuse.

    • lisadawn82 says:

      I feel the same. Just a kid. Just how did they pick Columbia to deport her to?

      • Lola-at-Large says:

        That’s where the immigrant whose name she used was from.

        I was a runaway. Bigtime. I hitchhiked across the country on no less than five occasions, starting when I was 13, because I was so troubled by my circumstances. One time, when I was 14, some guy took me to his apartment and made out with me. He then stuck me in an outside hallway storage closet so his mom wouldn’t find me. It was March and still quite cold.

        He told me he’d be back to get me in a few hours. I slept in that closet for a day and a half waiting for him because I was as stupid as a box of rocks and inexperienced to boot. He was never coming back, but I didn’t realize for some time. When I hear about runaways or troubled teenagers making stupid passive decisions like this, I think back to those two days and it’s easy to see how people can fuck up so monumentally.

        I can’t assign a single iota of blame to this girl. At 14, she cannot be held responsible for her “decisions.” And she’s certainly not to blame for the decisions of ICE.

        • elliesmom says:

          One of my students called me late one bitter cold night from our local train station. She had started to run away, but had changed her mind and was afraid to go home. I went to the train station and got her, but I had a hard time convincing her that the local juvenile officer at the police station would help us. I explained that she could spend the night at my house, but that I needed legal permission to take her home with me. I also told her that someone who knew how to approach the situation needed to go to her house and make sure that no one was hurt and needing help. It took a lot of pleading with her to trust that I knew what I was doing. She was convinced the cops would take her away from me send her to a shelter. But the police were wonderful. They went to her house and made sure that her mother had calmed down. They got written permission from her for both of her children to stay with me for several days so that her brother could feel safe, too. But kids today don’t see the police as being supportive of them. Somewhere along the way the friendly cop that used to help us cross the street after school has become someone to fear.

    • elliesmom says:

      Was the person whose identity she took also a minor? I had 14 year old students who by the way they dressed and comported themselves could have easily passed for 18 or 19, and they hadn’t been aged by living on the street. If the police believed that she was over 18, then they would have had no reason to treat her like a child. While I have lots of sympathy for this child, and she is a child, I don’t think we can assume that the agents who sent her to Colombia knew they were sending a 14 year old. When kids get themselves into trouble, the situation often spins itself out of control, and they don’t have the maturity or resources to gain control back. Added to that is that they often place their trust in the people who got them into the situation and reject help from the people most able to give it to them.

    • WMCB says:

      I don’t think it’s so much blame as it is “let’s look at the actual reasons why this happened”. Those reasons are a lot more complicated, and a lot more to do with the girl, than to do with “ICE is a bunch of horrible oppressive stormtroopers who out of the blue deported this poor innocent child just because they can”. Which is basically how it’s being portrayed by the blogs Myiq linked.

      I don’t condemn the girl. I don’t judge her. She’s young. She’s stupid. Been there, done that, have great sympathy. But as I said, being young and stupid does not mean that your behavior has no consequences, and any bad thing that happens must have been someone else’s fault. Nope, sometimes it’s your own damn fault.

  10. Karma says:

    It gets worse. The girl is pregnant, and yes there is a drug dealing boyfriend, who seems to have upset people and made her fearful of being returned home, so she used a fake name.

    http://gawker.com/5873138/teen-girl-mistakenly-deported-now-trapped-in-foreign-prison-and-pregnant

    Ran across the story at Gawker yesterday. In the thread there is an immigration lawyer (EmilyStutters) who seems to have some inside knowledge about the case and promptly gets jumped on for offering it.

    • WMCB says:

      In the thread there is an immigration lawyer (EmilyStutters) who seems to have some inside knowledge about the case and promptly gets jumped on for offering it.

      Karma, that’s because this girl is now the official left-blogosphere martyr-du-jour to Bush’s (never Obama’s) evil evil policies. Therefore an intelligent discussion will be impossible, just as it was with Assange. She is either a pure angel martyr, unjustly persecuted, OR you are calling her a filthy criminal whore who deserved what she got. No rational middle ground allowed.

      Pom poms, and get cheering, or baseball bats. Pick one. That’s the mindset.

    • djmm says:

      I would call her a statutory rape victim. I hope she gets the help she needs to get her life back on track.

      djmm

  11. ralphb says:

    Since last year ICE deported about 4000 US citizens, it would seem you don’t have to be involved with a drug gang or be a dirty whore to have issues. Facts are a bitch for the challenged.

    In The Rush To Deport, Expelling U.S. Citizens

    A record 396,000 people were deported from the country during the federal fiscal year that just ended. Some were caught in raids, while others were detained by ICE after being arrested by local police. But Northwestern University political science professor Jacqueline Stevens says some of those held weren’t illegal immigrants at all.

    “I think it’s pretty fair to say that there’s a low but persistent rate of people who are being held by ICE in violation of the law, who are U.S. citizens,” Stevens says.
    (…)
    Stevens says the way deportation proceedings are conducted causes problems. Unlike criminal courts, immigration courts have few checks.

    “I’ve never seen an ICE agent who filed an arrest report appear in an immigration proceeding,” Stevens says. “Not once, and I’ve watched literally hundreds of these cases and not once do they have to go to court to be interrogated by a judge about the accuracy of the information that’s presented.”

    Stevens looked at about 8,000 cases in just two immigration detention facilities. She found that about 1 percent of the time, people were eventually let go because they were U.S. citizens. However, that meant the citizens were held between one week and four years in detention.

    Stevens says that when members of Congress hear the figure is 1 percent, they think it’s not bad.

    “However, if we think about the magnitude of our deportation process, that means that thousands of U.S. citizens each year and tens of thousands in the course of a decade will be detained for substantial periods of time in absolute violation of the law and their civil rights,” she says.

    In other words, in the rush to deport record numbers of illegal immigrants, the government may also be deporting people who aren’t illegal immigrants at all.

    As far as (emilystutters) goes, some of her facts are clearly wrong. Consider that she says the girl left home because she was pregnant with the older guy’s child. Well, she is pregnant now. If she was pregnant in Sept, 2010 it’s highly improbable she is still pregnant or pregnant again. Count the months, she’s African-American but not an elephant.

    That (emilystutters) is repeating a second or third hand story she had heard and has about as much credibility as wmcb’s comment about the Columbian drug gangs etc, which is none..

    If you want to know why she was arrested in the first place, shoplifting, it’s in the original and follow up Dallas Morning News stories.

    • votermom says:

      Even one citizen deported is too many, imo. If the consequences for ICE deportation “errors” were severe enough they would not be messing up like this.

      • WMCB says:

        Really? I agree that one is too many, but you really think that severe penalties for agents is going to eventually result in a zero error rate?

        I just don’t think that’s ever possible in the real world, or something that can be realistically demanded.

    • WMCB says:

      So out of almost 400,000 deported, 4000 citizens were held in error. Note that we do not know the circumstances of all of those, but it stands to reason that at least some of them were due to things like giving false names, etc as this young girl did.

      That means that the error rate for ICE re: US citizens is less than 1%. Do those errors need to be addressed, and they strive to do a better job? Absolutely. I’m not arguing against that.

      Also, you said that those 4000 were deported. The article does not say that. It says that 1% were detained, some for as little as a week. So no, 4000 US citizens were not deported. You are wrong on that.

      The profession or job does not exist where the error rate is ZERO. It’s not reality, it does not happen. Do everything possible, more training, more staffing, whatever, to try to keep the error rate as low as possible,

      But truthfully, a 1% error rate is not the end of the world or a sign of the approaching Nazi apocalypse.

      • WMCB says:

        Just as an aside, reactions like those now flying around the blogosphere could be feeding the problem, not helping to solve it. Sounds counter-intuitive, but bear with me.

        Lees consequence for minor errors resulting in a lower error rate can be true of any profession where a small error can have dire consequences. It’s true in medicine and nursing, where errors can be life and death. Errors don’t get tracked and addressed, systems aren’t put in place to find out where they are occurring (or if they are, everyone fails to report.) You know why? Because of fear. Because the reaction to a normal rate of error is “ZOMG!!!” Because they fear just the sort of headlines and reactions that we are seeing now, if the error rate were public knowledge.

        But the reality is that people are going to make mistakes. It is an utterly unreasonable expectation to require certain professions to have a zero error rate, at risk of total professional annihilation if any errors are made at all. Sorry, but no one is superhuman – least of all those who work in extremely high stress professions like, say, a cop, or an ICE agent, or a doctor or nurse.

        Many hospitals are now instituting an error-reporting system that allows employees to submit data on errors without there being fear of adverse consequences if they report. (These are for situations where a patient was not seriously harmed – there are different requirements for that.) What they are finding is that when you take the stigma away from reporting errors, the error rate goes up at first (because stuff is being accurately tracked for the first time ever), then goes waaaaay down. Because they now have a handle on what the problem areas actually are, they can come up with ways to re-design their processes to make those errors less likely. It can be as simple as changing the font on the medication forms, because the checkboxes are confusingly off-center, so there were constant errors as nurses misread which box was checked.

        So long as everyone if terrified to report errors, you never get that data to see where the problems are.

    • DandyTiger says:

      Facts are a bitch for the challenged.

      You got that part right. Most of your facts are wrong of course.

    • myiq2xu says:

      I have made hundreds of shoplifting arrests. After we arrested someone we called the cops.

      Adults are normally cited and released by the police unless they have no ID or they have warrants. Minors cannot be cited and released – they have to be released to a parent (or guardian) or they are taken to a juvenile facility.

      In this case the girl gave a false identity – one that matched an adult who had a warrant and who was an illegal alien. If she had told the truth she would have been taken back to Dallas to her grandmother’s. Because she lied she was treated like the person she claimed to be – an illegal immigrant adult.

      Mistakes happen. The issue is whether the authorities acted reasonably and followed procedure.

      • DandyTiger says:

        They couldn’t possibly have acted reasonably because someone who has now been turned into a martyr was involved. Sorry, I don’t make the rules.

    • Karma says:

      Welcome back. And do you seriously think anyone here is calling her a ‘dirty whore’? Snap out of it, dude, she is a baby! How could anyone with a heart not feel for her or anyone in that situation? Take a deep breath and relax.

      As far as EmilyStutters it was meant to provide more info to the conversation, it wasn’t some proof offered in stone. Geez…it was from Gawker…lol

      It was simply a link I ran across the night before that tied into the topic. But as far as I can tell, EmilyStutters looks like one of the good guys. She is an immigration lawyer who is battling to improve those stats you quote.

      Without a doubt, being scared and lying to police created a series of events which shouldn’t have resulted in that young girl being in Columbia. If her fear is due to her drug dealing boyfriend or even just a strict home life, it doesn’t negate her participation in the whole mess. Nor does it negates ICE’s substantial failures.

      And while you seem to think that the pregnancy thing proves something or other. I would suggest to you that an abortion in the US could resolve any timeline issues. And her current pregnancy might even be the real reason she is being held, to force her to conceive the baby since Columbia isn’t exactly abortion friendly.

      So while you offer assumptions of elephant births to debate facts, there are a lot worse things that were running through my mind. Like being forced to have a baby when your body is too young.

      Once again, welcome back. I seriously mean that, but you’re implying a lot with that post that isn’t true.

    • Karma says:

      And I re-read what EmilyStutters wrote because your version didn’t ring a bell. It wasn’t Emily’s facts that were ‘clearly wrong’….you read her wrong and jumped to elephant assumptions and slinging slurs.

      But either way, no one here was calling that girl such names, but you.

  12. Jim says:

    The thing is, authorities are supposed to question suspects in order to see if they are telling the truth, and if the story they give actually holds up. Unless she is a serious con artist, her story should have fallen apart like a house of cards after a few questions. How all these agencies managed to accept her story at face value is baffling.

    • myiq2xu says:

      So the cops say “Are you Jim?” and you say “Yes” even though you really aren’t Jim.

      Then they say “We have a warrant for your arrest” and you say nothing so they take you to jail.

      How much investigation of your identity do you think they’ll do? Cops usually assume that if you’re not Jim (or you’re the wrong Jim) that you will speak up and say something.

      • votermom says:

        Rules are different if it’s a kid.

        • WMCB says:

          Did they know she was a kid? Or not the kid of one of the other Colombians detained?

          We don’t know.

        • myiq2xu says:

          Only when the cops know it’s a kid.

          Minors have to be detained and transported separately from adults, even when they are being tried in adult courts.

      • Jim says:

        More like “what’s your name?” “how old are you” “where you from?” “how about an address?” “what are you doing this far from home?” Then they look at the print-out of the wanted fugitive and see if it stacks up. Then they send in big officer Joey who stands over her with a skeptical eye and says “time to start telling the truth, young lady”

        But I guess that means I can turn myself in and say I’m an illegal immigrant from Tahiti, and a few days later I’ll find myself in an island paradise with no questions asked and no cost to myself.

  13. myiq2xu says:

    Colombia handing over Dallas runaway on Friday

    Jakadrien Turner’s story is a bizarre one.

    She ran away from her Oak Cliff home a year-and-a-half ago, ended up in Houston, got arrested for shoplifting, and lied and said she was from Colombia.

    Then – without a thorough check – the U.S. deported the teenage runaway in April 2011.

    Her determined grandmother, using Facebook, found her in South America and alerted police.

    “No, I’m not mad at her,” Lorene said. “I love her. Children make mistakes.”

    Thursday night, Colombia issued its own statement saying: “She told the U.S. Magistrate she was a Colombian citizen of age. The Colombian consulate in Houston expedited a temporary passport to her. Once she arrived we initiated a search for her family. In the meantime, we did a psychological evaluation, then put her to work in a call center.”

    Jakadrien even posted that call center job on her Facebook page.

    Her reasons for running away remain a mystery.

  14. Pingback: Jakadrien Turner Update « The Crawdad Hole

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