Jakadrien Turner Update

A few answers, but questions still remain.

Texas Teen Deported to Colombia Could Soon Return

U.S. immigration officials said they’re investigating the circumstances of the case involving Jakadrien Lorece Turner. But they insist they followed procedure and found nothing to indicate that the girl wasn’t — as she claimed — a woman from Colombia illegally living in the U.S.

The girl, who ran away from home more than a year ago, was recently found in Bogota, Colombia, by the Dallas Police Department with help from Colombian and U.S. officials.

The Colombian government said late Thursday that the U.S. Embassy had submitted the necessary documents for Jakadrien to return to the U.S, though it was unclear when she might be back.


According to the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the girl was enrolled in the country’s “Welcome Home” program after she arrived. She was given shelter, psychological assistance and a job at a call center, a statement from the agency said. When the Colombian government discovered she was a U.S. citizen, it put her under the care of a welfare program, the statement said.

Her grandmother called the deportation a “big mistake somebody made” and said U.S. officials need to do better.

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

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.

An Immigration and Customs Enforcement official told The Associated Press on Thursday that the teen claimed to be Cortez throughout the criminal proceedings and the ensuing deportation process, in which an immigration judge ultimately ordered her back to Colombia.

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

The girl was given Colombian citizenship upon arriving there, the ICE official said.

The Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Jakadrien was issued travel documents at the request of the U.S. National Security Agency and with information submitted by U.S. officials. Colombian officials are investigating what kind of verification was conducted by its Houston consulate to issue the temporary passport.

It was not clear if the teen might be charged upon her return for falsifying her identity in a criminal process.

Dallas Police detective C’mon Wingo, the detective in charge of the case, explained that in August she was contacted 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 put into contact with the U.S. embassy in Bogota to provide pictures and documents to prove Jakadrien’s identity.

We have different identification systems in this country. Some, like Social Security and school records aren’t much use in tracking down people who don’t want to be found. Most people don’t enter the criminal justice identification system until they get arrested. Illegal aliens don’t typically have any identification from the United States.

So if Jakadrien Turner claimed to be a illegal immigrant from Columbia, how would you prove otherwise? I fingerprint check would come back negative. They didn’t know her real name and there was no reason to connect her to a runaway report in another city.

I don’t see how ICE can be blamed for this.

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22 Responses to Jakadrien Turner Update

  1. Lulu says:

    They can’t because they did not do anything wrong. Neither did the Colombians. She got mixed up in something and then changed her mind which she is allowed to do, but she is going to be in a bit of trouble.

  2. votermom says:

    You know what this story proves? If you are trying to go into hiding, stay away from Facebook.

    This kid needs help.

  3. As far as I’ve seen so far, I also don’t see what ICE/DHS has done wrong. If you really, really stick to your lie about your identity, and it’s an identity that can’t be verified, there’s nothing anyone can do short of interrogating or beating the truth out of you, which would be strange if they have no reason to suspect you’re lying.

    I understand of course the sad and tragic situation of this girl. And it will be great that she can be returned. I’m not sure she’d want to go back to her family, but we’ll see.

    I did hear that the family wants to sue all parties involved.

    • DandyTiger says:

      Aren’t you and myiq paid by DHS? That’s what I heard anyway.

    • Lulu says:

      On what grounds for a suit? That they aren’t clairvoyant? She was caught stealing in Houston? Was she running away with the circus? She did not feed and house herself for a year. Who did she live with in the US.

      • DandyTiger says:

        How could you? She’s now an official martyr for the left. She couldn’t have done anything wrong, and anything that happened to her is because other mean people did bad things. Sheesh. /snark

        • votermom says:

          I don’t like how they are using her as a cause du jour, but I hope she gets help and not incarceration.

        • Lulu says:

          Me too, but they have to know the truth with what she was doing before she got shipped to Colombia and why she would not own up to who she is? I cannot imagine a kid going through with deportation and not saying who she is? Why and what was she afraid of? It appears her family was frantic but they need to get the truth out of her first.

        • votermom says:

          One speculation: bad home situation made her run away, then she got into the clutches of a drug ring, at which point deportation began to look good.
          Or maybe she’s still being used by the drug ring and deportation is part of their set-up somehow.

        • DandyTiger says:

          Completely agree. It’s a sad story and I hope she gets help and some sort of workable home situation. Sadly there’s probably more to the home situation than we’ve heard.

          I don’t think it helps her or this situation for some to be using her as some sort of political cause.

    • Karma says:

      Of course, the girl getting caught up in the normal course of the day proves those agencies were wrong. /s

  4. yttik says:

    Kids can be pretty darn amazing. They think outside the box and they’re a lot more inventive then most of us adults. We can’t even figure out how to get on an airplane without being strip searched and then you’ll read about some 12 year old that figured out how to fly across the country without any ID at all.

    Where I live we’ve just sentenced Colton Harris-Moore, really sad situation, but you can’t help but admire the kid’s talents and ingenuity. I hope he gets the help he needs and goes on to have a successful career because he’s an amazing person with so much talent if it was just channeled in the right direction.

  5. foxyladi14 says:

    to be using her as some sort of political cause.is just wrong.

  6. Betty says:

    Is there a chance Jakadrien Lorece Turner got paid to impersonate Tika Lanay Cortez and get sent to Columbia in order to give cover to Cortez. Maybe the facebook episode was just stupidty on JLT’s part and she was meant to stay in in Columbia while Cortez took Jakadrien’s identity. If she wanted to come home seems she could have called her grandmother. If it is true that she swapped her identity for some gain I wonder how many more there are like her.

  7. jjmtacoma says:

    What I find really amazing is the support she received from Columbia to get a job, housing and even have access to FB.

  8. Shortcake says:

    Are you asleep? You don’t see how ICE could be blamed for deporting someone who they did not confirm identity on by waiting for her fingerprints to come back? That is insane to deport someone without confirming their identity. Yes the teen was wrong to give a fake name, as many young people do make mistakes but to say that ICE isn’t wrong to deport someone before their fingerprints are verified is ridiculous and uninformed.

    • myiq2xu says:

      Her fingerprints WOULD NEVER COME BACK!

      The first time her fingerprints were entered into the system would have been when she was arrested. If they ran her prints it would come back with “not found”

      Ironically, for the rest of her life if she gets arrested again and the cops run her prints they will get a hit – under the alias she used!

    • Lulu says:

      “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. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/texas-teen-reunites-with-her-family-6-months-after-being-mistakenly-deported-to-colombia/2012/01/07/gIQAgJ6WgP_story.html?hpid=z4
      How exactly were the Houston Police Dept, Harris County Jail, and ICE supposed to prove she was a US citizen if she had never been fingerprinted except under an alias and was continuing to use that alias? It is almost impossible to help someone if they continuously lie to you.

      • 1539days says:

        This is what happens when there are so many people in the US allowed to stay with no identification. A real name (the name was real, the person who gave it lied) and no fingerprints means the person is not a US citizen. In fact, I would not be surprised if she was coached by someone to give that particular name to make sure she was given a trip to Columbia.

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