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Latino Daily News

Thursday January 5, 2012

How Did Texas Runaway Jakadrien Turner, 15, Get Deported to Colombia?

How Did Texas Runaway Jakadrien Turner, 15, Get Deported to Colombia?

Photo: How Did Texas Runaway Jakadrien Turner, 15, Get Deported to Colombia?

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A Texas runaway who disappeared in 2010 was discovered to have been wrongfully deported to Colombia by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Now, the 15-year-old’s family is demanding answers, but it seems more questions are being raised instead.

Family duress ensued after Jakadrien Turner’s grandfather died, and that mixed with usual teenage problem are the teenager is said to have caused her to run away from her Texas home in 2010. Her grandmother, never willing to give up on the teen, vigilantly searched for clues to Jakadrien’s whereabouts.

She would eventually track the teen by way of her best friend’s Facebook to a club in Houston, where she had worked as a DJ under the name Tika Cortez. The family asked for help from Houston-area authorities, but were given none.

The family was later told that Jakadrien had been arrested for shoplifting and was deported to Colombia. After contacting ICE, her family was told that Jakadrien – who had given immigration officials a false name – claimed she was an adult from Colombia who was not legally living in the U.S. rather than a legal teenaged resident.

ICE maintains that Jakadrien stuck to the false identity and say biometric verification confirmed she was who she claimed to be.

Her family says Jakadrien has been seen partying with men and a detective told them she is pregnant.

Though ICE insists they followed procedure, the Turner family fails to see how that’s possible, considering a U.S.-born teenage runaway was deported to Colombia.

Jakadrien was taken to the U.S. consulate soon after she was found and is now at the government-run Colombian Institute for Family Welfare.

So far, Colombian officials have denied her release, and she has not spoken with her family.

Jakadrien’s mother Johnisa Turner says she believes that while ICE made a mistake, something else made her daughter give them a fake name in the first place. She fear coercion may have led her daughter astray.

A 15-year-old, possibly-pregnant, girl now sits in a foreign country with no family contact and no Spanish-language skills.