Multi-American

How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Why was a non-Latina U.S. citizen teen deported to Colombia, and why wasn't she brought home sooner?

There's still no good explanation for why Jakadrien Turner, a Dallas teenager who ran away from home last year, spent the past year in Colombia. She was deported by mistake in November 2010 at age 14, after being picked up in a Houston mall for shoplifting and giving local authorities a false name, that of an older Colombian woman. She was finally returned home this weekend, following more than a year of frantic searching by her family after she was reported missing.

Yes, it's been reported that she had befriended some Colombians while in Houston. And yes, she is black, and there are black Colombians, as many have pointed out. Still, wherever the ball was dropped, if fell a long way. A good tick-tock today from CNN International poses more questions that prompt head-scratching. From the story:

According to U.S. immigration officials, they'd never come across anyone by the name Tika Cortez. Her fingerprints did not match anyone in law enforcement databases, nor was there a match for the name Jakadrien Turner. And the background check "revealed no information to invalidate her claims," the officials said.

Colombian government officials then interviewed Jakadrien and issued her the needed travel documents and "full Colombian citizenship," according to the U.S. immigration officials.

That meant that, six months after running away from her Dallas home, the 15-year-old girl was on her way to Colombia -- for the first time in her life.
She arrived in Bogota on May 23, according to the Colombian government.

Read more at: www.cnn.com

blog comments powered by Disqus

Enjoy reading Multi-American? You might like KPCC’s other blogs.

What's popular now on KPCC