Runaway American Teen Gets Accidentally Deported to Colombia

handcuffsIf you want to ruin a perfectly nice dinner party with liberals and conservatives who were getting along, say the words "immigration reform" and run for cover. Or better yet, bring up the name Jakadrien Turner. The teen missing since she ran away from home in 2010 is about to become the poster child for what's wrong with our current system.

Because Jakadrien wasn't missing, exactly. The American citizen who doesn't speak a lick of Spanish had been deported to Colombia. Um, oops?

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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are currently scrambling to come up with some way to explain their mistake to Jakadrien's grandmother Lorene. The Texas grandma has been working tirelessly to find her granddaughter since the girl ran away in the fall of 2010, and she finally discovered her through Facebook and turned to the government for help getting her home from Colombia. So far they're predictably pointing fingers.

Any guesses who our fine immigration system is blaming? Oh right, the poor kid (who is stuck in a Colombian detention center at the moment because yet another government is screwing with her life)! It seems Jakadrian got arrested -- as runaways often do -- in Houston for theft. No doubt scared and upset, she gave the police a fake name, which TV station WFAA reports was the name of an illegal alien wanted by immigration officials.

You can guess the rest.

I don't believe that a 14-year-old girl from Texas wouldn't find out she was being sent to Colombia and spill the beans about her fake name. But let's say she didn't. Some ICE officials are claiming she stuck to her story. And we know the motives of runaways are hard to understand.

Still, the simple facts point to some seriously piss poor work by immigration agents.

Somehow we're supposed to believe that a 14-year-old African American girl from Dallas, who speaks absolutely zero Spanish, seemed just like a 22-year-old Colombian woman. Because the Texas drawl sounds so much like heavily accented English? Uh huh. And non-fat cream cheese tastes EXACTLY like the stuff that makes me have to pull out the fat jeans.

If ICE was giving this supposed illegal immigrant the rights afforded any criminal in America, someone should have been trying to speak Spanish to this woman. And someone should have noticed the look of confusion on Jakadrien's face.

Sit at one of those dinner parties, and people love to talk about rounding up the illegals sucking our country dry and shipping them out, but here in America, even illegals need due process. And the case of Jakadrien Turner proves it.

Illegal immigrants may be breaking the law, but ours is still a country where you're innocent until proven guilty. You're supposed to get the chance to prove you aren't in the country illegally before you're deported. If they weren't speaking Spanish to this supposed Colombian woman, what else weren't the officials doing?

How does Jakadrien's case affect your feelings about our immigration policies in America?

 

Image via The.Comedian/Flickr

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