A 14 year-old girl who ran away from home in 2010 was deported to Colombia:
Distraught over the loss of her grandfather and her parents’ divorce,” 14-year-old Jakadrien Turner ran away from home, WFAA Dallas reports. Arrested for shoplifting in Houston, she used a fake name that actually belonged to a 22-year-old undocumented immigrant wanted for arrest. What follows is a nightmarish series of mistaken identities and institutional failures, culminating in a teen girl trapped alone and pregnant in a third-world prison.
God Bless the USA!
That’s why I always call it Homeland Insecurity. Talk about a massive fail of incompetence and inhumanity.
There have been several stories about people detained indefinitely on the assumption that they are here illegally. No lawyers, no appear, no hearing just ‘held’. Kafka would be so proud. Americans, less so.
The comments at the gawker link are interesting.
Wouldn’t their first clue have been that she didn’t speak Spanish?
One of the responders on Gawker said that s/he was somewhat involved in the case and couldn’t give any details, but said the victim had engineered the entire situation and there was more than the article revealed. First, nice bit of victim blaming and second, are you honestly trying to tell us that a 14 year old girl outwitted Homeland Security? That is not somehow magically reassuring.
Fucking illegal immigrants. I can’t believe that they’re going so far as to be born American citizens just so they can drop an anchor baby and begin getting all the fabulous welfare benefits of American citizenship.
The only way to fix this problem is to get rid of birthright citizenship for all Americans.
c u n d gulag
The lying little bitch deserved it!
And, no thank you, JPL, I’m not going to read the comments.
Life is scary enough without reading some rabid, right-wing Statler’s and Waldorf’s commenting from their basement peanut galleries.
@MattMinus: Another way to fix it is to eliminate all welfare benefits.
Davis X. Machina
Like the occasional execution of the innocent, even the known innocent, it just shows everyone we mean business. It enhances the Schrechlchkeit.
She was deported to Columbia?
Any chance she can get a travel visa to Yale or Harvard?
@debit: Yeah. I mean, even assuming the 14 year old was lying through her teeth, if Homeland Security couldn’t be bothered to figure that out, I’m a bit worried about what else they can’t be bothered to figure out.
Yes! If we can just make America as unappealing as the worst third-world shit hole we can solve the entire problem! Fortunately we have a political party that is earnestly trying to make this dream come true.
From what I’ve been reading about this story, the ICE has quotas to meet. It’s easier to reach the quotas if they don’t investigate too thoroughly if they have the right person.
in case people don’t want to wade through the comments over there. The commenter says she’s a latina lawyer who lives in the area.
If true, I get the sense that she was in a situation where being deported was preferable to going home.
@lol: And a fingerprint check, which is what they’re supposed to do, would have stopped the deportation.
Look, we can wail about this as much as we want, but it’s this girl’s own fault that she’s A) not white B) not blonde, and C) she doesn’t have a name that Nancy Grace can pronounce.
Yet none of that excuses illegally kidnapping and forcing a US Citizen out of the country.
I’m sorry, but just because someone may have done bad things or associated with bad people doesn’t mean they deserve to have illegal things done to them by the government. It’s a horrid, but all to common mentality in this country.
It’s why I hate those stories “man was gunned done by police today in a hail of 50 bullets because they thought he had a gun, but don’t worry folks after they had already killed him it turns out even though he didn’t have the gun, he’s had several assault convictions and two misdemeanor thefts convictions” and everyone breathes a sigh of relief.
Why???? It makes no fucking sense. The man was still gunned down for no reason, but because he has some prior bad acts it makes it easier for us to believe “it’ll never happen to me”.
It’s why we’ll continue to lose our civil liberties and rights in this country.
Dude: It’s Colombia.
@cathyx: It’s apparent that ICE screwed up, no matter the motives of the fourteen year old.
@lol: Which, ok, fair enough, but Homeland Security isn’t supposed to be paying attention to the preferences of a 14 year old. They are supposed to be determining 1) her real identity and 2) whether or not she’s a U.S. citizen.
And if all of that was true, Homeland Security also missed an opportunity to have her turn witness for the prosecution.
She might well be a screwed up, dishonest 14 year old, but if Homeland Security can’t figure out the real identity of a screwed up, dishonest 14 year old, it’s in trouble.
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
@lol: Indeed an immigration attorney whose firm consulted on the case, hence “what I’m allowed to say.” And she did specifically state in a previous comment “I’m not going to get into victim blaming, because ICE obviously did not do its due diligence here,” while noting that there were details missing.
Which does not absolve ICE of its failures in the matter, but does suggest that there are some key details missing from the Gawker piece, however unlikely that may seem (/snark).
Google Mark Lyttle who was a mentally disabled American man deported to Mexico. Here is the ACLU article.
Villago Delenda Est
That sort of system is always prone to abuse. It’s all about keeping the annoying beancounters happy so they’ll leave you alone.
Morale at ICE must be abysmal.
There may not have been filed fingerprints on either the juvenile or the baddie.
A 14 year old girl can be the most self-destructive creature on earth when she’s in her “I do what I want and will make everybody sorry” mode. I know this – I’ve raised 3 of them.
Villago Delenda Est
I might add that quota systems are VERY appealing to the MBA mentality, because it reduces everything to spreadsheet fodder that makes the middle management suckup’s job to one of simply presenting PowerPoint presentations to the CEO types.
This has deserting coward fail written all over it.
@Yevgraf: I raised boys and because of that I’m trying not to make assumptions about motives involved. The Mark Lyttle case that I linked to @21 shows incompetence at all levels of ICE though.
Villago Delenda Est
@c u n d gulag:
Yup, that’s pretty much what 25% of the GOP Iowa Caucuses participants would say. You know, the ones who voted for the frothy mixture, who tells us that the only sex allowed is church approved reproductive sex.
@Villago Delenda Est:
I have a nephew that is an ICE agent. The biggest issue I can detect from him is that they feel like they are the only bulwark standing between decent Americans and the scum that will drag us all down to hell. Think of Nicholson’s character in “A Few Good Men”.
He is a decent enough guy, I actually like him but I never talk immigration if I can help it.
@Yevgraf: From observation of my friends’ teenage daughters, that is an absolutely true statement. On the other hand, if she managed to defeat Homeland Security, shouldn’t the feds be hiring her, the same way they hire hackers they’ve managed to catch to help fix the loopholes?
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo was originally a Swedish film.
@Brian R.: I see what you did there.
ICE pwn3d by teen girl. Nice.
Hey, let’s just put all the 8th grade females in charge of border security. Nobody on earth has more of an innate sense of who belongs and who doesn’t.
Bureaucracy, when fully formed and populated with humans, even some of which are reasonable, compassionate people, takes on a life of it’s own. When it does, it becomes a wild beast, consuming all the oxygen and absorbing any humanity it can acquire, leaving the carbon-units with little except ‘THE RULES’ to keep their sense of self.
Mob violence is an old tradition.
Are you trying to tell us you find that implausible? Because I sure don’t.
My thing is this – given the fact that they had a name, no other biometric info and probably a rough physical match, what other choice would ICE have, given that the girl was stuck in her evil intransigent “I won’t help myself by giving correct info and will SHOW EVERYBODY” cycle?
She didn’t beat ICE, she beat herself.
Villago Delenda Est
Sort of like those guys at the enforcement division of the SEC?
@Yevgraf: Why didn’t they have biometric info? If the woman whose name she gave had warrants out (unless it was just, like, a bench warrant for not paying a traffic ticket) then her fingerprints were on file somewhere. And they had full custody of the girl’s fingers.
There’s no excuse for failing to verify her identity with a fingerprint check.
@Villago Delenda Est:
I thought that the conference rules were to give anything that Alabama, Auburn and LSU do to pay players a wink and a nod.
@a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q):
Is there any reason to believe that the commentator over there isn’t full of shit? I mean I post comments all the time saying I’m Brad Pitt, but nobody believes me. How come random Gawker drone gets cred?
And furthermore, why wasn’t a teen picked up on shoplifting checked against missing persons registries? Did they just take her word for it that she was a Colombian illegal who didn’t speak Spanish and leave it at that?
This is ‘Murka, where the notion of even a standardized drivers licence will cause a constimatooshinalist to squeal. Collecting biometric info from birth is a non-starter, so they’d have no comparisons on record for the 14 year old. Fingers, yes, comparisons, no. On the one with warrants, unless she’d actually been processed into corrections at some point, they wouldn’t have them on her, either.
With the information available (assuming that they didn’t have prints on warrant girl), I’d say ICE actually functioned appropriately, given the info they had.
Not to be a pedant but this always gets me: it’s ColOmbia with an O not U like the University.
@Brian R.: I see you got there first.
@lol: Congratulations – I’ve been reading comments on this story searching for a single commenter who was both 1) critical of Jakadrian and 2) had a reasonable command of English grammar. I gave up after reading that she had it coming because she probably had an “ebonics ascent.”
Anyway, we all hope that “14 year old does something phenomenally stupid” still ranks lower on the newsworthy scale than “ICE erroneously deports minor.” The adults are, after all, supposed to be the ones in charge here…
The real life registries don’t work like they do on the TV box, where a picture is loaded in and 200,000 faces blip through to a matching precise image 8 seconds later.
If she gave a name and sat sulkingly glaring in silence without answering (a standard 14 year old girl trick, something frequently done by people under questioning as well), they might.
I don’t understand what you mean by this. If you get arrested for even a misdemeanor, taking your prints is part of the booking process, even if you get released O.R. They might not be available worldwide, but if I’m understanding correctly the girl was arrested in Houston and Houston is where the other woman was wanted.
ICE completely failed their due diligence. Which I don’t find in the least surprising.
Fingerprint checks work in movies.
In real life, lots of room for mistakes.
General question: How can you not tell the difference between a 14 year old and a 22 year old?
I know some girls mature fast, but I’ve never met a 14 year old, who could pass for 22…maybe 17 or 18 tops…
Anyway, as long as Republicans keep blocking immigration reform, Obama’s going to prove to them – you know, to win their trust and support – that he can run the tightest immigration department the country’s ever had.
Expect more of the same to continue, because Obama has to show how tough he is immigrants to get a bigger bill passed. A bill Republicans refused to pass, when they had a Republican President in the White House.
While Obama plays 11 dimensional chess over immigration, thousands of people are getting screwed, who should be in this country without any hassle.
On a side note, I generally like Obama, but on managing immigration apparatus – Department of State, USCIS, ICE, CPB, etc. – he’s really screwing people over, just so he can get Hispanics to vote for Democrats forever and ever, if the big immigration reform bill ever gets passed.
@Yevgraf: So NO parent of a bratty teen has EVER figured out how to handle them?
Ofttimes, on misdemeanor charges, the po-po (in my jurisdiction, at least) will merely issue a citation, sometimes with an arraignment date. Other localities simply mail you a summons with a court date.
On certain warrants (again speaking about my jurisdiction only) taken out on a sworn complaint with no police involvement, even felonies will frequently process by summons and assigned date. Even as we speak, there are hundreds of active felony cases at the preliminary level that have defendants that have not been printed. There are thousands more who are named on bench or arrest warrants who’ve never been printed, either.
Villago Delenda Est
Yeah, there are a great deal of false expectations based on crap seen in TV and movies that is, erm, tweaked a bit (read transformed into the utterly incredible) to speed up things to facilitate the storyline, and the next commercial break.
RL doesn’t work like anything on Law&Order or CSI. Much slower, much less certain, much more BORING.
@Yevgraf: They had the choice of detaining her here until they figured out who she was – go ahead and let the criminal courts do their thing for the shoplifting charge and then after she gets out of juvie, put her in a girls’ home with other wards of the state – she’s a minor, she’s not emancipated, they could have done that. They had the choice of bringing in a social worker or a psychologist to talk to her and find out the real story. There were lots of alternative choices – their error was to embrace the same dichotomy you seem to have: prove that you should be here or else it’s a one way trip south. For an adult of sound mind, that may be ok, but it’s simply not a reasonable way to deal with either children or adults with mental handicaps.
As we speak, there is a girl working about 100 feet from me of Colombian origin who is 24, but last year, my (then) 15 year old daughter thought she was her age due to build, size and skin condition. Anecdotal, admittedly, but goes to show that the differences aren’t all that great at those ages.
I am careful about spelling names and places. I don’t want to offend. It is important.
@edmund dantes: Funny you should mention this, but a 15-year old boy was gunned down by police in his school yesterday because he had a “pellet gun” and did not drop it when commanded.
He aslo Hispanice, and like this African-American girl, not a “real murikan” as the Santorum’s of the world.
Lots of us make not so bright decisions when we are 14. Most of us, especially like me, white, priviledged, upper middle class, get away with nothing bad happening to you and living a splendid life. The lower you are in the social economic class system, and the less melanin challenged one is, the margin of error starts shrinking.
I guess she is now in detention in Columbia for entering their country illegally. Now isn’t that ironic.
They had a story – she supplied it.
It wasn’t as if they hung the name on her and she just went along with it. She did it to herself.
In the absence of something glaringly conflicting with the story she gave, they did what they were supposed to.
I know it seems harsh – but I’ve also done quite a bit of GAL work, appointed to represent kids for several years. With the incorrigibles, all too often they won’t cooperate with anybody, even those trying to assist them and hear their stories. Hell, I even had one pull out a knife on an 8 month pregnant social worker.
@Yevgraf: Looking at it from a male perspective, there’s no way to mistake a 14 year old boy for 22 year old man, but I guess girls age/mature differently than boys in more ways than I realized.
@gene108: For real? You’re convinced that the Admin has not taken up the huge and lengthy battle of immi reform because of you’ve looked into Obama’s heart and seen a desire to mistreat Hispanics in order to keep them as a Dem constituency? When exactly was this push for immi reform supposed to happen? In the 30 seconds between healthcare and fin reg reform?
Fair enough if you want to say, he should have not done healthcare or fin reg/CFPB or the auto bailout or the stimulus or getting out of Iraq or DADT or Libya or the budget/debt/entitlements stuff and should have done immigration reform INSTEAD. But, geez, how many huge issues did you expect this Admin to pursue in four years?
Thanks for all who pointed out the Colombia typo..fixed.
Yeah – I’ll put it like this:
When I hear that my divorced friends (at 50) are dating 25 year olds, I wonder what in holy hell they have to talk about, ‘coz in my experience, 25 is a helluva lot more like 15 than would make me comfortable.
Huh. I stand corrected.
thanks for fixing it! I usually am a little neurotic about spelling but this Colombia is my bete noir because I had to correct it every time I graded papers and exams when I was teaching.
@Maude: I so appreciate that!
The current state of immigration is more than just Hispanics and legal immigrants aren’t being treated well.
(1) Immigration has become a pain-in-the-ass to deal with, since Obama became President. Things are very arbitrary, in terms of what an immigration officer can approve or disapprove.
(2) For example, USCIS issues a visa and the Department of State stamps the visa in the would-be immigrant’s passport, at the embassy or consulate. Even though USCIS has approved the visa, the Department of State does not have to stamp the visa at the embassy or consulate. You have someone, with an approved visa but no means of traveling to the U.S. because another agency rejected the application.
(3) From talking with a few immigration lawyers, who are politically active (lobbying heavily for the DREAM Act), one theory proposed that sounds reasonable to me is Obama is tightening up the immigration agencies, in order to win support for a more comprehensive immigration bill. Basically grant amnesty this one time and there won’t be a need to do it again because of how tight the immigration agencies now are.
(4) From talking with people at USCIS, there seems to be a push that they are also in the lines at keeping terrorists out of the country or tracking suspicious activity, such as someone relocates and doesn’t file the change of address with USCIS (like they are supposed), it gets flagged as a security risk.
I could go on, but immigration into this country is very unfriendly to immigrants right now. There’s a definite police state mindset, with regards to tracking immigrants after 9-11-01 that has only gotten worse under Obama.
The lack of consistency between different agencies is maddening. I know someone, who basically had to abandon everything because the consulate would not stamp his and his families passports with the renewed visa (granted by USCIS), so they could return to the U.S. after a vacation. He abandoned his apartment, car (that still had payments left on it) and his son was set to start the 2nd grade.
Obama’s done some good things, but what he’s doing in managing the immigration agencies isn’t one of them.
@gene108: Well, I agree that immigration enforcement hurts more than Hispanics. You were the one that said that Obama was playing 11 dimensional chess to hold Hispanics as a Dem constituency, which is why I wrote what I did in my comment. Anyway, I still don’t see any basis for the theory you laid out in your first comment.
Jay in Oregon
@Villago Delenda Est:
A shorter version of this is: “What gets measured, gets done.”
I’ve met several. My own daughter, at 12, was mistaken for an 18-year old more than once. It was disconcerting as hell. To me, it wouldn’t hold up to any conversation, but just visually? Sure.
@Brian R.: Only if she were born a business major.
She was arrested in Houston on a criminal charge. This is where it gets complicated.
Governor Good Hair has been bitching for years about the fact that illegal immigrants with criminal charges/convictions are not being deported, but enter the criminal justice system and are released when they finish serving their terms. So, a partnership was formed in Houston between Harris County and ICE. Part of that partnership is Harris County being one of the only enforcement agencies in the country with access to the ICE biometrics database.
This is a place where every possible tool is in place to identify criminals for deportation. This is the place where things are not supposed to slip through. However, there is political pressure for people to be identified and deported as quickly as possible in Houston, because we’re supposed to be a model for the rest of the country. The stats are trumpeted by ICE, Harris County, Homeland Security, and Rick Perry…7,206 people with criminal histories in the Harris County Jail deported by ICE in 2010.
The fact that this girl was deported, regardless of her motives, tells me the system failed where it had every tool to succeed, Houston. This is a highly-advanced operation with the best technology we have. They have a process they are supposed to follow to confirm identity, including biometrics. Period.
I don’t know how she slipped through that process. I don’t know why. But, it was a failure of the most advanced system we have in the country to identify and deport criminals. Total cluster.
@gene108: I think Obama administration has deported more people than any other previous administration and that hasn’t made the wingnuts change their rhetoric either about Obama or the “illegals”.
Because she has a history of posting there as Latina Immigration attorney? It seems unlikely she’d just randomly glam onto some story and invent inside info. I read the Gawker post and comments yesterday and that attorney was behaving pretty stupidly. If she came by the information working on the case, she shouldn’t be discussing it on Gawker. She later claimed everything she shared is publicly available information, but still… you’re not supposed to use that info against the person you were supposed to help. She may not be technically in breach of ethical rules, but it’s still bad form.
If she’s really only sharing publicly available info she should have identified it as such at the outset and left out the — my firm consulted on this case and I’m dying to talk about it but I can’t say what I want to say. I’m completely sympathetic to her urge. A case I worked on was covered by Nancy Fucking Grace, and I’ll admit to raging at the TV in front of friends and saying things at that time I was statutorily forbidden from discussing outside of the case. But public forums? Come on. It’s not just bad ethics, it’s bad CYA.
@gene108: I think Obama administration has deported more people than any other previous administration and that hasn’t made the wingnuts change their rhetoric either about Obama or immigration.
The USCIS cannot grant a visa, only a US consulate or an embassy can do that. Visa is like a key you need to enter the country. You have to leave the US to get your visa extended.
You can change your immigrant status within the the US, by filing appropriate paper work with the USCIS ( for example you can change from a student visa to a work visa, if you get a job and your employer files the appropriate paper work.)
The problem you describe above, is not unique to the Obama administration, when you are non-resident alien (i.e. not a permanent resident) there is always a slim chance that your visa might be denied even if you have the appropriate paper work. This problem has become subsequently worse after that fateful day in September.
ETA: If you are applying for a non-immigrant visa like the student visa and if the consular officer judges that you might not return to your country after getting the degree, they can deny you a visa. So granting a visa or an extension is a judgement call that the officer has to make.
@gene108: FDL has arrived! I was wondering when you psychos would show up. When I first read this story, it was a link from FDL in which Obama was blamed for deporting this poor girl. Jesus you people are fucking stupid.
@ChrisNYC: I think immigration is a complicated issue and defies the usual partisan dividing lines. It is a hot potato that no party really wants to deal with.
I take it you’ve not dealt with immigration matters much?
The Obama Administration hasn’t made things smoother. An applications fate is pretty much at the whim of a nameless, faceless, and unaccountable bureaucrat.
You could have two identical petitions, for all intents and purposes, with the same documents, but one gets approved and the other denied. Why? Luck of whose desk the file lands on and the mood the officer is in, as best as I can tell.
I’m with you on the technicalities of how visas get issued, but there used to be some degree certainty that if you had all your papers together and you could talk coherently, you’d be granted the visa stamping at the consulate.
That’s no longer the case. People are being denied, even when they have all their papers in order.
The U.S. would be screwed, if foreign students returned to their countries after getting a M.S. or PhD. Very few Americans pursue higher technical degrees, after they get their bachelors.
@gene108: I know of a Chinese student who was stuck in China for an entire semester and could not come back because he was denied an extension to his visa. He had to get a letter from the school and make another appointment, he eventually did come back, but not when he had planned
Be that as it may. The student visa is not a dual intent visa like the H-1B and technically if the consular officer suspects that you are planning to immigrate, he/she can deny your application.
This has always been the case for a small number of unfortunate applicants, I don’t think it is anything new or unique to Obama administration. The case I described earlier was during the Clinton years.
@Yevgraf: 14 year old vs 22 year old?
Going by available information, she didn’t want to help the system help her.