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15-Year-Old US Citizen Deported to Colombia, Shocks Family and Police

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By Ray Downs, Christian Post Reporter
January 5, 2012|8:55 am

A Texas woman has scoured the Internet every single day for her missing granddaughter since 2010, praying to God that she would find her. After months of praying and searching, Lorene Turner discovered that her granddaughter had been deported to Colombia – despite being an American-born, African-American girl who was not of Colombian heritage and did not speak Spanish.

After running away form home, Jakadrien Turner ended up in Houston early last year. When local police asked who she was, Jakadrien gave a fake name – which happened to be the name of a 22-year-old undocumented immigrant from Colombia who had warrants for her arrest. Soon after, 15-year-old Jakadrien was deported to Colombia by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in April 2011, WFAA reported.

With the help of Dallas police and incessant Internet searching, Turner eventually located Jakadrien's whereabouts.

"God just kept leading me," Turner told WFAA. "I wake up in the middle of the night and do whatever God told me to do, and I found her."

Turner discovered that her granddaughter had been working as a cleaner, after the South American country released her from immigration custody and gave her a national identification card.

"She talked about how they had her working in this big house cleaning all day, and how tired she was," Turner said.

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How a young girl with no ties to Colombia other than a fake name she adopted was deported has baffled Texas officials. Dallas detective C'mon Wingo, who was on the missing person case, could not believe what had happened.

"I was floored," she told WFAA. "I thought, 'Oh my goodness, this can't be true! How in the world did she get there?' I was very floored."

Turner has her own explanation: laziness on the part of ICE officials.

"They didn't do their work," she said. "How do you deport a 15-year-old and send her to Colombia without a passport... without anything?"

WFAA reported that ICE officials took Jakadrien's fingerprints, but still went through with the deportation process besides the impossibility that they matched the identity of the 22-year-old who they really wanted. The case is currently under investigation.

"ICE takes these allegations very seriously," said ICE Director of Public Affairs Brian Hale. "At the direction of [the Department of Homeland Security], ICE is fully and immediately investigating this matter in order to expeditiously determine the facts of this case."

Despite finally locating Jakadrien, it is still uncertain when she will be able to be reunited with her grandmother because the Colombian government has yet to decide when or if they will send her back to the U.S.

However, Turner is hopeful that her granddaughter will come home soon.

"I feel like she will come home," she said. "I just need help and prayer.”

 

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