Did US Teen Jakadrien Turner Get Deported to Colombia on Purpose?

Posted on January 5, 2012

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The story of Jakadrien Turner, the Texas girl who was allegedly deported to Colombia because she told police a fake name (which happened to be that of an undocumented immigrant from Colombia wanted for arrest), is a weird one.

When it first hit news outlets a couple days ago, the tone was all sadness and sympathy. WFAA in Dallas told it from the grandmother’s perspective, which was that of a broken-hearted woman searching online and praying to God to find her missing granddaughter.

The oft-screwing up Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was blasted by Gawker for suggesting that Jakadrien might have got deported on purpose.

According to WFAA, ICE said, “there have been instances where ICE has seen cases of individuals providing inaccurate information regarding who they are and their immigration status for ulterior motives.”

In response to ICE’s face-saving statement, Gawker wrote:

An American child is with child in a foreign prison where she does not speak the language due to an egregious, idiotic error—and the organization that made the error is hinting to reporters that it may be the child’s own fault.

Blaming ICE is an understandable reaction. Dirty South News finds it hard to believe that ICE can do anything but making lives miserable (and that’s not even meant to be antagonizing – ruining lives is pretty much what ICE is for). However, Jakadrien’s Facebook page reveals that she MIGHT have been doing it on purpose . Get ready for an in-depth Facebook page investigation!

Under the handle “TiKa SoloToolong,” Jakadrien (based on her Twitter and other writing on her FB wall, I’m guessing the name she adopted is “Tika Cortes”) wrote her first Facebook update on May 25, 2011, which is soon after news reports indicate she was deported:

bored… just got this facebook stuff… pics coming soon, back home in Columbia.. got deported, fuck, really missed everyone in Houston, miss u red, damn

Saying “back home in Colombia” makes it sound like she was keeping up a guise. But the very next day, she writes:

my fucking pics comin soon, in Bogata rite, tryna get bak home to the STATES, DAMN, Reali do miss HOUSTON, FUK

Now, “home” is the states. Ok, maybe the first post was a joke. But a couple hours later, she writes:

fuk man, this drake music is making me think bout alot of shyt, I MISS U RED… I MISS HOUSTON…., Colombia is my home always, but I GOT SO MUCH SHYT GOING ON N HOUSTON, DAMN

A FB friend, Debbie White, whose page says she is from Houston, comments on that update, saying:

HEY TIKA,,,I HOPE EVERYTHING IS GOING WELL WITH U…….WELL I KNOW THAT RED MISS U TOO…I KNOW HE WAS HOPING THAT U DIDN’T GO BACK TO COLUMBIA, BUT U HAD TO DO WHAT U HAD TO DO……BE SAFE AND STAY OUT OF TROUBLE……

So, is White a friend from Houston who believed Jakadrien was actually from Colombia? If so, did Jakadrien create an image of a person being from Colombia while she was in Houston?

White’s page says she works at the Houston Police Department. So, did she meet Jakadrien after she was arrested and befriended her? Or did a 14-year-old girl just have a friend in the HPD? Either way, couldn’t Jakadrien have told her that she wasn’t actually from Colombia if she did not want to go?

Based on what has been reported about Jakadrien’s life – parents divorcing, running away from home – as well as the somewhat manic Facebook updates (lots of talking about being lonely, wanting to be with a man, questioning why people don’t want to hang around her, lots and lots of sex talk, and a photo album titled “Familia…me Happy 4 Once in the mountains”), it sounds like Jakadrien was just a troubled teenage girl who needed some help, maybe some counseling. Instead, she got a chance to go to Colombia.

My guess: ICE agents presented her with the opportunity to go to Colombia and said, “why not?” What troubled 14-year-old wouldn’t want to do that? So she went along with the Tika Cortes thing and got a free trip to Colombia.

That doesn’t give ICE a free pass, though. Even if Jakadrien went along with the Tika Cortes thing, an organization whose job it is to kick people out of the country should be more cautious. I don’t know what their technology is like, so I can’t say what they should technically do. But they should be capable of not doing this.

Correction: We originally stated that Jakadrien’s parents were dead. However, that was misinformation: several news accounts indicate that the parents are divorced.

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Posted in: Immigration, Texas