Tough love for teens: deportation

Tough love for teens

by digby

Back in the 80s this was a Cheech and Chong movie. Today it is a Kafkaesque nightmare:

Turner has been searching for Jakadrien since the fall of 2010, when she ran away from home. She was 14 years old and distraught over the loss of her grandfather and her parents’ divorce.

Turner searched for months for a clue.

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

Turner said with the help of Dallas Police, she found her granddaughter in the most unexpected place - Colombia.

Where she had mistakenly been deported by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in April of 2011.

"They didn't do their work," Turner said. "How do you deport a teenager and send her to Colombia without a passport, without anything?"

News 8 learned that Jakadrien somehow ended up in Houston, where she was arrested by Houston police for theft. She gave Houston police a fake name. When police in Houston ran that name, it belonged to a 22-year-old illegal immigrant from Columbia, who had warrants for her arrest.

So ICE officials stepped in.

News 8 has learned ICE took the girl's fingerprints, but somehow didn't confirm her identity and deported her to Colombia, where the Colombian government gave her a work card and released her.

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

Through her granddaughter’s Facebook messages, Turner says she tracked Jakadrian down.

I honestly can't think of many things more horrible. I guess they could have tortured her before they deported her. But not to worry. They're looking into how this could happen so I'm sure it will be just fine:

"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."

ICE officials also noted 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.

This is a fourteen year old girl! Who doesn't speak Spanish! That's Alice in Wonderland lunacy.

But it's not unprecedented:

Rennison Castillo is an army veteran ICE held for nine months even though he had provided documentation of his U.S. citizenship, a claim acknowledged in an apology written by U.S. Assistant Attorney Phil Lynch in October, 2010 as part of the public settlement that included as well $400,000 and Mr. Lynch's reassurances that ICE had new procedures in place to "avoid this happening again to a fellow U.S. [c]itizen."

If ICE is going to hold an Army vet and ignore his pleas for nine months, what chance does a 14 year old girl have of having ICE agents respect her U.S. citizenship?

Good question. In fact, there are hundreds of Americans wrongly deported each year. I'm sure that most Real Americans don't really care because they think it could never happen to them. Let's hope not. It's pretty awful.