[oldembed width="420" height="245" src="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640" flashvars="launch=45880061&width=420&height=245" fid="2"]
How can it be that a runaway teenager is deported to Colombia without even a cross-check of her identity? Here's how it happened, via WFAA.com:
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 Colombia, 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.
There's really no excuse for this. I don't care how much of a priority it is to enforce immigration laws. They should be enforced with accuracy, not expediency. And to require her to pay for the ticket home? Ridiculous.
Now she is pregnant, being held in a detention facility in Bogotá. God knows what has happened to that child after she was deported and now, but whatever it is, it shouldn't ever have happened. ICE likes to brag about their numbers and say they're deporting criminals and repeat offenders, but it seems that they're a bit sloppy about how they're doing it. They fingerprinted this child, for heavens' sake! How hard would it have been to compare her fingerprints to those of the person whose name she used before sending her out of the country? I wonder if they ever thought the absence of a Columbian accent would have been a clue? Evidently not.
Even if the Houston police screwed up, and I believe they did, the responsibility and ultimate screwup sits firmly with this administration's immigration authorities. An apology and restitution is the least they should do.
Step up, DHS. Get this girl home. Now.
Update: CNN just ran this report at 9 AM this morning. Note how the entire story is being twisted now to blame the victim. It's HER fault she's in Colombia. Somehow she plotted to use someone's name who was never in the ICE system? According to CNN, she jacked the whole system to get from Texas to Colombia. They can't imagine why, of course, but it's clearly this 14-year old (now 15) African-American teenager's fault that she is being held in the system in Colombia after being deported from this country.
Lavandera makes her sound like some kind of drug dealer:
So basically, what we know so far is this 14-year old girl -- 15 now -- was able to fool local authorities, also the ICE agents and ICE officials and the immigration process and on top of that the Colombian government to get the necessary paperwork to get deported back into Colombia without any of her own identification.
...and then at the point of being deported, at the very last minute, why not raise her hand and say "whoa whoa whoa I'm not who I've been saying I am." They don't understand that.
The big story here is that this girl has fooled many people on many different levels and it's absolutely bizarre.
Here's what I think is bizarre. That a CNN reporter who admits to not having all the facts ready or at his fingertips thinks it's just fine to go on national television and trash a 14-year old girl who might -- MIGHT -- have had a student identification card as her sole ID. If she ran away, she could easily have been victimized by human traffickers who told her to use that name if she were arrested. Who knows? None of us know right now. What we DO know is that a 14-year old girl who is a United States citizen was deported. That's what we know, and Lavandera's effort to paint her as some kind of con artist was unwarranted and simply victimizes her all over again.
It was a reprehensible report and one that seems to have had ICE agents' fingerprints on it in an effort to cover their own behinds. Really, we can do better than this.