Texas: Teen deported to Colombia returns to US, reunited with family
Jakadrian Turner, the Texas teenager deported to Colombia a year ago, was returned to the US and reunited with her family in Dallas, as US and Colombian officials argue over responsibility for the incident.
DALLAS (AP) – A Texas teenager who was deported to Colombia after claiming to be an illegal immigrant was returned to the United States and remains at the center of an international mystery over how a minor could be sent to a country where she is not a citizen.
Jakadrien Lorece Turner’s family has questioned why U.S. officials didn’t do more to verify her identity and say the 15-year-old is not fluent in Spanish and had no ties to Colombia. While many facts of the case remain unclear, U.S. and Colombian officials have pointed fingers over who is responsible.
Jakadrien arrived in Dallas on Friday evening and was reunited with her family. She was flanked by her mother, grandmother and law enforcement when she emerged from the international gate at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport shortly before 10 p.m.
“She’s happy to be home,” the family’s attorney, Ray Jackson, said, adding that the family would not be issuing any statements Friday night.
He said the family was “ecstatic” to have Jakadrien back in Texas and they plan to “do what we can to make sure she gets back to a normal life.”
Immigration experts say that while cases of mistaken identity are rare, people can slip through the cracks, especially if they don’t have legal help or family members working on their behalf. But they say U.S. immigration authorities had the responsibility to determine if a person is a citizen.