Jakedrien Turner, the 15 year old African-American girl who was mistakenly deported to Colombia by ICE last April, is on a flight back to the U.S. and could be home by today.
Dallas’ WFAA reports that Jakadrien’s grandmother Lorene Turner, who waged a relentless campaign to locate her granddaughter, received a phone call last night informing her that her Jakadrien would be returned to U.S. officials this morning. From WFAA:
“Trying to catch my breath,” said Lorene Turner, Jakadrien’s grandmother. “You just don’t know how I feel. I’m just speechless.”
Thursday night she received a call from Bogota. It was the answer to a prayer.
The Colombian government agreed to hand over Turner’s granddaughter, Jakadrien, to the U.S. Embassy.
“Oh I feel good,” she said. “It was worth it.”
The Dallas teen, who spoke no Spanish and is a U.S. citizen, reportedly told police that she was a native of Colombia after she was arrested for shoplifting last year. According to news reports, the name she gave immigration officials matched that of a person who was wanted on other charges, and even though Turner’s fingerprints didn’t match, ICE deported her anyway. Turner’s been living in Colombia since April of last year and making a living working at a call center.
For now, it seems the worst of Turner’s harrowing experience is over. The questions surrounding her alarming case–including how a minor was deported from the U.S. without immigration officials confirming her identity–continue to swirl.