A Texas teenager is being held at a Colombia detention centre after she was mistakenly deported by immigration officials in April of 2011, according to Rebecca Lopez of WFAA-TV in Dallas. The saga began when Jakadrien Turner ran away from home in November 2010. Five months later, the 15-year-old was arrested in Houston for theft.
According to CBS News, the runaway gave police a fake name that belonged to an illegal immigrant from Colombia.
While WFAA maintains that officials did not confirm Jakadrien’s identity, an African-American who speaks no Spanish, before sending her to South America, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) told the station that nothing “raised a red a red flag” when it tried to verify the young girl’s identity through fingerprints and database searches.
An ICE agent told the Daily News that Jakadrien used a false name, with no outstanding warrants, during her trial.
Jakadrien’s grandmother, Lorene Turner, told WFAA she had been searching for the missing teen for over a year, but with the help of a Dallas detective and Facebook was able to locate her deported granddaughter.
According to Andrew O’Reilly of FoxNews Latino, Jakadrien found work as maid in Colombia, but is currently locked up at a detention centre at the request of the U.S. embassy. Colombian officials, however, are still refusing to release her.
The ICE released a statement on Tuesday and is still looking into the case.
“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.”
According to WFAA, civil rights groups plan to address President Barack Obama about the matter today.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.