Teen mistakenly deported to Colombia to return home
Family of Texas girl planning lawsuits
Jakadrein Turner's family plans to file lawsuits against the agencies that helped remove her from the United States. The family has yet to speak with the 15-year-old.
"It's a giant step. I'm relieved, but I won't be completely relieved until I get her in my arms again," her mother, Johnisa Turner, said, CNN reported. "A weight has definitely been lifted."
The Turner family attorney, Ray Jackson, believes the girl's civil rights were violated when authorities allowed her to be deported, CNN reported.
According to the Associated Press, the U.S. Embassy submitted the necessary documents for Turner to come home to the United States, but the exact date is still unclear. US immigration officials deferred questions to the State Department, who declined to comment further, the AP reported. US immigration officials are investigating the case currently.
Turner ran away from home in Dallas in 2010 and ended up in Houston, where she was arrested for theft. According to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, she told authorities her name was Tika Lanay Cortez, which is the name of an illegal immigrant from Colombia, the Daily Telegraph reported. Despite being fingerprinted, Turner was deported to Bogota.
An ICE official, who remained anonymous, told the AP that Turner was interviewed by a representative from the Colombian consulate and the country issued her a travel document to enter. She was then given a Colombian citizenship when she arrived. The Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said she was issued travel documents at the request of the U.S. National Security Agency.
With the help of a private investigator, her family found her in Colombia and alerted the government. The Colombian Institute for Family Welfare confirmed the teenager is pregnant and entered the country as an adult.
She was placed under a protection program by the Colombian Institute for Family Welfare on December 1 when officials learned of her situation, CNN reported.