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Deported teen reunites with family in US; she deceived us, ICE says


Jakadrien Turner, 15, in an undated handout photo provided by the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The Texas girl was flying home to the United States on Friday to be reunited with her family, nine months after she was deported to South America in a bizarre mix-up.

Update at 11:05 p.m. ET: Jakadrien Lorece Turner, the 15-year-old Texas girl mistakenly sent to South America in May after claiming to be an illegal immigrant, was reunited with her family Friday night after flying home from Colombia, The Associated Press reported.

She was flanked by her mother, grandmother and law enforcement when she emerged from the international gate Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

"She's happy to be home," the family's attorney, Ray Jackson, said, adding that the family would not issue 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."

Update at 8 p.m. ET: Turner is back in the U.S. and will be in Dallas on Friday evening, her mother told The Associated Press.

Johnisa Turner said Jakadrien was on a flight from Atlanta. She said she has "a gazillion questions" for Jakadrien. "Our day has been hectic, hers is too," Turner said, "just as long as she makes it home, just as long as she gets here."

From the original post: Jakadrien Turner, arrested as a runaway and then mistakenly deported, is on her way home to the United States after the girl’s grandmother used Facebook to locate her in Colombia, thegrio.com reported Friday.

“They didn't do their work,” the grandmother Lorene Turner said of the federal government in an interview with a Dallas television station. “How do you deport a teenager and send her to Colombia without a passport, without anything?"

But the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the deportation took place because the girl lied about her identity and was not clear about her citizenship status, thegrio.com reported.

Turner was reported missing in November 2010 by her relatives in Dallas. When she was arrested for a minor theft in April 2011 in Houston, she reportedly used the alias Tika Lanay Cortez and claimed to be a 21-year-old from Colombia. She maintained the alias throughout her court appearances, conviction and jail time, Houston officials confirmed.

According to Houston police, Turner had apparently been using the name after running away from home after her parents divorced and her grandfather died.

ICE deported Turner — an African American who speaks no Spanish — as part of a program to remove foreign nationals from U.S. prisons.

After Dallas police helped Turner pinpoint her granddaughter's location in Colombia, local authorities detained her and kept her in detention for more than a month before boarding a plane home on Friday.

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