She Was An American Girl Raised On Promises (Of Due Process)


Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Ordinary Times. Relapsed Lawyer, admitted to practice law (under his real name) in California and Oregon. On Twitter, to his frequent regret, at @burtlikko. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.

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109 Responses

  1. Avatar greginak says:

    This leads the worlds most epic face palm. There really isn’t much else to say. Well except that this is great post title. I think some Colombians  look like what we would call  Black in the US. That she was black isn’t an issue. This of course is entirely irrelevant given every other way they F’d up.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      ;I think some Colombians  look like what we would call  Black in the US.

      This is true. A neighbor was a Colombian adoptee. The general assumption among those who didn’t know was that she was an African adoptee.Report

    • Avatar BradP says:

      I think the part about her being black is relevant because it means she was lacking certain qualities that may have caused those responsible to step back and reasonably consider the situation.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko says:

      At least there is some media outrage bout a missing girl who isn’t pretty, white, and rich.Report

      • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

        “At least there is some media outrage bout a missing girl who isn’t pretty, white, and rich.’

        But is there, really?

        If you Google her name under the “news” filter, the number one link that comes up is: the League.  And while I don’t want to diminish the far reaching influence of E.D., Mark, et al – it is hardly FOX and CNN suspending all other news coverage for days to report no new information about a hot blond gone missing on spring break.  (Mind you, that story had farther reaching national policy implications based on the media’s ability to get multiple pictures of the blond in a bikini, but still…)Report

  2. Avatar Michael Drew says:

    My girlfriend said they’re making her grandmother buy her ticket home, should she be cleared to leave Colombia (not surprisingly, but adding insult to injury).Report

  3. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Maybe if Bush didn’t allow so many illegals to jump the border, Obama wouldn’t be forced to deport so many of them that he’d also be sending away legit citizens.Report

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

      Well played.Report

    • Avatar Michael Drew says:

      I’ve always wondered when I heard the statistic cited that Obama has deported record numbers of people (a carefully chosen term), what the policy particular he changed that led to that result was.  Just a difference in resource appropriation, or a piece of procedural guidance at the administrative level?  Or was there a change in law?  Anyone know what that traces back to?Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew says:

        This is a pretty ironic article given the current case (“We set out to have a year of smart immigration enforcement, and we did just that[.]”)  But it also makes it quite clear how the particular enforcement focus chosen by the administration would lead to just this kind of outcome.  (A focus on deporting “criminals” still does beg the question of due process, since presumably a policy of deporting the accused has considerably less initial appeal.)

        At the same time, these data suggest that deportations have been climbing steadily ever since the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security in 2002.Report

  4. Avatar Will Truman says:

    A minor nitpick:

    Let this story serve as a caution to all those eager to conscript local law enforcement to be deputy ICE agents, and let this story serve as a caution to those who would urge stiffer enforcement of immigration laws

    This is a federal screw-up. I have a hard time taking fault with what the Houston Police Department did here,. Or, for that matter, that it was something that they were supposed to do. The primary issue here is that ICE mis-identified the individual and there was no due process with which to sort it out.Report

    • Avatar Alan Scott says:

      I suspect that there was due process with which to sort it out.  All that it would take is for a fourteen-year-old runaway to fill out a myriad of forms she didn’t know existed, and to engage an expensive lawyer.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko says:

      They referred her to ICE in the first place. Immigration issues aren’t a local police concern.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        It’s not their job to enforce Arizona law, either, but if they find someone that has a warrant out on their arrest in Arizona, they’re still supposed to comply with Arizona’s request. I view this in the same context. It’s one thing to have cops inquiring into citizenship and residency status. It’s another thing for them to be doing a check into the person’s identity after arrest and referring them to the appropriate agencies.Report

  5. Avatar Brandon Berg says:

    Much as I hate to defend the government, I wonder if this was perhaps not entirely involuntary. She did run away from home, and the fact that for the better part of a year she failed to contact her family suggests to me that she wasn’t trying all that hard to get home. It’s possible that she just thought that a free trip to Colombia sounded like fun and decided to play along.

    Of course, I’m not ruling out the possibility that the government really did screw it up that badly. You really can’t be too cynical about the government.Report

    • Avatar sonmi451 says:

      “It’s possible that she just thought that a free trip to Colombia sounded like fun and decided to play along.”

      So what, in that case it’s not an ICE screw-up? Because she wanted to partayyyy in Columbia (or whatever it is you’re trying to imply here). Even if she practically begged them to let her go to Columbia, it’s still wrong to deport her since SHE”S AN AMERICAN CITIZEN.Report

      • Avatar Ted says:

        So what was ICE supposed to do differently? Inspect her government-implanted microchip for her true identity?

        • Avatar Burt Likko says:

          They could have compared the fingerprints they took from their detainee with the fingerprints of their wanted suspect and found they did not match. They could have taken notice of her fluent and American-accented English and apparent inability to communicate in Spanish and concluded that it was unlikely that she was actually from a country whose dominant language is Spanish and not English.

          And the idea that someone was going to be deported to a foreign nation and would not in some way protest, even if they did not want to reveal their true identity, is ludicrous.Report

          • Avatar Mike says:

            Just to play devil’s advocate: there are plenty of foreign nationals / illegal immigrants who are “from” spanish-speaking countries but speak fluent English and little to no Spanish. That’s been one of the driving arguments from pro-amnesty forces, that “these kids were brought by their parents and are really Americans in anything but birth certificate.”

            That being said, in this case, the mistakes are indeed egregious. Age didn’t match, fingerprints didn’t match, description of suspect didn’t match. I hope that ICE has recordings of any interviews giving her a chance to come clean about her identity and her declining; if not, they really are idiots.Report

            • Avatar Ted says:

              Why would you question the age of someone if there is no dispute about their identity? It’s not like she was claiming to be 73 or that no 15-year-olds look 22 or vice versa; I’ve known 27 year-olds who looked 14. (And how would you doublecheck the age, anyway? Count the tree rings?)

              Why would you spend money to doublecheck the fingerprints of someone if there is no dispute about their identity? Because of the 1-in-10-million chance that someone is willingly suffering the adverse consequences of deportation by maintaining a false identity? At $15 to $60 to run a fingerprint check, that’s hundreds of millions of dollars to spend to prevent one idiosyncratically mistaken deportation.

              It’s precisely because this is so unthinkable if Turner protested the deportation that it seems quite likely that Turner did not protest the deportation.

              This is a 14-year-old who ran away from home to live hundreds of miles away in an environment where she was shoplifting. She didn’t want to go home; why is it so unthinkable that she might be willing to be deported to Colombia rather than risk the consequences of being punished when she returned home? (If the rumors in the Gawker comments section are half-true, they provide additional reasons why Turner would prefer deportation.) It’s not like the average 14-year-old juvenile delinquent has a strong sense of geography.Report

              • Avatar BSK says:

                Do we think she deliberately chose the name of a Columbia immigrant with warrants out against her?  Or did she choose a common enough name that it happened to ping in the system?  This seems to be a very relevant question that I have no idea how to find the answer to.

                If you really think that there aren’t people out there with similar or identical names in the same age range who could be mixed up with each other, think again.  It happens all the time.Report

              • Avatar Ted says:

                According to a comment on Gawker of a Texas immigration attorney litigating against ICE who claims to be familiar with the facts of this case, Turner chose the name of a 22-year-old drug-dealer friend of her 28-year-old drug-dealer boyfriend. Whether Turner knew this could lead to deportation is doubtful, but once told that it might lead to deportation, there doesn’t appear to be any evidence that she let anyone know that she was not who she said she was.

                Of course, on the Internet, no one knows if you’re a dog, so the Gawker commenter could just be trolling, though she makes plausible arguments why she is not. Still, Turner had Internet access in Colombia, and waited several months to try to contact her family–these are generally inconsistent with the actions of someone who didn’t want to be sent to or stay in Colombia.Report

              • Avatar BSK says:

                Thank you for weighing in. Hopefully we can get some corroboration.Report

              • Avatar BSK says:

                Regardless of her intentions, the government should have taken due diligence to ensure they weren’t sending a 14-year-old girl to Columbia. If a private citizen were similarly duped and helped a 14-year-old go to Columbia against her parents wishes, you know damned well he’d be brought up on charges, no matter how badly she wanted to be there. Why do we expect less of our government than a private citizen, especially given the vastness of the government’s resources.

                The girl is far from an angel. But lots of teens do and want stupid things and will go to great lengths to get them. The government should be better suited to stop them when they are positioned with 100% control of the person.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                Her intentions and her lying about her age, if true, are mitigatinjg circumstances, as far as I am concerned. I still want to know, though, what happened with the fingerprints. If nothing else, it seems that should have prevented this from happening if they had both the girls and those from the person she was impersonating.Report

              • Avatar BSK says:

                Agreed.  Following through on the fingerprints would certainly qualify as the “due dilligence” to which I referred.

                Did the girl attempt to deceive the officials?  Yes.  Did she do a good job of it?  Little says that she did.  She gave a name.  She appears to have no supporting documentation, did not fit the description of the person she identified herself as, and did not have matching fingerprints.  This isn’t a master con artist here who is a master of disguise.  It is a 14-year-old who gave a fake name, as far as we can tell.Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko says:

                So is this the theory then? The real suspect — let’s call her something Latina-sounding, like “Alizia Barranquilla” — is arrested, detained by ICE, given a hearing, found after appropriate due process to have been subject to deportation, and somehow escapes the clutches of ICE before the deportation can be completed. Then, Jakadrian (sorry if I misspelled her name) Turner runs away from home, falls in love with a lowlife drug dealer with contacts in Colombia, believes the lowlife’s song-and-dance about how Colombia is so awesome and how he’d love to take her there and they could live in the land of sweet milk and Andean honey instead of slinging rock on Houston’s north side. And he tells her that he used to date this girl Alizia Barranquilla, who got away from ICE and is scheduled to be deported back home to Colombia if La Migra ever catches her again. So then Jakadrian gets popped for shoplifting by the local cops and says, “Oh, hey! My name is Alizia Barranquilla, and I’m supposed to be deported! Deport me, please, so I can go be with my boyfriend.” And because the real Alizia Barranquilla has already had her due process, and the suspect is copping to being Alizia Barranquilla, ICE doesn’t really bother to check to see if they’ve got the right person this time and just hustle her on the plane to Bogota, no fuss, no muss, no lawyer, no hearing, just ¡vaya con dios e no volver! Then she gets there it seems kind of cool because she’s having this great adventure and she’s having sex with her lowlife drug dealer boyfriend and so she doesn’t want to come home for a while but only now she kind of does want to come home now that the lowlife has knocked her up and she’s fallen into petty crime there too. Nothing to get excited about here, just a wayward girl going way wayward.

                In criminal law, they have a standard called ‘reasonable doubt.’ If there is evidence to suggest a reasonable theory of the evidence that does not involve the defendant engaging in the crime of which she is accused, the jury must acquit her. It’s a very generous standard to the accused. Would this story meet the ‘reasonable doubt’ standard as applied against the ICE? It sure doesn’t explain the fingerprints.

                And it indicates that the deportation process includes a means by which people can be deported without a hearing officer determining whether the person who is getting on the airplane really ought to be. That’s the due process problem here. And “Alizia Barranquilla” can’t waive that right because “Alizia Barranquilla” is really Jakadrian Turner, a minor, so her purported waiver of whatever right to a hearing she might otherwise have had is ineffective.

                If you want to argue that this puts the ICE in an impossible position, that doesn’t bother me very much because I think deporting someone is a pretty drastic thing to do and I think deporting a U.S. citizen is bullshit so ICE was never wearing the white hat of entitlement to the benefit of the doubt to begin with. Report

              • Avatar BSK says:

                Of course, assuming this is all true, you have to wonder how ALL of the people involved in originally detaining Alizia were not at all involved in detaining fake-Alizia.  Because, if they had been, surely THEY would have noticed it was a different person.

                Unless they were playing by the “all-brown-people-look-the-same” rule.Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko says:

                This is Texas. Plenty of the people wearing ICE uniforms would be brown themselves and I’ll bet nearly all of them speak at least some Spanish.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                BSK, as Burt points out, in Texas you’re not likely to find all-white departments. Those border agents who got in trouble for shooting that drug dealer in the back were Ramos and Campeanos.

                Also, the fact that we’re dealing with different officers is hardly surprising in such large organizations such as the Houston Police Department (looking over a city of two million), the Dallas Police Department (looking over a city of over a million), and ICE. This aspect of the story does not surprise me at all.


              • Avatar BSK says:

                Thanks for offering more info.

                I suppose there is an is/ought dilemma.  I accept that it is not the case that the same officers would handle the case.  However, I would argue that such situations could be avoided if an officer assigned to a give case followed up with that case.Report

              • Avatar Athena says:

                Except, as others have mentioned, this happened in Texas. Texas s big on shortcuts. And cons are good at conning, etc etc… At this point ANY explanation sounds far fetched. We are agreed it should not have happened 🙂Report

        • Avatar James Hanley says:

          Fingerprints, dude.  Perhaps you’ve heard of them?

          And your blog post on this is just chock full of supposition, and precious little fact; one of the most specious and nasty things I’ve read lately.Report

          • Avatar sonmi451 says:

            The endless repetitions of “illegal aliens” this, “illegal aliens” that, is a big giveaway of where this Ted guy is coming from, no? Not to mention I always thought it’s a bit crass and classless using the comment sections of other people’s blogs to promote your own blog. Make your arguments here if yiu disagree with the OP and other commenters, don’t just simply put a one-liner and then link to your own blog post – screams traffic whore too much. Hey, I  know I’m crass and classless in my comments here too, but at least I never stooped to promoting my own blog.Report

            • Avatar Mike says:

              “Illegal aliens” is the proper, legal term. It is the most commonly used in US law to define “aliens” (e.g. those who are not citizens of the US) present in the US in violation of immigration law. The second-most used term is “unauthorized alien.”

              If you’re going to be legally accurate, one of those two terms should be used.Report

            • Avatar Burt Likko says:

              Ted makes no bones about the fact that the blog is part of the Manhattan Institute, a well-known, well-right-of-center think tank. I’ve got nothing against the Manhattan Institute and sometimes have liked some proposals that have floated out of there. I’ve had friends who have put in some time there.

              I just disagree with this particular defense of ICE. The government shouldn’t be deporting citizens, period, full stop. The only question is whether our reaction should be a facepalm at the incompetence or outrage at it, and the magnitude of the consequence of the incompetence here puts me in a position of presumptive outrage. Ted’s argument doesn’t change that position, at least not for me; evidence he links to mitigates it just a little bit.Report

  6. Avatar Kolohe says:

    I’m glad we have a strong central state to protect the rights of African-Americans.Report

  7. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    The Manhattan Institute blog linked to above by Ted (who I think is the author of the linked post) urges caution before reaching outrage. I do suggest that Readers go there and get a different perspective on the issue. Nevertheless, my Outrage-o-meter is still working at full tilt. I’m not persuaded by the idea that maybe the young Ms. Turner didn’t protest being deported and therefore ICE had no clue about what it was doing. I’m more persuaded by hints that perhaps she was romantically involved with someone that had a connection to Colombia and therefore might have wanted to have been there; that’s something I can understand better. I can understand her doing her best to make a go of it in Colombia once there — the process probably convinced her that she would not be able to return home to the U.S., maybe ever, so she’d have to do something to survive. Engineering one’s own deportation to be with a boyfriend still seems like something that even a routine amount of process should have caught, though: they took her fingerprints but apparently didn’t use that information in any way; they apparently never seemed to catch on to the fact that she spoke no Spanish. Is there no communication with an ICE detainee under review for deportation? Are there no lawyers, no hearings, no interviews? I don’t practice immigration law, but I’m pretty sure that there is at least one hearing involved before someone is deported.Report

    • Avatar Glenn says:

      When ICE picks up an individual/undlocumented alien who is the subject of a final order of removal (formerly deportation) there is no right to a hearing nor is there any procedure for administrative review.  The sole option available is to seek a stay of removal from the Court which last heard the case.  This would be either the Immigration Court or the Board of Immigration Appeals.  Normally a stay application would have to be accompanied by either a Motion to Reopen or Motion to Reconsider either one of which is subject to strict temporal limits.  In addition, most ICE detention centers are priviitely  owned and operationed (by companies like CCA and Wackenhut) and inmate communication with the outside world is limited.


      • Avatar Glenn says:

        sorry for all the typos in the aboveReport

      • Avatar Burt Likko says:

        This sounds like you’re that yes, there is really a possibility that someone could get arrested and deported without a hearing — because the hearing would have been held already, and the burden is on a purportedly recaptured detainee to file particular motions before they get put on the plane.

        If that is what you’re saying, then my argument that this is a due process problem here shouldn’t need much more explication.Report

  8. Avatar ParatrooperJJ says:

    Ok so she lied to the Immigration Enforcement Officer who interviewed her in jail – that’s a federal felony.  She was then most likely detained by ICE.  The case would have been assigned to the detained docket Deportation Officer.  He would have interviewed her again and she lied about her identity – another felony.  Then she would have had to waive her right to an administrative hearing before an immigration judge in writing.  We don’t know that for sure but given the time frame of the deportation, it’s very likely.  A contested deportation takes a long time to occur, over a year is very common.  This is of course another felony.  Then in order for her to actually be deported back to Columbia, the Columbian government would have to issue her a passport.  This is an important point, she would not have been allowed on the plane much less given entry to Columbia without a passport!  When she would have been picked up from the detention center by the IEA or DO assigned to escort her back to Columbia they would have asked her identity again.  Another felony on her part.

    While ICE is not blameless in this affair, the girl is not blameless either… in fact she has committed multiple federal felonies.Report

    • Avatar James Hanley says:

      While ICE is not blameless in this affair, the girl is not blameless either… in fact she has committed multiple federal felonies.

      Even if we grant all your points, there is one hell of a difference in accountability between a government agency and a kid who’s too young to even vote.


    • Avatar Mike says:

      On the other side, we’re talking about a 14 year old girl. A minor. Who probably, given the way US law enforcement goons tend to behave, was berated in tiny rooms and hectored into signing whatever they wanted her to sign once they had a “match name” to something that could be checked off as a “resolved case.”

      Is she blameless? No. Was there a colossal fuckup at ICE? Almost assuredly yes.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko says:

      If those things are true, (and under U.S. law, she’s entitled a presumption of innocence, at least from the legal system, until she is convicted of a crime) then she belongs in a U.S. jail, awaiting prosecution in a U.S. court, receiving U.S. due process before she is convicted, and to be sentenced in a U.S. prison thereafter.

      I’m not suggesting that Colombia is an anarchic legal wasteland with no courts, no legal system, no constitution, and no due process of its own. My point is, she’s one of ours. We have an obligation to take care of our own, and we dropped the ball here. Maybe she’s a “problem child,” but we don’t dump our “problem children” on other countries — or at least, we ought not to do so.Report

    • Avatar Jason Kuznicki says:

      A contested deportation takes a long time to occur, over a year is very common.  This is of course another felony.

      Wait, what?  It’s a felony to contest a deportation?Report

    • Avatar Lyle says:

      The issue of the Columbian passport raises an interesting question, did that government do any checking either?  One wonders if looking at a past picture and the picture of the girl would lead to one asking if it is the same person?Report

    • Avatar David Cheatham says:

      <I>Ok so she lied to the Immigration Enforcement Officer who interviewed her in jail – that’s a federal felony.</I>

      Of course, attempting to interview a minor without a guardian present is also illegal.

      And I rather suspect that minors lying to police is not a felony, especially if they do so while illegally questioned.Report

      • Avatar David Cheatham says:

        And while we’re talking about, I’m pretty certain that sticking a minor on an airplane and dumping them out in another country without an adult is also illegal. Even if you are allowed to deport someone, you can’t deport children without some sort of adult who is going to take care of them at the other end.Report

        • Avatar kitty says:

          “Of course, attempting to interview a minor without a guardian present is also illegal.”

          How were they to know she is a minor? She claimed to have been a 23-year old woman.

          I have no dog in this argument, just someone who’s just read the story and got interested.


      • Avatar ParatrooperJJ says:

        You are incorrect.  It is not a crime for a federal officer to interview a minor, nor is is in most states.Report

    • Doesn’t it strike anyone as slightly assymetric that it is a felony to lie to the government, but when the government lies to the people it is not?

      What’s that? Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq? Hmm… Drefrauding american taxpayers of 800 BILLION dollars to find silly non-existent WMDs… Boy, that make Bernie Madoff look like a SAINT.

  9. Avatar BSK says:

    There is absolutely zero defense of the government’s actions in this situation.  They should be ashamed of themselves and assist the family every way possible to return the girl safely to America.

    And to those who are taking issue with the girl’s actions… she was 14 when this went down.  If you didn’t do something dumb and dangerous for what-you-thought-was-love in your teens, you probably didn’t live much.  If she lied to a 30-year-old in a bar and pretended to be a 22-year-old Columbia in order to sleep with him, how “understanding” would the government be of him?Report

  10. Avatar James Hanley says:

     About 2,000 U.S. citizens a year get deported

    If true, then every single day 5 or 6 American citizens are erroneously expelled from their own country.

    Some folks might see that as a problem.Report

  11. Why does the fact that Jakadrian Turner is a U.S. citizen make this story any more outrageous than if the fourteen-year-old girl taken from her family, put in a for-profit prison camp, and deported to Columbia had been a Columbian national? Or a Mexican? Or anyone else who can’t afford the ridiculous fees and impossible paperwork required to legally enter this country?

    It isn’t this one particular case that should cause outrage. This is just one symptom of a system that is diseased to the core.Report

    • Avatar Michael Drew says:

      So what exactly is your critique here?  Do you mean Colombian/Mexican nationals with legal status?  Or without?  Are you saying we should just let go of the idea of having a legal fact of the matter about who is legally here altogether?  Or just make it vanishingly easy to achieve that?  Are you saying that, whtever the process, we shouldn’t enforce that legal fact with any methods that are unpleasant (I’d agree that they shouldn’t be dehumanizing, but the for-profit prison industry isn’t unique to immigration, so if that’s your issue then that’s your isue)  Or are you saying we just shouldn’t engage in any deportations?  Or just that we should be trying to make deportation less painful?

      At some level, this is (I think) a necessary thing (though I’m willing to entertain the idea of stopping deportations for the most part altogether – nevertheless at some point we are going to want to deport some people who are not here legally and who we consider truly dangerous to have here).  And deportation is never going to be pleasant.

      What exactly are you calling for?Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        There is a lot of truth to this comment. Thank you for making it.Report

      • “…at some point we are going to want to deport some people who are not here legally and who we consider truly dangerous to have here.”

        You’re writing here like they’re one in the same. What percentage of immigrants do you think are dangerous? What percentage of fourteen-year-old girls? Why can’t we just have some common sense in our immigration policy? Or some humanity? And yes, for the record, I support an immigration policy where coming here is “vanishingly easy” and there is an easy path to citizenship – i.e. one that can be begun after an individual is in the country.

        My point, which stands, is that our whole immigration system is rotten – and so are we – if we’re getting outraged about U.S. citizens being mistakenly deported instead of getting upset about minors being separated from their families when they’re caught by the culture police.

        Let me also state for the record that I’m not trying to be provocative or glib and that I literally believe our immigration policy is morally reprehensible and absurd.Report

        • Re-reading this now, this comment sounds a lot more hostile than it’s meant to be. I apologize for any unintended bad feelings. I’ll admit this topic gets me pretty fired up. I’ve been dealing with U.S. immigration policy for the last three years or so of my life, and my situation of being married to a non-U.S. citizen from a wealthy, peaceful nation is about an uncomplex as they get.Report

        • Avatar Michael Drew says:

          I’m not writing as if they’re one and the same, I’m writing as if they can intersact – and hoping for an regime where we don’t deport people who are here illegally and who are dangerous is pie-in-the-sky and I disagree with it.

          But that doesn’t mean it has to be as hard as it is to become legal.  It doesn’t mean deportations need to be as devastating as they are.  It doesn’t mean we have to have meaninglessly timid definition of who is dangerous.  We can do all sorts of things to improve the policy.  Of all policy areas, I think it lends itself among the most to rational, step-by step reform.  So the point was just, what is it you want to do, first, second, and so forth.  About the least productive thing we can do about this policy area is just be pissed about the injustice of the status quo and that’s it.  Very few people defend the status quo.  It’s not an interesting or productive position.

          What do you want?  Is it realistic in a highly optimistic but still conceivable political projection?  What do you want that lies within an optimistic but conceivable political future?Report

          • “…hoping for an regime where we don’t deport people who are here illegally and who are dangerous is pie-in-the-sky and I disagree with it.”

            I think we should deport dangerous aliens as well. We’re in agreement there. But you can’t design an entire system based on containing a small number of outliers. Look at our security policy. As for what I think would be a step in the right direction, that would take some research and at least a post. The thing is just so Byzantine.Report

  12. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    A:  You’re right, when someone says “oh hey my name might be the same as on that list but I’m actually a different person”, we should ignore their foolish lies and go by what the list says.  Because, after all, there’s no way for The List to be Wrong.

    B:  Where’s the failure of “due process”?  From the looks of things Jakadian went through exactly the same process as anyone else.  Isn’t that the whole point? “due process” isn’t the same thing as “the outcome I prefer is guaranteed”.Report

    • Avatar David Cheatham says:

      Seriously. There’s a rather serious problem here, and it’s not just that Americans get deported.

      It’s that the US government had apparently decided to have dozens of context-free ‘lists of names’ of all sorts of ‘bad people’, and it’s extremely difficult to prove you’re not one of those people if you have one of those names. (Or even if you do not actually have one of them, but have lied poorly.)

      You know, that’s why ‘bills of attainder’ are supposed to be unconstitutional. The government is not actually supposed to be saying ‘Person X is a bad person’ without due process, both to actually determine guilt of that person, and then later to determine if any person they run across is the same person as was found guilty!

      But we’ve decided to treat all sorts of things as ‘priviledges’, such as flying or not being deported, so apparently we can use those lists for that, and if your name is wrongly there, well, tough. You’re fucked.

      I’d actually like to see a Supreme Court decision (Although, as it will never happen, we need an amendment.) that the government cannot keep any sort of list of names that privileges have been denied to unless those privileges have been removed by a court. And even then, anyone who the government asserts is on such a list has the right to a hearing to challenge the fact that they are, indeed, that person. If they are found not to be, there must be an official record made of the fact they are not, which everyone who relies on the list must check against when asked to do so.

      I.e., if the government wants to keep someone from flying, they have to have a damn trial and convict them of something in absentia. If I have the same name as that guy, I have the right to demand a hearing and that the government certify that I am not that person and record that fact, and the TSA people have to check against that list and see my picture and that I am not the intended target of the ban.Report

  13. Avatar Michael Drew says:

    Any way you cut it, this is just a gross failure to confirm the identity of someone against whom you intend to take a drastic, violent step of law enforcement.  This shouldn’t happen, but it does with frequency.  (Besides citizens, think of how many visitors with legal status must be misidentified and wrongly deported, given the ethnic presumptions that sure go into enforcement actions.)

    However, while the increasing number of deportations surely contribute to the number of such cases, it’s hard for me to imagine that the growth in numbers alone suddenly caused a couple thousand deportations of citizens to spring up when this never happened before.  Surely this has always happened in some numbers, few enough and without bizarre cases like this finding media attention that it was simply tolerated or just not widely known.

    So, should there be a zero tolerance for this kind of error?  What should the the mechanism to ensure that, since mistakes will indeed happen?Report

  14. Avatar BSK says:

    Apparently she is now pregnant. Because the US government deported her to be with her 22-year-old boyfriend. Mi hope wish the parents can sue the shit out of ICE.Report

    • Avatar Michael Drew says:

      There’s a certain link in the causal chain there over which the U.S. government has absolutely no control, and over which she has some.  “Enabled by” might be a better claim.Report

      • Avatar BSK says:

        Fair enough.  They didn’t directly hand her over to her boyfriend or whoever the guy was that impregnated her.  Enabling is a more apt description.

        Again, I just struggle to see how any private citizen making ANY (let alone all) of the mistakes that the government did would not be charged with a crime.  Yet people want to defend the government, which had the ability to prevent this and didn’t.Report

        • Avatar Michael Drew says:

          Actually, now that I think about it, they enabled her rape (by the laws of the country she was protected by until she was deported), so the question of her control over the causal act is a legal nonstarter.  You’re right.Report

  15. Avatar Michael Drew says:

    Does anyone know if she was asked the question, “Are you an undocumented immigrant from Colombia?”?Report

    • Avatar Michael Drew says:

      IF she gave the name of a real person she knew to be a Colombian in the United States, who she had reason to think was both engaging in highly illegal behavior inside the country (trafficking or selling illegal drugs) while already being illegally in the country to begin with – all completely unverified ifs, but if that’s the case – then I think that has to significantly change how we view the case, though it makes the failure to verify her identity no less egregious.  But if true it changes the context of that failure drastically.  We should still want to implement tight identity-confirmation procedures (in all law enforcement, based on warrants or lists of anted people), but I don’t think this case can reflect as poorly on ICE as it initially seemed to if she did all that.Report

  16. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    Here’s a bit of follow-up from ABC News:

    An ICE official told ABC News that people who do enter the US illegally often have no documentation whatsoever to identify them or a country of origin. So, they took Turner at her word when she insisted she was a 21-year-old Colombian citizen.

    “[Turner] maintained this false identity throughout her local criminal proceedings in Texas where she was represented by a defense attorney and ultimately convicted,” an ICE statement said. “At no time during these criminal proceedings was her identity determined to be false.”

    Once she was convicted, she was handed over to ICE, where she still said she was a Colombian citizen, even while being interview by a representative from the Colombian consulate. Eventually, the Colombian authorities agreed she was a Colombian citizen, and authorized her deportation, providing her with full Colombian citizenship upon arrival in the country.

    During her time in Colombia, Turner posted often on Facebook, under the name TiKa SoloToolonq, occasionally referencing her life in Houston and Dallas, and speaking of efforts to learn Spanish. She never indicated any attempts to move back to the United States, and while she often complained of boredom and unhappiness in Colombia, she appeared to be making a life there.

    This is really weird. ICE seems to be running with the story that she engaged in a prolonged campaign to to get herself deported to Colombia, going so far as to successfully deceive her own lawyers and Colombian officials to get there — despite not speaking Spanish, which I realize isn’t the universal language of Colombia but it’s still really weird. Frankly, I’m not sure I’m buying a lot of this, but this does look like their side of the story.

    She doesn’t look 21 years old to me.Report

    • Avatar greginak says:

      Weird stuff all right. While she doesn’t speak Spanish i’m not sure how the ICE dudes or anybody else could deal with that. If she speaks good English and that is how she communicates in hearings and meetings then why do they even try to speak spanish to her. What if she says she prefers to speak english? How do the official types know she doesn’t actually know spanish? Its possible to fudge your way threw some interactions without speaking the native language as most of  us who have traveled to non-english speaking countries can attest to.Report

    • Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

      WD on the followup, Likko.  This one wasn’t smelling right from the first.

      Semi-Tough comes to mind, where Burt Reynolds is telling semi-moron lineman Brian Dennehy how to usher at a wedding:

      Billy Clyde: Bride’s guests on the left, groom’s on the right.

      TJ: How will I know?

      Billy Clyde [exasperated]: You ask them.

      TJ: What if they lie?Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko says:

        The ICE story has some odiferousness too. But the story that outraged me so late last night doesn’t fit nicely with the excerpts of the girl’s Facebook messages, which according to people who have read the whole page are pretty representative.

        I’m reminded now of when I used to be the Bar Fight Lawyer — depose six witnesses about the same bar fight, and by the end of it you’ve got ten mutually inconsistent stories.Report

  17. Avatar sonmi451 says:

    I guess it speaks to how strong the anti-immigrant (sorry, anti-illegal aliens) sentiments are on some segments of the right that even in a case where the federal government screwed up (and the blame can be attached to Obama), they still fight tooth and nail to defend the deportation of a suspected “illegal alien”. Who cares if this girl isn’t actually an “illegal alien”? She’s a thieving runaway with a much older boyfriend (and we all know what that means, slutty slutty slut).Report

    • Avatar sonmi451 says:

      I mean, seriously, wouldn’t this be the perfect case for the right wing to use about the evils and tyranny of federal government?Report

      • Avatar sonmi451 says:

        “Not only will Obama confiscate your guns, he’ll also deport your daughters to Columbia!” But I suppose that’s not such a rallying cry if you hate immigrants more than you hate Obama.Report