The bizarre international slap-fight between America and Colombia over runaway Texas teen Jakadrien Lorece Turner saw some resolution Friday as the 15-year-old returned to her perplexed but relieved family in Dallas.
Most of us can’t get through a major airport without a thorough groping from a bored federal employee, but Turner managed to fib her way into a free trip to South America:
Jakadrien’s saga began when the teen ran away more than a year ago. Houston police said the girl was arrested on April 2, 2011, for misdemeanor theft in that city and claimed to be Tika Lanay Cortez, a Colombian woman born in 1990. It was unclear if she has been living under that name.
Houston law enforcement ran “Cortez” through an ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) database and got bupkis so she was turned over to Harris County authorities. Turner continued claiming to be Cortez so they took her word for it and eventually she ended up in Colombia, in spite of not speaking Spanish or actually being a 22-year-old Colombian woman. Colombia gladly took Turner in and according to the AP, even gave her a job.
The consensus between nations appears to be that no one did anything wrong and it’s all the other guy’s fault, officer.
The takeaway here may be if you feel unprepared for the laborious process of acquiring a passport or are short on funds for international travel, consider getting deported for a tour of your chosen destination. You may even end up with a cool new career in a call center where English will be required to communicate with perplexed American callers who can’t program coffee makers or plug in their cable modems anyway.