Dallas teen missing since 2010 was mistakenly deported

Posted on January 3, 2012 at 10:35 PM

DALLAS – “It’s very frustrating,” Lorene Turner said.

She has spent hours on Facebook trying to find her granddaughter, Jakadrien.

“Once I get home I am up until 3 or 4 in the morning searching and looking,” Turner said. “It’s all I can think about. Finding my baby.”

Turner has been searching for Jakadrien since the fall of 2010, when she ran away from home. She was 14 years old and distraught over the loss of her grandfather and her parents’ divorce.

Turner searched for months for a clue.

“God just kept leading me,” she said. “I wake up in the middle of the night and do whatever God told me to do, and I found her.”

Turner said with the help of Dallas Police, she found her granddaughter in the most unexpected place – Colombia.

Where she had mistakenly been deported by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in April of 2011.

“They didn’t do their work,” Turner said. “How do you deport a teenager and send her to Colombia without a passport, without anything?”

News 8 learned that Jakadrien somehow ended up in Houston, where she was arrested by Houston police for theft. She gave Houston police a fake name. When police in Houston ran that name, it belonged to a 22-year-old illegal immigrant from Colombia, who had warrants for her arrest.

So ICE officials stepped in.

News 8 has learned ICE took the girl’s fingerprints, but somehow didn’t confirm her identity and deported her to Colombia, where the Colombian government gave her a work card and released her.

“She talked about how they had her working in this big house cleaning all day, and how tired she was,” Turner said.

Through her granddaughter’s Facebook messages, Turner says she tracked Jakadrian down.

U.S. Federal authorities got an address. U.S. Embassy officials in Colombia asked police to pick her up.

But that was a month ago, and the Colombian government now has her in a detention facility and won’t release her, despite her family’s request.

“I feel like she will come home,” the grandmother said with tears in her eyes. “I just need help and prayer.”

There are still many unanswered questions about how an African-American girl who speaks no Spanish is mistaken for a foreign national. Immigration officials are investigating and released a statement late Tuesday.

“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.”

ICE officials also noted there have been instances where ICE has seen cases of individuals providing inaccurate information regarding who they are and their immigration status for ulterior motives.

Breast-feeding women take on Target

‘Nurse-in’ supports public breastfeeding

By Nick Valencia, CNN
updated 10:28 PM EST, Wed December 28, 2011
Several women from Wilmington, North Carolina, take part in a national protest Wednesday after a mother in Houston was recently told to stop breastfeeding in a Target store.
(CNN) — A mother who says she was harassed and humiliated by employees while breastfeeding her baby at a Target store in Texas last month prompted a nationwide “nurse-in” on Wednesday to show support for the public practice.

Michelle Hickman, 35, says she was nursing her 5-month-old infant at a Webster Target when several employees asked her to move to the fitting room.

Texas law allows for breastfeeding in private or public, but Hickman says the employees continued to direct her to the dressing room even after she mentioned her rights.

“I was sitting down in the store in a remote area,” Hickman told CNN anchor Isha Sesay on Wednesday. “Not a single person came by that was a customer and I was completely covered with a large blanket. So I don’t see how they find it that offensive.”

Target said it has a longstanding policy of supporting breastfeeding in its stores.

“Guests who choose to breastfeed in public areas of the store are welcome to do so without being made to feel uncomfortable,” Target spokeswoman Jessica Carlson told CNN.

“Additionally, we support the use of fitting rooms for women who wish to breastfeed their babies, even if others are waiting to use the fitting rooms,” her statement read.

“We continually educate our team members in stores across the country on store policies to ensure all guests have a great experience. We worked with this guest directly to address her concerns and are sorry any inconvenience it has caused,” Carlson said.

In a show of solidarity with Hickman, women from Kansas to North Carolina to Florida held “nurse-ins” at Target stores.

In Wilmington, North Carolina, more than a dozen women sat comfortably on the ground with their legs crossed while nursing their babies, most of whom were covered by wraps or blankets. Similar scenes played out at Target stores in Sarasota, Florida; Wichita, Kansas; and Houston.

“Things like this are really wonderful because it takes a lot of mother-to-mother support and even though none of us know the mother in Texas, it’s just a matter of everyone pulling together and saying, it is OK, don’t feel bad about it,” Emily Barnhill, mother of an 18-month-old boy, told CNN Wilmington affiliate WECT.

A Facebook page created to show support for Hickman called “Target Nurse-In” had nearly 7,000 members by late Wednesday.

“Let’s show them just how many mamas they’ve offended. We have the right to shop and meet our babies’ needs while doing so,” the Facebook pages “about me” section said. “Public humiliation for doing so will not be tolerated,” it added.

Earlier this year, a Utah woman breastfeeding in a Whole Foods sparked a nationwide “nurse-in” after she said she was asked by employees to move locations. In early December, a nursing mother in Brighton, United Kingdom, invited a nursing “flash mob” to join her after she was told to stop nursing her baby in a cafe.

Colbert Takes on HPV Vaccine


Rick Perry & The Death Penalty

Rick Perry’s Execution Record Includes The Deaths Of Juveniles And The Mentally Disabled

By Travis Waldron on Sep 2, 2011 at 2:00 pm

The amount of executions held in Texas during Gov. Rick Perry’s (R) 11 years in office has come under scrutiny in the early stages of his presidential campaign, most notably for the case of Cameron Todd Willingham, who was convicted of murdering his three daughters and put to death despite evidence showing that he was likely innocent of the crimes. But even as the Willingham case receives the most notice, many of Perry’s decisions regarding execution have begun to garner attention.

Texas has held 234 executions on Perry’s watch, more than the next two states combined have executed since the death penalty was restored 35 years ago. While Perry can only grant clemency from death sentences if it is recommended by the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, he has rarely used that power. According to the Texas Tribune, Perry has commutedonly 31 death sentences, and 28 of those resulted from a 2005 Supreme Court case outlawing the execution of juveniles. Meanwhile, he has allowed a host of controversial executions to go forward, the Tribune reported today:

JUVENILES: According to the Tribune, three people who were juveniles at the time of their crime were executed between 2000, when Perry took office, and 2005, when the Supreme Court banned the execution of juveniles. Before Napoleon Beazley, who committed a murder at 17, was executed, 18 state legislators wrote Perry asking him to grant clemency, and the trial judge who eventually had to sign his execution order asked Perry to commute the sentence to life in prison. Perry’s response: “To delay his punishment is to delay justice.”

MENTALLY DISABLED: Ten executions during Perry’s tenure have involved serious questions about the prisoner’s mental health and stability. One was Kelsey Patterson, who was judged as mentally fit by a doctor known as “Dr. Death” because he rarely found patients mentally unfit for trial. During his trial, Patterson testified about having devices planted in his head by the military, and once in prison, he sent incoherent letters to courts. The Board of Pardons and Paroles recommended to Perry that he grant clemency, but Perry rejected the recommendation. Another was James Clark, whose final statement was, “Howdy.” Two Texas prisoners with mental health concerns have been executed in 2011.

INADEQUATE COUNSEL: Five men executed since 2000 have had major questions about the adequacy of their legal counsel, including Leonard Uresti Rojas. The appellate attorney appointed to Rojas was on probation with the state bar, suffered from mental illness and missed multiple deadlines to file appeals on Rojas’ behalf. New attorneys took Rojas’ case before the Court of Appeals asked Perry to stay the execution but were denied. After the execution, an appeals court judge wrote a dissenting opinion against the court, saying Rojas’ attorney had “neglected his duties.”

In addition, Perry has overseen the executions of seven foreign nationals and two men who were accomplices but did not actually commit murder.

Perry’s statewide opponents have had little success in using Perry’s execution record against him. In her unsuccessful attempt to defeat Perry in the 2010 gubernatorial primary, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) brought together a focus group to find out if Perry’s death penalty record was a point of vulnerability, only to have one respondent tell her campaign, “It takes balls to execute an innocent man.”

But Perry’s criminal justice record is now making its first major news during his presidential campaign. A Texas inmate named Duane Edward Buck, who is set to be executed Sept. 15, has petitioned Perry for clemency from his death sentence. Though Buck’s guilt is not in question, the way the prosecution secured his death sentence is. To prove Buck’s “future dangerousness” and secure the death sentence, prosecutors used the testimony of a psychologist who claimed that Buck was more dangerous simply because he was black.

The case, tried in 1995, was protested by Sen. John Cornyn (R), who was serving as the state’s attorney general at the time. Perry has not yet commented or made a decision regarding Buck’s clemency request. But with his criminal justice record playing a larger role in the narrative around his presidential campaign, and with voters and politicians becoming more conscious of both the social justice and budgetary costs of the increasingly expensive death penalty, it will be interesting to see if the case of Duane Buck becomes one where Perry stands up for justice, or if it will be another blotch on an already spotty record.

Tar Sands & the Keystone XL Pipeline


Tar Sands and the Carbon Numbers

Published: August 21, 2011, NY Times

This page opposes the building of a 1,700-mile pipeline called the Keystone XL, which would carry diluted bitumen — an acidic crude oil — from Canada’s Alberta tar sands to the Texas Gulf Coast. We have two main concerns: the risk of oil spills along the pipeline, which would traverse highly sensitive terrain, and the fact that the extraction of petroleum from the tar sands creates far more greenhouse emissions than conventional production does.

The Canadian government insists that it has found ways to reduce those emissions. But a new report from Canada’s environmental ministry shows how great the impact of the tar sands will be in the coming years, even with cleaner production methods.

It projects that Canada will double its current tar sands production over the next decade to more than 1.8 million barrels a day. That rate will mean cutting down some 740,000 acres of boreal forest — a natural carbon reservoir. Extracting oil from tar sands is also much more complicated than pumping conventional crude oil out of the ground. It requires steam-heating the sands to produce a petroleum slurry, then further dilution.

One result of this process, the ministry says, is that greenhouse gas emissions from the oil and gas sector as a whole will rise by nearly one-third from 2005 to 2020 — even as other sectors are reducing emissions. Canada still hopes to meet the overall target it agreed to at Copenhagen in 2009 — a 17 percent reduction from 2005 levels by 2020. If it falls short, as seems likely, tar sands extraction will bear much of the blame.

Canada’s government is committed to the tar sands business. (Alberta’s energy minister, Ronald Liepert, has declared, “I’m not interested in Kyoto-style policies.”) The United States can’t do much about that, but it can stop the Keystone XL pipeline.

The State Department will decide whether to approve or reject the pipeline by the end of the year. It has already delivered two flawed reports on the pipeline’s environmental impact. It should acknowledge the environmental risk of the pipeline and the larger damage caused by tar sands production and block the Keystone XL.

Perry to Restore Military Respect for POTUS

MONDAY, AUG 15, 2011 10:44 ET

Perry: The military doesn’t respect Obama

“I want to make sure that every [soldier] respects highly the president of the United States,” he says


In Iowa last night, newly anointed GOP primary heavyweight Rick Perry offered a novel reason he is running for president (in addition to God calling him to do so):


Rick Perry strayed from a tribute to military service to tell an audience in Waterloo, Iowa, that he’s running in part to restore the respect of the military to its civilian leaders.

“One of the reasons that I’m running for president is I want to make sure that every young man and woman who puts on the uniform of the United States respects highly the president of the United States,” he said.


What is Perry talking about here? For one thing, this is not the type of sentence a candidate delivers off the cuff. It seems pretty clearly to be a deliberate, premeditated shot at President Obama as somehow lacking or illegitimate in his role as commander in  chief of the military.

Sure, it all sounds very 2007, given that Obama has been president for nearly three years and has presided over, among other military matters, the massive escalation of the war in Afghanistan. But Perry’s line should serve as a corrective to those who thought the killing of Osama bin Laden would neutralize attacks on Obama as weak or lacking the mettle to lead the military. Then again, the attack seems more plausible in the context of a GOP primary than it does, say, face-to-face against the president of the United States on a debate stage.

A couple of other interesting takes: Ben Smith, who reported the quote from Iowa, observes that the military is pretty much required to respect the president, so in some sense Perry’s line is insulting to soldiers. It’s even odder given that Perry himself is an Air Force vet. And Adam Weinstein at Mother Jones notes that there’s a crucial difference between respect and approval ratings, an area in which Obama is hurting among soldiers — much like George W. Bush was back in 2007.

Howdy Ya’ll

“Yesterday, Texas lawmakers in the state house passed a 142-page measure in special session that could drastically change how 6.6 million Texans benefiting from Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP programs receive their care. The bill — which includes two controversial amendments that have yet to be adopted by the state Senate — strongly mirror the reforms offered in Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget.”

Let me get this straight, so senior citizens are those in the United States that turn up in the largest numbers to vote and you want to strip them of their Medicare?  I realize that we need to rein in spending to some extent, but do we really think that providing quality affordable health care to our nation’s elders is something that should not be a priority?  And just to think, the elderly is only one faction of the population affected by this, this type of legislation also affects the poor and children.  Essentially, this bill attacks our nation’s most vulnerable.  Great.

Original article.