You know those Black kids that go missing that people like me bitch all the time about the little media coverage they get? Well, I have a sneaky suspicion that those kids have all been deported to Columbia. I wish I was half joking about that, but after reading the story of an African American teen who was “accidentally” deported, and is now stuck in Columbia, South America the shit doesn’t seem too far fetched.
I know, it’s sad that I think that way. I mean, being an American citizen, the last thing you should have to worry about aside from realizing you’re out of toilet paper while using the bathroom, is being deported to another country. But as the case of now 15-year-old Jakadrien Turner shows, it can happen; and, unknown to many, it happens more than one can think:
Pedro, a gentleman of obvious Hispanic descent happens to be mentally ill, and unable to read and write. After being arrested some time ago, he was asked if he wanted to go home. Naturally, since jail isn’t the comfortable place like home, Pedro said yes. After which, he signed documents to help speed up the process of going home. Unfortunately for him, it was assumed that he was an “illegal immigrant”, and the home they were asking about was Mexico.
Sadly, Pedro, a Hispanic male who was born and raised in this country, was deported, and was separated, practically lost in a country he knew nothing about for three months. You can read the story of his ordeal as well as others if you don’t believe anything I say. However, whether you do or not, you must understand that he’s not the only victim to be mistaken for an illegal immigrant. According to reports, there are at least 55 cases to this date where citizens have already settled with the gov’t on lawsuits, or are in the middle of litigation.
As I’ve written before, and continue to write: the immigration system in broken and needs to be reformed. But somehow, the case involving Jakadrien Turner has turned into a lesson in personal responsibility for many. Many people are of the opinion that she got what she deserved, and that she is the one to bare responsibility for her demise. Yeah, forget about cross referencing fingerprints and all that trivial stuff. The bottom line here is that she knew right from wrong and got what she deserved. Well, where was this attitudwe when it came to Natalee Holloway when she disappeared while on a school trip to Aruba? I mean a white girl goes missing and the whole damn world stops to look. A Black girl disappears in 2010 only to be found on another continent and it’s her fault. I guess she would have done herself some good had she dyed her hair blond, or maybe even decided to go hiking in friggin’ Iran or something. Yeah, she’d be front page news by now if she did.
But hey, the reactions to her story — given that she’s Black — has been typical – it’s her damn fault because she lied about who she was. Well, according to the nonprofit Vera Institute for Justice, in 2007 there were 322 people with citizenship claims in 13 immigration detention centers; and, that number was a jump from 129 the previous year. Coincidentally, most of these cases involve Hispanics and people of color; and, these numbers do not represent the possible citizens held in the 300 other U.S. detention centers across the country. I guess like Jakadrien Turner, they too lied about who they were, and are at fault as well. I don’t care what has been said; there’s no way this child should have been deported. But somehow, I’m pretty sure my opinion doesn’t matter.
Maybe if she ended up on death row after giving a fake name it would, but I doubt it.