Plans to move program to Guyana
The Jamaican Diaspora Advisory board has continued their outreach efforts for Jamaican deportees, picking up 14 more cases for U.S. reentry
Advisory Board members and attorneys Wayne Golding and Joan Pinnock offered free council with over 350 deportees at a recent session in Kingston at the Jamaica Theological Seminary. The attorneys were assisted by attorney Cecil Rowe from New York, Seminary president Dr. Garnett Roper and founder of the Family Unification Resettlement Initiative Carneta Abarus. Golding said despite the “marathon forum,” the team was able to review each deportee’s case, with some participants traveling from as far as Negril by bus.
The 14 individuals identified for possible reinstatement in the U.S. “derived citizenship from their parents,” said Golding. “And numerous other deportees were identified, whose cases have developed relevance because of changes in the interpretation of U.S. immigration law.”
The program is in response to data collected at the recent Jamaica Diaspora Conference, showing a majority of deportees were removed for various criminal offenses, but those offenses were not necessarily permanent bars to returning to the U.S. legally.
“Deportation from the U.S. has had a devastating effect on Jamaican families, and has led to some deportees illegally returning to the U.S. only to be imprisoned up to twenty years for the offense,” notes Golding. “Some individuals have even died attempting to return to the U.S. illegally.”
The popularity of the Board’s initiative has grown to such an extent that the attorneys have been invited to meet with deportees in Guyana later this week. They also are scheduled to return to Jamaica to hold another forum next January.
“The success of these forums will effectively afford the Jamaica Diaspora the opportunity to form partnerships in and outside Jamaica,” says Golding. “So we can address U.S. immigration policies affecting Caribbean families.”