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Diaspora workshops to target deportees

Monday, July 17, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — Several members of the Jamaica Diaspora Immigration and Deportation Prevention Task Force (JDIDPTF) will participate in consultative workshops targeting involuntary returning residents (deportees), to determine their eligibility to return to the US.

The workshops are part of the Diaspora Day of Service at the upcoming Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference and will be held on July 27.

Outgoing Diaspora Advisory Board member for the North East United States and President of the Jamaican American Bar Association, Attorney-at-Law, Joan Pinnock, said the JDIDPTF was established to educate Jamaicans in the Diaspora about their immigration rights and the benefits of becoming citizens of their host countries.

“The Task Force also assists with reducing the large numbers of persons deported to Jamaica from the US, Canada and the United Kingdom and help in returning those who are wrongfully deported to their host country,” she said.

She noted that the Executive Order signed by US President, Donald Trump, to protect that country's borders, promises to detain and remove individuals who may have broken the laws and who have convictions. There are a number of Jamaicans in the US who fall into this category and who need help.

The Task Force benefits from expertise in different areas of Immigration and Criminal Law as well as administration outreach, communication, web design and social media skills.

Prior to the formation of the JDIDPTF, Pinnock had been working with Jamaicans as President of the Jamaican American Bar Association. She assisted in the successful return of three deported Jamaicans to the US as citizens.

She informed that since its establishment in November last year, members of the Task Force have interacted with Jamaicans by hosting town hall meetings in the Bronx, New York; Boston, Massachusetts; Irvington, New Jersey; and Washington DC. Meetings were also held in Kingston and Montego Bay in March this year.

Pinnock said that coming out of the meetings, five individuals were identified who are eligible to return to the US, based on their parents obtaining US citizenship prior to their 18th birthday and the JDIDPTF is following up with these individuals.

Presently, the Task Force comprises representatives from the US, but is inviting membership from Jamaican attorneys in the UK and Canada.

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