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All Woman

Immigration stories gone wrong

LOVE, SEX, & RELATIONSHIPS

BY DONNA HUSSEYWHYTE All Woman writer

Monday, April 07, 2014    

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THE desire to leave Jamaica for greener pastures has often meant that those who are not able to do so through legal means resort to other methods of escape. For many, the green card is the ultimate dream, and stories have been told of persons spending loads of money and entering into back door deals to "get through".

For some, the stories end in success, for others, it's failure, often leading to hurt for those involved.

Last year the Daily Mail reported the story of a charity worker who spent £5,000 to marry and take his new Jamaican wife to the UK, only to have her leave him 20 minutes after she arrived.

Johnny Gannon, 54, said he knew his 24-year-old wife for over two years and never suspected that she only wanted to migrate.

In fact, he said he felt lucky to have met and married his young bride and was looking forward to spending forever with her.

However, within 20 minutes of arriving through his front door, the Jamaican flagged down a car and caught a train, ending all his dreams of being with her. Gannon believed she had arranged the entire scheme with her Jamaican boyfriend living in Bristol.

He found out she had also run up a £500 bill on his mobile phone after sending him on the road to purchase cup soup before making her departure.

Gannon's story is not unique.

Many persons have married just for the opportunity to travel abroad, mostly to the United States, Canada, and the UK, fooling not only their partners in some cases but sometimes even themselves as they come to learn the hard way.

This week All Woman shares some of the most extreme cases our readers have experienced.

Mary M, 44:

My cousin decided to marry a Nigerian man. He treated her like a queen in Jamaica but after they got married and she got there, he started beating her and treating her badly. He told her that women should know their place and he didn't allow her to go out. She is desperately trying to return to Jamaica but she has to be dependent on him for money because he doesn't allow her to work. She is now asking her father to send her money so that she can leave him and return home. But I don't know how that is going now because she has to hide and call her dad.

Paulette L, 35:

My friend's sister was dating this married man overseas. In order to get her to migrate, he arranged for his best friend to come to Jamaica and marry her. They arranged an elaborate wedding, but in the church, while they stood in front of the pastor, the man burst out, "So what is your real name again?" Everyone was shocked.

Georgette J, 34:

I know a woman who paid a man to marry her so she could go up (America). The agreement was that when she got there they would live together for a while and then he would divorce her because they did not have that kind of a relationship. But the woman looked good and the man decided that he did not want to divorce her and threatened her that if she tried to leave he would call immigration on her. So you know that she's trapped.

Tamara M, 29:

One man I know lost over $100,000 that he paid to a woman who promised him a visa. She gave him even the date when he was supposed to travel and said that she would meet him at the airport to give him the plane ticket. When he went there, she could not be found. That was two years ago and from that day 'till now he has been trying to call her and her number is out of service.

Louise M, 30:

My cousin went up on a visitor's visa, got married to a childhood friend, got divorced when she realised his papers were not straight, got married again, divorced again, and got married again to a man whose papers are also not straight. Now she's in limbo because her newest hubby can't file for her, and she's illegal in the country.

Nadia B, 33:

My friend is dating this German who promised to marry her. He took her to his country on a visa and during a fight one day, he spat in her face and used a racial slur. She forgave him because she really wants to leave Jamaica. They're not married yet, but they are engaged and she looks sure set to migrate even though the man is racist.

Julia B, 40:

This actually happened to me. When I was 25 I met this guy online and we developed a relationship. A few years later, though we had not met in person, we had agreed to get married. I sold all my stuff and left for Texas, with the understanding that we'd get married there and adjust my status. Well, when I got there the guy I was talking to looked nothing like the guy who met me. Turns out that my obese, unemployed psychotic 'fiancé' had been using someone else's image, name, social security and information. I hightailed it out there and back to Jamaica as fast as I could.

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