Jamaican convicted of lottery scamming loses bid to remain in USSunday, June 20, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica— A Jamaican woman who pleaded guilty to defrauding elderly American in a lottery scam in the United States, has lost her bid to halt deportation proceedings against her, despite contending that she would face torture from the scam's ringleader.
The United States Court of Appeals of the Third Circuit ruled, by split decision, on Thursday that Kayann Antoinette Darby did not prove that she was likely to face retribution from the scam's chief commander -- identified only as 'Ringo' -- if she was deported to Jamaica.
Consequently, the majority of the three-judge panel hearing the appeal affirmed the Board of Immigration Appeals' (BIA's) rejection of Darby's late quest to reopen her asylum petition.
According to the written judgment, a copy of which was obtained by OBSERVER ONLINE, Darby became a lawful permanent resident of the United States in 2010.
But two years later, Darby, who lived in New York, began participating in a phone scam to defraud elderly people, eventually becoming more involved in the scam network by visiting Jamaica to "hand-deliver money" to Ringo.
Darby was arrested in 2014 in relation to the scam, and later pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in October 2017.
"As part of her guilty plea, Darby provided information about Ringo to the Assistant US Attorney prosecuting the case. She identified Ringo in a photograph but did not receive a reduced sentence in exchange for providing the information," an outline of the allegations stated.
Subsequently, the Jamaican woman was sentenced to 30 months in jail, and ordered to pay restitution of US$93,836.
Due to Darby's conviction, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) filed removability orders against her, but the Jamaican claimed asylum.
However, an immigration judge sustained charges of removability against Darby, and denied her subsequent application for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Covention Against Torture (CAT), and ordered that she be removed from the United States to Jamaica.
Those decisions were later upheld by the BIA.
However, the Jamaican "moved to reopen her removal proceedings a year and a half later, well past the statutory deadline to do so," the judgment indicated.
Darby also contended that the deadline did not apply to her case, as her circumstances in Jamaica had changed in relation to her claims of facing torture from Ringo.
Further, Darby maintained that "BIA should reopen proceedings because she had shown eligibility for an adjustment of status", according to the written judgment.
The BIA, however, rejected Darby's arguments and denied her motion to reopen, resulting in her move for the Appeal Court to review that decision.
"We will deny the petition," the Appeal court wrote in its judgment on Thursday.
The court argued that while Article 3 of the CAT prevents the United States from deporting an alien to a country "where there are substantial grounds for believing that he (or she) would be in danger of subjected to torture", Darby failed to provide sufficient new evidence of "official acquiescence", meaning that the Jamaican State would turn a blind eye to any torture or violence she faced.
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