October 2015 Volume 12

KCOB Assists Deportees get US Citizenship after 25 years

Reprinted from Jamaica Observer
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Two Jamaicans — Devon Cameron and his sister Donna Cameron -- who were deported as children from Maryland, United States, 25 years ago, on drug-related offences returned on September 20 to the US as citizens.

It was made possible through the assistance of two Jamaican immigration attorneys, Joan Pinnock and Wayne Golding, Diaspora board members for the North East USA and South East, respectively.

The initiative followed the first immigration symposium that was held at the sixth Biannial Jamaica Diaspora Conference in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The symposium, organised by Pinnock and Golding, offered services to assist deportees in determining their eligibility to return to the US. Dubbed the Immigration Assistance for Jamaica, it is a pro bono initiative designed to assist Jamaican deportees.

According to Pinnock, a total of 50 deportees were interviewed and the Cameron siblings were immediately determined as eligible to return to the United States.

Based on their intervention, the proper documents were gathered and an application made to US immigration authorities.

She added that, on September 9, Devon and Donna Cameron received their US passports from the United States Consulate in Montego Bay. Pinnock, who accompanied the pair on their return to the US, said she and Golding met with an additional 40 deportees in Kingston on September 15 and determined that another four were eligible to return to the US as citizens.

According to Pinnock, since Jamaicans are among the highest numbers of immigrants being deported from the US every year, the immigration symposium should be held annually to address the issues of immigration and deportation of Jamaican nationals.

In 2010, Pinnock was successful in returning then deported Vanvern Blake to the United States. He now resides with his family in Connecticut.

-- Derrick Scott--

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