Messages such as the above are being circulated throughout the US causing fear among immigrants
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith is today encouraging Jamaicans to remain calm in light of recent events in the United States.
According to the Minister, “It is very important in these matters that we remain calm and responsible. It is extremely unhelpful that people are inciting panic on matters that are very complex and very technical and subject to a lot of uncertainty even in the issuing state. The Ministry is making every effort to ascertain what the scope of these orders and it is important that we not conflate them, because there is more than one order and they deal with entirely different things. I would ask the Jamaican community overseas and public to remain calm and to be assured that the Ministry is examining these issues”.
“We are in contact with the US Embassy here, and we are in contact with the State Department overseas through our Missions there. As soon as we are clear on the advice we can give to the public on any impact on the Jamaican community, we will do so. Please be assured that we are monitoring these issues closely with your interest at heart”.
Minister Johnson Smith says the Ministry and the Government will maintain open communications channels and provide updates as matters become clearer, and the circumstances evolve.
“I think it’s important to make the point that the Jamaican Government cannot afford to rely on media reports and websites for information, so we have requested documentation on the Executive Orders from the US Embassy here and our missions in the (United) States. So we are very much doing the work that is necessary to ensure we do not inflame or give inaccurate positions or speculate as I believe is being done quite broadly now. We are making sure we have the right information to give the Jamaican people the correct advice which they need to guide them in their actions”.
However, Jamaicans living in the US many of them for all their lives and have raised families there are worried that the spate of executive orders may see them being deported.
“We are all nervous every day we see different groups releasing press statements or video or audio messages saying that we should not leave the country if we are not citizens or if we have family members out of the country we should ask them to come back,” said Terrence R a US Army Vet who left Jamaica for the States after completing high school in 1994.
Several other Jamaicans living in the US have said that there are reports that police are patrolling the streets checking on the status of persons whom they believe are immigrants.
“They are arguing that non-citizens are not protect by the constitution – immigrants are fearful – I’m a US citizen but that can be revoked if they chose,” Norma Brown* a mother of four told Jamaica News Hub.
Miss Brown reminded that Japanese-US citizens were rounded up and placed in concentration camps during the 1940s by the American Government.
* name change upon request