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Veteran tries to become US citizen, deported back to Jamaica

There are some people out there who think that the only people who are deported are the ones that deserve it. The people who get deported are the ones who have caused some kind of disturbance or who have broken the law. What many people may not realize, however, is that some of the people who are facing deportation proceedings are there because of a single old mistake.

Imagine moving to a new country, perhaps one where you don't understand the language or customs. For many, it is a difficult adjustment, and during the time you are learning, you are at risk of being taken advantage of. That is the case for many immigrants to the U.S. and it is not exactly surprising then, that some of them make some criminal mistakes.

Take, for example, the case of an immigrant from Jamaica. When he moved to the U.S. a fellow Jamaican requested that he receive some packages for him, as the second man didn't have a permanent address. Sadly, the first immigrant agreed, not realizing the packages were marijuana. He was arrested and charged with a drug crime, a crime that would come back to haunt him when he tried to become a U.S. citizen.

The man is a veteran, owns his own home and business and has two children who are American citizens. In the 20 years since his conviction, he has not once been in trouble with the law and, yet, when he tried to naturalize, his application was held up for five years. Finally, he was ultimately arrested and deported to Jamaica with no money and no possessions. That single mistake likely cost him his chance to become an American citizen.

Source: National Public Radio, "Deported For An Old Crime, Jamaican Loses His American Dream," Celeste Headlee, April 17, 2014

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132 East Chestnut Street
Lancaster, PA 17602

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