Caribbean Community Forum to Focus on Immigration

Immigration will be the main focus at the annual Caribbean community forum on Thursday, April 26, at the Wynnefield Presbyterian Church, 54th Street & Woodcrest Avenue, Philadelphia.
This forum, to be hosted by the Philadelphia Organizing Committee of Team Jamaica Bickle (TJB), is another in the annual series of public fora sponsored by local churches and businesses within the Philadelphia Caribbean community. “Our goal is to provide information, come up with solutions and introduce local leaders to a community that is growing rapidly in Philadelphia,” Barbara Wilson, President of Philadelphia Caribbean Festival and Chair of TJB, Philadelphia, told JIS News.
Carol Hallstrom, Head of the US Citizenship & Immigration of the Department of Homeland Security, will attempt to simplify the ever changing immigration system. “She will discuss relevant information and rules about the department that every immigrant should know,” according to Judith Martin, the forum co-ordinator and a TJB volunteer.
The panel will also include Jamaica’s Consul General, Dr. Basil K. Bryan, who will discuss the new passport regime, resulting from the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, requiring that all travelling Americans must now bear a valid passport.
The forum also serves to bring the very strong Philadelphia/Jamaica community face-to-face with the growing list of corporate partners with TJB in providing for the visiting athletes at the Penn Relays, which this year is celebrating its 113th running, from April 26 to 28, at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Jamaica has been competing at the Penn Relays since 1964. “What we are trying to do is not only assist these students to win Penn Relay races, but assist them in winning the race of life, by possibly winning scholarships to colleges in the United States,” Christopher Chaplin, co-chair of Team Jamaica Bickle/Philadelphia, told JIS News.
According to an ESPN/ABC Sports poll, of the 90,000 to 150,000 persons who attend the three-day event, over 43 per cent are Jamaicans.

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