JIS News

Minister of National Security, Senator the Hon. Dwight Nelson, has said that the Jamaican Diaspora can help to deter Jamaican citizens residing abroad from overstaying their time, through the establishment of an education programme.
He was responding to a question posed by one of the participants at a workshop on Crime and Violence, under the topic: ‘Management of Deportees’, put on as part of the activities of the ongoing inaugural Future Leaders Jamaican Diaspora Conference, today (August 7), at the University of the West Indies’ (UWI), Mona Visitors’ Lodge.
The Minister said that the average Jamaican who goes to the United States (US), Great Britain or Canada, and overstays, does not do so out of ignorance, but rather as a deliberate act.
“I don’t think there is any need to educate a Jamaican that if you get a one-week visa, you must come back in one-week – they know that, and when they go, they deliberately stay there,” he said.
Senator Nelson noted, however, that where the ignorance lies is what will happen to them when they have committed the offence. “This is where we need to inculcate in their minds, through some kind of mechanism, that if you go to the United States (for instance) and you overstay, they are going to look at you like a common criminal, and they are going to treat you like a common criminal,” he emphasised
“What we have to do, and here is where I think the Diaspora can assist, is to create an education programme, to let them know the horrors of being caught in that situation. Let them know what will happen to them; let them know how they will be treated; and let them know how they will be abused,” the Security Minister stressed.
He pointed out that offenders might listen more keenly to a member of the Diaspora, rather than a Jamaican, as that person would know the systems of the country they reside in, and would know what the repercussions would be. “They will believe you,” he said.
Chief Technical Director in the National Security Ministry, Dianne McIntosh, also suggested that the Diaspora help youngsters from Jamaica, who are living overseas.
“You know, they get lost in the community, and they really need to be seen as a special group. You can reach out to them, especially the young men – your 15,16,17 year olds who are out there, because a lot of things start from that age,” she said.
The six-day Conference, which ends today, is being held under the theme: ‘Connecting Diaspora Future Leaders: Solidifying our Places in our Homelands and Jamaica’.
It is a collaborative effort of the Jamaican Diaspora Future Leaders, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and Youth, Sports and Culture, the Jamaican Diaspora Institute, Mona School of Business and the University of the West Indies, Mona campus.

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