Two of the most heart-wrenching calls I have ever had was associated with immigration.
It still resound like yesterday when a friend called and asked me to go pick up her child from school as she was detained. She was a single mom, and I was thrust into the role of provider for a lad of around 6 years old.
How does one prepare to explain to a first grader the whereabouts of his mom and find him a secure environment until this family hurricane has passed over?
Next came a call from a husband whose was bewildered by his wife being swept up in a dragnet. He needed some collective wisdom to break the news to the kids and take on the tasks of both parents , while the confusion of the moment is sorted out.
Both cases ended badly and had implication for the local Jamaican community , some of whom wanted not to be associated with the fallen families, so they became chameleon.
Immigration is no longer viewed through the mythical eyes of the Ellis Island experience with the statue of liberty beckoning.
It remains a highly emotional, divisive, and complex issue.
2010 will bring the immigration issue to the fore once more. To help us navigate through the complexities of this issue, we had a conversation with an expert in immigration law.
Ms. Debbie M. Schell has been a Principal of the international law firm of Wagner & Schell, LLP since 1998.
Ms. Schell has an international background and she focuses on immigration law, international business transactions and trade between Caribbean countries and the United States and European Union.
According to the figures reported by the US federal government(Homeland Security), for the 10-year period between 1999 and 2008,there were a total of 2,046 Jamaicans deported from the U.S. Of that number, 1,392 were deported for a criminal issue; while 654 were deported for non-criminal issues.
To put this data into perspective, the total number of persons deported for that 10-year period was approx. 358,000 of those :
- 250,000 from Mexico
- 28,000 from Honduras
- 27,000 from Guatemala
- 20,000 from El Salvadore.
Click to listen to Ms. Schell’s wisdom on immigration
For those who would want to share a gift for the holidays around a deeper understanding of the issues on immigration, you may want to consider Ms. Schell’s fine works.
- Instructions on how to complete required forms
- Documentation you need to naturalize
- Information on the U.S. citizenship examination
- The English language requirement
Her second book is:
US Immigration and Citizenship Q & A
- What happens to my visa if I lose my job?
- How can my business send someone to the USA?
- Can I get a visa if I get married on the internet?
- How can I stay 20 years old forever?
The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.
John F. Kennedy