Tuesday 15 October, 2019

Jamaican's arrest by ICE sparks protest in Connecticut

As a Jamaican man left the Golden Hill Street courthouse in Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA recently, he was approached by two agents from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), who promptly arrested him.

The Jamaican national has not been identified, but there are claims that he was arraigned on drug-related charges the day before.

His arrest sparked a protest in front of the courthouse, which involved African Americans, Latinos, and other minority groups. The protestors accused court marshalls of conspiring with ICE agents to detain undocumented immigrants.

Since the start of the year, dozens of Jamaicans and other Caribbean nationals have been detained by ICE agents in US cities.

In January, ICE agents arrested 118 immigrants over a five-day period. Jamaican, Grenadians and Dominican Republic citizens were among those arrested. Several Caribbean nationals were also among 31 immigrants detained in May in New York.

Jamaican American congresswoman, Yvette D Clarke, has been a constant critic of the US government’s approach to immigration in that country. She has advocated for the protection of immigrants from the Caribbean and was the driving force behind the passing of the National Defense Authorisation Act.

Clarke successfully pushed for an amendment which regulates the Department of Defense’s use of equipment, personnel, and facilities to house or construct housing for any foreign nationals who are in ICE custody.

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