(JIS) – Jamaicans Living Illegally in the UK: High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (UK), His Excellency Seth George Ramocan, is urging Jamaicans living illegally in the UK to take steps to legitimise their residency.
He said this was imperative in order for persons to avoid challenges such as being unable to gain employment, noting that “if anyone employs you, that person can be charged and imprisoned.”
Mr. Ramocan also cited the UK’s Immigration Act, 2016, which prevents illegal migrants from accessing housing, acquiring driver’s licences and holding bank accounts.
It also introduced new measures to simplify the enforcement of immigration laws and deporting illegal migrants.
The High Commissioner was speaking in an interview on the Jamaica Information Service’s (JIS) Issues and Answers television programme recently.
Mr. Ramocan said Jamaicans living illegally in the UK can contact the High Commission for assistance, pointing out that “we have lawyers (who) will counsel and (offer guidance).”
He said persons identified as illegal immigrants and are likely to be deported are either warned or incarcerated depending on their circumstances.
Additionally, Mr. Ramocan said the High Commission is normally notified when there are plans to deport a Jamaican.
“There is a process in place (which sees) the High Commission (working) with the person who is to be deported as well as with the authorities (in dealing with the matter). We talk with the individuals to find out whether they would opt for voluntary removal, because you don’t have to be deported.
“The difference is when you opt for voluntary removal, (a) blot is not (placed) against your name; so you have the opportunity to reapply in order to come back into the country. But if you are forcefully removed, you have put a blot against your name,” he added.
Meanwhile, Mr. Ramocan is urging persons to ensure that once the authorities notify them of their status, they commence the process of legitimising their presence in the UK.
“Sometimes the authorities can be a bit strong (and) unrelenting. But there are others (who) when you reason (with them), they (may) see that you are not giving support to illegality. Jamaica is a country that upholds the rule of law and we believe you bring a bad name upon Jamaica when you cause these things to happen,” the High Commissioner stated
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