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Jamaica worried about visa revocations, denial of entry at Texas airport

Published:Friday | March 17, 2017 | 7:09 PM

Jamaican officials are expressing concern about a reported increase in the number of nationals refused entry at a United States airport.

According to Jamaica’s Consul General for Miami, Franz Hall, several Jamaicans who turn up at the Hobby Airport in Houston, Texas, have been denied entry and their visas cancelled.

In an interview on Both Sides of the Story on Power 106 FM on Friday, Hall said Jamaican authorities are troubled.

He said immigration officials in foreign countries have a right to determine who they allow into their countries, but Jamaica also has a responsibility to ensure that its citizens are treated fairly when they travel.


Jamaica’s Consul General for Miami, Franz Hall

Earlier this month, a Jamaican woman, Veronica Gaubault, complained about treatment she received at the Hobby Airport.

According to her, US border and customs officials confiscated and inspected her cell phone, a tablet computer and other belongings.

She further said she was held in custody for four hours and her US visa revoked before she was sent back to Jamaica.

Immigration attorneys had warned Jamaicans to expect additional screening when travelling to the US in light of expanded powers given to US border and customs officials by President Donald Trump.

Trump has issued executive orders which, among other things, give law enforcement personnel more power to scrutinise persons seeking entry in the US as well as to detain and deport illegal immigrants.