Shahine documents prove US citizenship renounced

Published: Tuesday | December 14, 2010 Comments 0

The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) has furnished proof that Shahine Robinson has relinquished her United States citizenship, which she acquired while being a member of Jamaica's Parliament.

A Certificate of Loss of Nationality of the United States was produced by JLP General Secretary Aundré Franklin during a press conference held at the party's Belmont Road headquarters yesterday.

The certificate, dated October 19, 2010, is signed by Jennifer DeWitt Walsh, a US consular officer.

The document states that Robinson resided in the US from 1978 to 1981, 1984 to 1989, and intermittently until 2001. She acquired US nationality by virtue of naturalisation on January 21, 2006.

The application to renounce her US citizenship was made on September 23, 2010, eight days after she ended her fight to remain in Parliament. At the time, Manley Bowen, an elector, was asking the court to disqualify Robinson on the grounds that she was an American citizen and was not qualified to be a member of parliament. Robinson had opposed Bowen's claim.

Documents filed

But in a press statement issued on behalf of Robinson September 16, one day after she was asked to respond to documents filed in the Supreme Court which proved that she was an American citizen, Robinson said she thought she had given up her US citizenship.

Read a section of Robinson's statement: "In June 2007, prior to Nomination Day, which was on August 7, 2007, I attended the Immigration and Naturalisation Services Office in Biscayne, Miami, Florida, and handed in my United States passport with the intention to renounce my US citizenship.

"At the time, I was led to believe that this was a sufficient act to renounce my US citizenship, so that on Nomination Day, August 7, 2007, I was of the view that I was no longer a US citizen," Robinson said in the statement.

Yesterday, Franklin said it would be unfair to Robinson if persons punished her for her actions.

"We have a way in this country where, when penalties and consequences are meted out to individuals, we continue to scar them for the rest of their lives. Ms Shahine Robinson, then member of parliament for North East St Ann, went before the court and the court declared the election null and void. The court also declared that there should be a by-election. Mrs Shahine Robinson has paid her dues. Let us not be the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court. She has done everything within the laws of our land. She has been an excellent member of parliament, and the Jamaica Labour Party considers it an honour to have her returned as a member of parliament," Franklin said.

Robinson is to face the electorate in a by-election on December 20. Journalist Devon Evans, of the Marcus Garvey Progressive Party, is the other nominated candidate.

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