Sunday 21 July, 2019

Increase in Jamaicans deported from the US in 2018

File photo of deportees being processed at the Mobile Reserve in Kingston.

File photo of deportees being processed at the Mobile Reserve in Kingston.

There was an increase in the number of Jamaicans who were deported to the island from the United States of America (USA) in 2018, when compared to the previous year.

However, deportations collectively from other countries were down last year, when compared to 2017.

The numbers are contained in the 2018 edition of the Economic and Social Survey Jamaica (ESSJ), which is published by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ).

They showed that while the overall number of deportations to Jamaica was down by 15.1 per cent, there was a 14.3 per cent increase - to 742 - in the number of deportees to Jamaica from the USA. This was up from the 649 who were deported in 2017.

The ESSJ said there was a 31.8 per cent decline in the number of deportees coming from Canada (75 people), while there was a 51.2 per cent decrease in the number of persons deported from the United Kingdom, and a 39.6 per cent decrease in those sent from ‘other countries’.

The data continued to show that overall, the main reasons for deportation were overstay/illegal entry/re-entry, which accounted for 443 persons; and possession of drugs, which involved 335 persons.

The ESSJ said male deportees were mainly in the 25-50 age group category, while female deportees were mainly in the 21–35 group.

Meanwhile, fewer Jamaicans returned home on a voluntary basis in 2018, with 141, or 16.2 per cent fewer persons returning to the land of their birth last year, when compared with 2017 numbers, the ESSJ said.

There were 872 returnees in 2017, compared to 731 last year.

Of those who returned in 2018, the majority (384) were from the USA. This compared to 106 who returned from that country in 2017.

The categories of voluntary returning residents from all other countries recorded lower numbers, compared with 2017 figures. Only 75 persons returned from Canada last year, compared to 162 the year before. For the United Kingdom, it was 147 who returned home in 2018, compared to 470 in 2017.

The category ‘other countries’ saw 125 Jamaicans returning in 2018, relative to 134 in 2017.

In the meantime, the number of registered Commonwealth Citizens residing in Jamaica rose to 4,154 in 2018, from 3,930 in 2017, representing a 5.6 per cent increase. There was also a 3.2 per cent growth in the number of people registered as aliens, to 10,026 from 9,709 in 2017.

“When examined by country of origin, it was revealed that 45.4 per cent of alien applicants were from Asian countries; 15.3 per cent from the non-Commonwealth Caribbean; 14.4 per cent from Europe; 13.0 per cent from Latin America; and 11.5 per cent from the USA,” said the ESSJ.

It said that when compared to 2017, there was a 57.5 per cent increase in the number of aliens from Asian countries, and an 11.4 per cent increase in those coming from the USA in 2018.

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