01 Feb Trump Restricts Jamaican Students From Work and Travel?
Opposition Spokesperson on Youth and Culture, Lisa Hanna, has called on the Government to clarify whether, and to what extent, President Donald Trump’s recent immigration orders could affect Jamaican students seeking employment in the United States. According to Ms. Hanna “The President of the United States has signed a raft of executive orders directing the operations of federal agencies on a range of issues. Mr. Trump’s order on immigration has attracted significant international attention as it purports to significantly restrict access to visas and other benefits traditionally afforded by the US government. One such benefit is the J1 visa program.”
Ms. Hanna says in the face of the uncertainty created by the executive order, the Government of Jamaica needed to provide clarity for students who may be planning to travel for employment this summer “Because the language of Mr. Trump’s executive order is particularly broad, [Sec. 3. Suspension of Issuance of Visas and Other Immigration Benefits to Nationals of Countries of Particular Concern. (a) The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, shall immediately conduct a review to determine the information needed from any country to adjudicate any visa, admission, or other benefit under the INA (adjudications) in order to determine that the individual seeking the benefit is who the individual claims to be and is not a security or public-safety threat.] it could potentially affect Jamaican students. Many of our students rely on the “work and travel program” for its employment opportunities to pay their way through university or college and to gain much needed work experience. Should the executive order actually restrict access for our students to the US job market, how does the Jamaican Government intend to absorb the demand that will be created for employment. Many of these students start preparation as early as January each year, which for many is a very costly” Ms. Hanna said.
The Opposition Spokesperson says that it is surprising that the Jamaican Government has not sought to give this matter the urgency which it deserves, as many of these young people are unaware of the possible impact this will likely have on their plans to travel and work overseas. Ms. Hanna is calling on the government to provide an update as hundreds of students are preparing to leave as early as May of this year.
This is particularly urgent as other participating countries around the world have already put their immigration concerns regarding their young students to the new administration.