Friday, October 10, 2008

Jamaican HIV Positive Immigrant Wins Asylum (Caribbean World News)

Jamaican HIV Positive Immigrant Wins Asylum

CaribWorldNews, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Oct. 10, 2008: A New York City-based Immigration judge has ruled that a Jamaican woman who is HIV positive should be allowed to stay in the United States because deporting her back to Jamaica could place her in danger.

Judge Alan Page, citing a recent Amnesty International report documenting claims that women with HIV `have been driven from their homes and had their homes burnt down,` ruled that `it is likely the respondent will be physically harmed if she is returned to Jamaica.`

The judge`s decision was heavily based on expert testimony by Dr. Farley Cleghorn on the situation confronting people living with HIV in Jamaica. Cleghorn, currently head of The Futures Group, a private company that contracts with U.S. government agencies to implement health programs overseas, testified in great detail about the enormous deficiencies in treatment for HIV in Jamaica, and the intense hostility that HIV-positive people encounter there.

The depth and detail of his testimony was essentially adopted by Page in his description of the situation in Jamaica.

The U.S. Homeland Security was seeking to deport the woman, whose name was not released, back to Jamaica since she has a criminal record and under U.S. immigration laws, as a greencard holder, she is deportable.

She was first diagnosed HIV-positive in 2000, but did not receive any treatment for her HIV until she was put into detention by Homeland Security as a result of her drug-related criminal record last year.

Judge Page determined that she was eligible for `withholding of removal,` a status that would allow her to remain in the United States because of the severe difficulties she would encounter if forced to return to Jamaica. The judge concluded that it is unlikely she would be able to connect with appropriate treatment there, and given her AIDS diagnosis the results for her would be catastrophic.

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