(Jamaica Gleaner) Veteran immigration attorney-at-law Dahlia Walker-Huntington is of the firm belief that the Jamaican economy will soon feel the sting of the ramped-up deportation exercises currently taking place in the United States.
The heightened fear of deportation within immigrant communities comes on the heels of Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly signing a pair of memos that empower federal authorities to more aggressively detain and deport illegal immigrants within the US.
The documents also instruct agency chiefs to recruit an additional 10,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to crackdown on illegal immigrants.
Quoting statistics from a study conducted by the migration policy institute, Walker-Huntington has pointed to approximately 65,000-67,000 Jamaicans residing in the US illegally and has fingered remittance and accommodation as limbs of the economy that may become sprained.
"Remittances fluctuate between numbers one and two as foreign exchange earners for Jamaica and the Caribbean. Another worrisome topic is what facilities are in place to absorb persons that are going to be removed. The governments of the Caribbean and Latin America need to pay close attention and try to figure out what they are going to do on this basis," Walker-Huntington told The Gleaner.