Don’t marginalise Ja­maican de­por­tees

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION & COMMENTARY -

THE ED­I­TOR, Sir: THE GLEANER’S WEEK­END STAR, dated Fri­day, Septem­ber 16, 2016, pub­lished a very in­ter­est­ing col­umn by Leighton Levy on de­por­tees. Ku­dos to the writer for shed­ding much­needed light on the topic, I had many ques­tions when I saw the front-page sto­ries a few weeks ago, es­pe­cially about the lat­est set of de­por­tees from the United King­dom.

Top on my list was how we rein­tro­duce and as­sim­i­late these per­sons into Ja­maican so­ci­ety, and who pro­vides care for these per­sons if they have no fam­ily here.

I am happy that the con­ver­sa­tion is be­ing had, be­cause it was only through THE STAR that I was made aware that the Gov­ern­ment has fa­cil­i­ties that pro­vide hous­ing, meals, cloth­ing, coun­selling and even pro­grammes that offer skills train­ing to the de­por­tees. Hats off to them! Who knew that such fa­cil­i­ties ex­isted? I didn’t.

Ap­par­ently, the Min­istry of Na­tional Se­cu­rity makes cer­tain pro­vi­sions for them. Now that’s great news! Col­lec­tively, we must all do our part to help in the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion process. We can­not al­low them to fall into a life of crime.

I’m also im­plor­ing that we not brand them as de­por­tees. Or­gan­i­sa­tions, don’t close your doors on them. Af­ter all, ev­ery­one de­serves a sec­ond chance. CLAUDE MCPHER­SON Kingston 6

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