SOCIETY: Born in Saint-Martin, a 22-year-old woman is deported to Jamaica

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Incomprehension, confusion and anger reign within the family of Tamika McFarlane and the AIDES association. The young woman, born and having always lived in Saint-Martin, was deported to Jamaica last Tuesday.

Gathered in front of the prefecture on the morning of March 14 to try to block the procedure, members of Tamika's family, including her mother Beverley, and representatives of the AIDES association denounce an unfair expulsion. Context: Tamika, 22, was born in Saint-Martin to a Jamaican mother and a French father. The latter not having recognized his daughter, Tamika takes Jamaican nationality "by default" even though she was born on the French territory of Saint-Martin. Having never left the island, educated on the Dutch side (for lack of having been able to enroll her in the French part) and English-speaking, Tamika was hosted by the AIDES association, which has been supporting her in her regularization process for three years. When she comes of age, Tamika applies for a passport in order to obtain a residence permit. The relevant departments of the prefecture gave him a receipt without further follow-up, despite the reminders. In July 2022, Tamika receives an obligation to leave French territory (OQTF). Following this announcement, which disrupts the life of the young woman and her family, a request for legal aid is activated by AIDES so that a lawyer files an appeal with the administrative court in January 2023: Tamika has no connection with the Jamaica, his expulsion would disproportionately damage his future. The same month, Tamika is checked and arrested by the Border Police (PAF). Vincent Berton, delegate prefect of the Northern Islands, decides to give Tamika house arrest pending the opinion of the administrative court. Since then, the young woman went to the detention center every morning to put her signature on the register. On the morning of this Tuesday, March 14, when she is at the center to clock in, she is informed that she must leave the territory of Saint-Martin immediately. She is taken to Juliana airport to board the plane which is about to reach Jamaica, her mother's country of origin. With Tamika on the Dutch side of the island, the association's lawyer's ability to maneuver is limited. For the prefecture: “An individual situation cannot be the subject of information dissemination to the general public. It should be noted that the personal situation of Tamika McFarlane has been carefully examined in accordance with the law. However, it was not possible to give a favorable response to his request”. As of this writing, Tamika is now in Jamaica. After a long wait at the immigration services where the Jamaican authorities were skeptical that she had no connection with their country, Tamika escaped foster care thanks to the reception of an acquaintance. of his mother who lives there. Her family and AIDES hope to be able to get her back to Saint-Martin quickly.  _VX

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