I came to America from Kingston, Jamaica when I was 12 years old. I had lived with my aunt since I was a baby because my mother had left me to marry someone in the United States. She was able to get her green card through this marriage, and eventually my step father filed a petition for me to join them. I graduated from high school, but had no interest in college. It was really a subject that was never discussed. For the most part, I did some construction work or found odd jobs here and there. I was laid off two years ago, so started my own car detailing business. I have a license, pay taxes most years, and still live with my mother, but I have a girlfriend and a seven month old baby who live in an apartment.
Every week I spend some time with my daughter and her mother, and give them money as I can. My girlfriend doesn’t work, and I only make about $10,000 dollars a year, so it has been hard to keep everything going.
After a recent trip to Jamaica to visit my aunt, I was stopped at the airport and questioned by immigration officers. They questioned me about my arrest and “no contest” plea to possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana, and my arrests for armed burglary and intent to sell drugs. I explained that the armed burglary and intent to sell charges were dropped. Another appointment for deferred inspection was scheduled for me to report to them to produce documents concerning all of my arrests.
When I got to the appointment, I was not allowed to go home. Instead, I was sent to a detention center and put into removal proceedings. After a preliminary hearing with the judge, government attorney, and my attorney, a final hearing was scheduled for about a month later.
Eligible for Cancellation of Removal?
My lawyer said he would file an application for Cancellation of Removal, which if I won, would allow me to be able to stay in the US with my family. At the final court hearing, it was revealed that I had not been truthful in my Cancellation of Removal application when I stated neither I, nor any of my family, had received government assistance. In fact, Medicaid paid the medical costs for the birth of my child. When my tax returns were reviewed, it was also revealed that I had falsely claimed dependents in order to receive a large refund and there were some years I did not file taxes, but should have.
All of my family is here and all of them are citizens. Although I love my aunt and have been to Jamaica 4 or 5 times to visit her, I don’t want to leave at this point. I am 29 now, and want to work hard for my little girl and see her grow up.