The Jamaican deportee .... Publishes book and helping J'cans to land US visas
St Thomas native Charles 'Charlie' Brown says he is being denied job opportunities in his home country simply because he is a deportee.
Brown, 52, who was deported from the US to Jamaica in 2004, said that he has faced severe discrimination since returning home, so much so that he was forced to write a book and start his own business.
His book, titled The Jamaican Deportees, was published in the US in 2012. It is being used as reference in many universities abroad.
"I published the book in the US because I went to a lot of publishers in Jamaica, but as they heard the word deportee, they 'criminalised' everybody. A couple universities gravitate to it. It got to Princeton, Georgetown, University of Florida and the library of Congress," Brown said.
Not being widely accepted in Jamaica, that did not deter the former policeman and United States army veteran.
Brown told THE STAR that he migrated from Jamaica in 1985 after serving as a police officer and enlisted in the US army in 1988, until he was injured during a training exercise and was given a honourary discharge.
"I got a two-year probation with no conviction on record, arising from a domestic dispute with my spouse and her ex-husband in 1995... I got arrested in 2000 for resisting arrest without violence and, as a result, they revoked my probation and a judge sent me to a correction institute for 46 months," Brown said of his brushes with the law.
According to Brown, he was deported following the passing of the United States Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA of 1996).
"Any individual who is on probation or a waiting a sentence would be deported. I was deported because I wasn't a citizen even though I served in the army."
Having been deported to Jamaica, Brown said he was denied the opportunity to fully reintegrate into the society. His knocks on several doors for a job were turned down, and Brown was in a lonely place. It was then that he decided to use his resources and knowledge to educate and enlighten persons about the plight of the Jamaican deportee.
"It's a damaging situation. They don't really have time to say, I wonder why he was deported? Or think about the hindrance the individual faces. So, in my book, I am speaking for myself and other deportees who are more qualified than I am," he said.
The result was a 12-chapters 256-page book.
Brown told THE STAR that it took him almost eight years to put the book together. In addition to being an author, he is the CEO of Universal Travel and Visa Application Services, an entity which assists persons in getting visas to the US.
"It is recognised by the US Embassy in Kingston. Mi can put my pot on fire. I get pension from the US army and royalties from my book. They know I am criminally deported, but they don't block me and say mi can't do visa application. I am blocked by my own Government. They closed the door," Brown said