J'cans abroad fear scamming could cause travel ban

February 08, 2017
US President Donald Trump
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Kamina Johnson Smith.
Lisa Hanna

Uncertainty surrounding the travel ban imposed by President Donald Trump has caused some Jamaicans living in the United States to wonder if their homeland could face a similar fate because of lottery scamming.

The issue has caused panic among some members of the diaspora, who believe the illicit act falls under Trump's mandate to 'make America great again'.

Trump announced a four-month hold on allowing refugees into the US, and temporarily barred travellers from seven Muslim-majority countries, provoking a worldwide backlash and protests at US airports.

A federal judge has since ruled that the ban was unlawful, and has temporarily lifted it.

Miguel Allen, a resident in Florida, told THE STAR that if the US banned Jamaicans from entering, it would be for lottery scamming.

"The amount of money being fleeced from American retirees by scammers into Jamaica, they are about to take a stand, just like how they are placing a ban on countries condemned by Americans," he said.

disingenuous ways

Restaurant owner Wendy Newland, who owns an eatery in South Florida, agreed.

"Millions are sent to Jamaica annually and these scammers keep on coming up with disingenuous ways to get money from these seniors and it has got out of control. The Government in Jamaica has tried to combat scamming, but, suffice to say, it doesn't seem to be working," Newland said.

However, Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister Kamina Johnson Smith said Jamaicans should remain calm.

Johnson Smith said it is extremely unhelpful that people are inciting panic on matters that are very complex and very technical, and subject to a lot of uncertainty even in the issuing state.

Opposition MP Lisa Hanna has called for the Government to clarify whether, and to what extent, Trump's immigration orders could affect Jamaican students seeking temporary employment in the US in future.

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