ENGLISH-SPEAKING JAMAICAN MAN FEARS TORTURE BY A DRUG KINGPIN IF DEPORTED (Paul)

Paul* is an English-speaking man from Jamaica who fears returning to his home country because his family is being targeted by a drug kingpin. Alexander*, the drug kingpin, is a former police officer with government connections. In 2008 and 2013, two of Paul’s cousins were killed on Alexander’s orders. Over the years, Alexander has continued to grow more powerful in Jamaica and develop more connections with the police and government officials. Alexander has threatened to kill every member of Paul’s family, likely in fear of retaliation. When Paul entered ICE custody, his family began receiving calls asking when Paul would return to Jamaica and threatening to kill him when he returns. Based on the likelihood that he will be killed if he returns to Jamaica, Paul is eligible for protection under the Convention Against Torture, and he seeks an attorney to present this defense at his deportation trial.

All CAIR Coalition matters placed with a pro bono team are robustly mentored by a CAIR Coalition attorney.  Our mentoring program includes an opening meeting to discuss the scope and process of the matter, provision of samples, guidance on the law, review of draft filings, assistance with client contact, and guidance on preparation for interviews and hearings.

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Paul* is a 42-year-old English-speaking man from Jamaica. Paul fears returning to his home country because his family is being targeted by a drug kingpin. Alexander*, the drug kingpin, is a former police officer with government connections. While Paul was incarcerated in the U.S. in 2008 on drug-related charges, Alexander ordered the murder of Paul's cousin in Jamaica over a debt. Around 2013, another of Paul’s cousins was killed on Alexander’s orders. Alexander has continued to grow more powerful in Jamaica and develop more connections with the police and members of parliament. Alexander has threatened to kill every member of Paul’s family, likely in fear of retaliation.

In 2020, Paul was granted compassionate release from prison and was transferred to ICE custody. At this point, his family began receiving calls asking when Paul would return to Jamaica and threatening to kill him when he returns. Paul’s mother reports getting these calls up to three times a day. His family has also heard from community members that Paul has been ordered to be killed. His mother reported the calls to the police, but the police said there was nothing they could do about it. The police told Paul’s mother that they were not concerned with protecting deportees, whom they consider to be criminals.

Paul and his family are fairly well known in Jamaican dancehall and music communities. Due to this fame, information about his incarceration and release in the US has been circulated on online platforms and gossip sites in Jamaica. Paul is afraid that if he is deported to Jamaica, Alexander and his friends will know immediately and will kill him. 

Paul's criminal convictions make him ineligible for most forms of immigration relief. However, Paul remains eligible for protection from deportation under the Convention Against Torture because of the likelihood that he will be killed upon his return to Jamaica. Paul is seeking a strong advocate to help him seek protection under the Convention Against Torture and prevent his deportation.

  • Timeline: Paul has a scheduling hearing on May 18 in Arlington. In response to COVID-19, the courts currently permit attorneys to attend all hearings telephonically.
  • Location: Detained in Caroline County, Virginia. Attorneys can schedule private calls with detained clients rather than conducting in-person legal visits.
  • Language: English

For more information about this case, please contact Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney Jennifer Grishkin at jennifer@caircoalition.org or 202-866-9287.

*Pseudonyms are used to protect privacy