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I’m getting deported because I chose to work rather than beg for a handout.

Machel Rayner
machel-rayner.jpg
Machel Rayner

There’s ALL types of wrong with what is going to happen to this Jamaican immigrant. Due to him briefly leaving Newfoundland for work—which many of his neighbours across the province do when employment is low—Machel Rayner’s being kicked out of Canada after having been here for eight years (1).

Machel Rayner, who once worked at a Sandals resort in Jamaica, immigrated to Canada eight years ago where he lived in Newfoundland. He worked at Tim Hortons while he pursued a degree in Kinesiology at Memorial University. Despite the difficulties and complications that come from being new to a foreign country, he never forgot his family—especially his mother (who is diabetic)—and always sent money back home to them. His goal was to eventually help them immigrate to Canada.

Machel Rayner and his brother, Shaquille.

With his studies completed, he worked as a personal trainer. However, due to a poor local economy that forced many Newfoundlanders to find work in other provinces, Rayner eventually had to do the same. Albeit that it was only intended to be a brief out-of-province stay in Halifax, Nova-Scotia, it was when he returned to Canada after a brief trip to the US, that Canadian border officials discovered that he had violated a clause which required him to live and work in Newfoundland. Rayner, unfortunately, was not aware of the clause and admitted to being at fault for “not reading the fine print.” As a result, his dreams and goals of making a better life for his family were shattered because in two weeks he’ll have to leave the country.

machel-rayner-2011.jpg

Rayner did not come to Canada to help smuggle drugs, nor bring criminal activity to the land and the community that he loved. In fact, he’s contradicted many negative stereotypes that plague immigrants—especially those who come from Caribbean, Central-American, and African nations. His pleasant personality caught the attention of CBC news in 2011, when he was filmed singing while serving coffee (https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/video-meet-the-singing-star-of-a-st-john-s-coffee-shop-1.1042507) to Tim Hortons customers. When he was interviewed, he said. “I like to see people smile.” Unfortunately, due what should be considered to be an excusable error, many people who read this won’t be smiling.

UPDATE 9:03PM Friday December 7, 2018

After Machel Rayner’s story was aired on CBC Thursday morning, he received notice that his work permit was reinstated. He’ll be able to stay until January 2019 where he’ll be able to attend an appeals hearing (2).

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