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PRIME Minister Bruce Golding has dismissed allegations by United States-based media entity Caribbean Voice that he is the holder of a US Alien Registration Card, more popularly known as a Green Card.
In a press release yesterday, Caribbean Voice — which said it is based in Brooklyn — alleged that Golding did not apply "to revoke his permanent residence before nomination day by filing form I-407, with his green card, at a US Embassy".
But yesterday Golding denied the claims, admitting "that he had applied for and obtained a green card as far back as 1978", but that the visa was surrendered "when he deferred his plans to do postgraduate studies in the US and to return to Jamaica to support the JLP (Jamaica Labour Party) in its preparations for the elections that were held in 1980".
"In bringing clarity to his visa status, Mr Golding explained that in 1977 he had decided to pursue postgraduate studies abroad and was accepted (by) Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. At that time, he applied for permanent residence to enable him to work part-time in the United States in order to meet the cost of living and studying there. The application was approved in August 1978," a release from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) stated last night.
"However, he subsequently decided to defer these plans in order to assist the JLP in its preparations for the elections that were eventually held in 1980."
The prime minister said before he was sworn in as minister in November 1980, he went to the US Embassy and surrendered his alien registration card "and was granted a non-immigrant visa which has consistently been renewed since then".