Philadelphia immigration court: ‘Soccer player’ in ‘wrong place’

US Court House in Philadelphia

The United States Court House in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where the Immigration Court for the city sits. Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

A MAN who said he had been a professional soccer player in his native Jamaica was warned about who he associates with after connections to a $1/2 million drugs bust.

Everroy Kirk Douglas was granted relief from removal from the United States at a Philadelphia Immigration Court hearing on February 9, 2015 under prosecutorial discretion.

The man, who said he carried out 100 hours of community service after being arrested, was applying for a change of status.

The government’s representative, Charles Ireland, said that Mr Douglas claimed he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and while that might be true, that wasn’t necessarily a case for granting relief from removal.

Mr Douglas, who was wearing a dark blue polka dot shirt and pants that were half off his waist when he stood to swear he was telling the truth, said he was coming from seeing a friend at a house when he was arrested. The other man was being “watched” and who was arrested for the approximately 5800g of marijuana.

“I never had no clue,” Mr Douglas told courtroom #2 in the Robert Nix Federal Building Courthouse. “When I got locked up, that’s how I knew what happened.”

Mr Ireland asked: “Have you ever been involved in the buying or selling of drugs?”

“No sir,” replied Mr Douglas, of Kenmore Road, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who said he does maintenance work and has a daughter he is supporting with his wife, from whom he is separated.

“I’m a professional soccer player,” he said. “In Jamaica it’s different when you grow up. My mother was a crackhead. My father was a crackhead. I never had no chance.”

Mr Ireland told presiding Judge Rosalind K Malloy that the government’s position was that if the court were to find that the wife and child would suffer financial hardship should Mr Charles be removed, then the government would not appeal that decision.

Judge Malloy granted the waiver but added: “Be very careful with the people you associate with. If you commit a crime, you can be removed so be very careful.”

Both the judge and Mr Ireland said “good luck” to Mr Charles as the hearing concluded.

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