Jamaican man who resided in Berks County for four years is deported

4 hrs ago

Omario Spencer

A man who lived in Berks County for four years was deported Thursday back to his homeland of Jamaica, where he believes his life is in danger.

Omario Spencer, 18, flew to Jamaica Friday morning after a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer on Thursday denied his request for a stay of deportation.

“I am praying for Omario,” his godmother, Stacey Brookins of Muhlenberg Township said Friday. “He is headed back to the same town where he witnessed his father being murdered.”

Brookins said Omario informed her Friday morning in a text message that he was going to meet his mother, Stacy-Ann Brown, in Jamaica.

Brookins is hopeful that Spencer will be able to return to Berks, where he has many friends.

“He had a very positive life,” Brookins said.

Thomas P. Giles, an ICE field officer based in Atlanta, wrote in the deportation order that after careful consideration, he determined that there is no sufficient reason to stay the deportation.

The order stated: “Such decisions are made on a case-by-case basis, and after considering the totality of the circumstances, both positive and negative, must conform with ICE’s enforcement priorities, namely national security, public safety and border security.”
Giles said the order cannot be appealed.

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, a Lehigh County Republican, wrote a letter to the ICE office requesting that Spencer’s appeal receive full and fair consideration.

Toomey wrote than his office was notified that Spencer’s church community holds Spencer in high regard.

“Omario suffered a terrible tragedy in 2016 when he witnessed his father’s murder in Jamaica,” Toomey wrote.

“He then requested asylum in the United States due to the fear for his life after his father’s murder, but was denied at his credible-fear interview.”

ICE agents detained Spencer on June 15 at Atlanta International Airport and transported him to the Irwin County Detention Center, Ocilla, Ga. He was on his way back to Berks after spending three months in Jamaica with his mother.

ICE officials said that Spencer overstayed his six-month visa that he obtained in July 2016 by more than three years.

U.S. Immigration Judge Sheila E. Gallow ordered Spencer deported.

Spencer’s immigration lawyer, Alexis Ruiz, on Aug. 13 filed a request for ICE to halt the order to deport Spencer.

Ruiz said she will continue to advocate that Spencer be granted asylum.

“I was very impressed with Omario,” she said.
Ruiz said Spencer told her that a group of men he didn't know gunned down his father. She said the death report cites the cause of death as multiple bullet wounds.

After Spencer witnessed his father's murder, he moved to Berks in 2016 at the request of his mother to reside with his grandfather and his wife, Clive and Elaine Spencer, Ruiz said.

The family lived in Reading until the spring of 2019, when they moved to Muhlenberg Township.

Omario Spencer attended Holy Trinity Church of God in Reading and joined Muhlenberg High School’s JROTC Air Force program.

“He would be an awesome asset to our country,” Brookins said.