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Sunday, August 01, 2004

Boston.com / News / Local / Mass. / Natives of Montserrat face return to island

Boston.com / News / Local / Mass. / Natives of Montserrat face return to island: "Natives of Montserrat face return to island
By Maria Cramer, Globe Staff | August 1, 2004
Immigration activists are trying to draw attention to a little-known decision by the Department of Homeland Security to send hundreds of Montserratians back to their Caribbean island, including a mother and daughter who moved to Dorchester after fleeing Montserrat eight years ago. Early this month, the federal agency revoked the ''temporary protected status' under which many Montserratians had lived since 1997, after an active volcano chased out thousands.
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Because of the loss of status, Marsha Meade, 32, who left in 1996 when she was pregnant with her daughter, Enya, and 291 other Montserratians have until Feb. 27, 2005, to prepare for their departure. ''At first, we were shocked and confused, and now I think the reaction is slowly coalescing into anger,' said Meade, who now lives in Whitman. ''No one is sure of what to do next.'
According to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services website, the decision to revoke the temporary protection status of Montserratians was made because the volcanic activity on the island has not shown signs of abating.
On Tuesday, the Irish Immigration Center in Boston held a free clinic at Dorchester House Multi-Service Center to explain immigration options to the 50 to 75 Montserratians who attended. Another meeting has been scheduled for 5 p.m. today at the Montserrat Aspirers Club in Dorchester on Washington Street."

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