Houston family concerned after loved one refused entry from Jamaica

A Houston area family is baffled by the government's decision to send a loved one back to Jamaica after arriving in Houston for a visit.

HOUSTON - A Houston area family is baffled by the government’s decision to send a loved one back to Jamaica after arriving in Houston for a visit.

They called the consulate and KHOU 11 News to get some answers.

Pediatrician Kareen Smith had a baby of her own three months ago. But little Asher won’t meet one cousin anytime soon.

“They just decided they were not going to let her in,” Smith said.

Veronica Gaubault arrived at Hobby Airport from her native Jamaica Wednesday night and never left.

“And we waited there for approximately four hours, and then afterwards, they told us she would not be allowed to enter into this country,” Smith said.

Smith says her cousin has visited many times with no issues. She even shared a photo from a family trip to Disney World just last year.

“She visits me, she visits other family we have in New York or Florida, and she goes home,” Smith said. “She never overstays her time. She always honors her visa, and for some reason, this is the first time she’s been denied.”

This time, she says Gaubault’s visa was revoked after customs agents inspected her iPhone, iPad and other belongings.

“And we asked why?” Smith said. “And they said for administrative causes.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection wouldn’t tell us much more.

“It is important to note that issuance of a visa or a visa waiver does not guarantee entry,” a CBP spokesperson said in a statement. “A CBP officer at the port of entry will conduct an inspection to determine if the individual is eligible for admission into the U.S."

Dr. Smith says text conversations between her and Gaubault were scrutinized, too.

But they focus on activities and family, including its newest member.

“And I pray this does not happen to other people,” Smith said.

The local Jamaican consulate said it is aware of this situation and others like it and has had conversations with customs officials.

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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