The residents of a small town on Iceland’s east coast have united to keep one of their newer residents from being deported.
The town of Seyðisfjörður (pop. 802) is home to Japsý Jacob, originally from India, but a resident of the town since 2007. Unfortunately, she has no residence permit, and recently received a letter from authorities informing her that she will have to leave the country.
In response, the town has organized a petition which has already gathered over 300 signatures – about half the town’s adult residents – and a Facebook page garnering support. A statement from the petition organizers reads in part: “She is our neighbour and our friend. She is one of us. Japsý wants to live here.”
Japsý has by all accounts had a positive effect on the town, in particular by offering ayurivedic massage. Unfortunately, living in Iceland without a residence permit for over two years is considered a serious offense, resulting not only in deportation but a re-entry ban that can last years.
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