The Jamaican father and half-sister of an 11-year-old New Jersey girl who was found murdered have asked for President Trump’s help so they can legally enter the U.S. to attend the girl’s funeral on Monday.
The body of AbbieGail “Abbie” Smith was found earlier this moth behind the Keansburg, New Jersey, apartment building where she had been living with her mother. A neighbor has been arrested in connection with the slaying.
The girl, her mother Carol Bennett and other relatives have been living in the U.S. since 2007.
The girl’s father and half-sister, living in Jamaica, made a video in which they ask Trump for help in attending the funeral, after initially being denied entry into the U.S.
“My dear little AbbieGail was taken away and I need to pay my last respects to her,” a tearful Kenroy Smith, the father, says in the video, posted on the website of Asbury Park Press. “That's all I’m asking.”
Smith was denied a temporary visa because of a marijuana arrest in 2001, and half-sister Kenish Smith saw her application rejected because of fears she would overstay her visa in the U.S., the Press reported.
After being rejected, the Smiths visited the U.S. Embassy in Kingston, Jamaica, to plead their case in final attempt to be granted entry to the U.S., but were unsuccessful.
“I was just wondering why they would deny me the chance to see my daughter for the last time,” Kenroy Smith told the Press. “I just want to see my beautiful angel. She’s my diamond. She always shines when I see her.”
A U.S. State Department official said visa applications are judged on a case-by-case basis and the department does not comment on specific cases, the Press reported.
Another half-sister, Latisha Smith, has hired an attorney to help in the fight to grant the Smiths entry into the U.S.
Kenroy Smith said he hopes the president will be willing to help the family.
“Mr. Trump, she is my daughter,” he said. “Put yourself in my position and see what would be suitable to you as a father who nourishes and cares for your child.”