CARICOM governments prepare for influx of deportees

Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne.
Associated Press / Richard Drew

Caribbean governments are expecting an increase in deportees from the United States for serious crimes in the coming months.

Several CARCIOM countries consider this as a threat to their national security.

US President Donald Trump has not only signaled his administration’s intention to speed up and deport illegal immigrants, he is implementing policies necessary to carry out mass deportations.

Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne said that during a high-level meeting held in St. Kitts recently, it was decided that the sub-region will have to put mechanisms in place to deal with the criminal elements that will be among those sent back to the countries of their birth.

He said the region is expecting acceleration in the number of deportees from the United States, noting that it has been happening under the former Barack Obama administration.

“Under Trump it certainly would be more aggressive, which means we have to now put systems in place to deal with the increase in traffic. It means we have to put proper monitoring mechanisms in place to monitor these criminals, not only within our respective countries, but to monitor their movements within the region, especially the OECS sub-region in which we have an economic union and they can move freely,” he noted.

“It’s one of the threats now facing the region,” he added.

Browne said, along with the security issues, mass deportation will also present challenges on the economy.

He said while the focus will chiefly be on the criminal deportees, governments would also likely to have to provide support for those deported for having overstayed in the United States.

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