Tue | May 21, 2019

Turks and Caicos' Opposition leader concerned about influx of Haitians

Published:Thursday | April 11, 2019 | 10:12 AM
Turks and Caicos' Opposition Leader Washinton Misick

PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands, CMC – Leader of the main Opposition Progressive National Party (PNP), Washington Misick, has implied that the Haitian Consulate has played a role in the illegal immigration of Haitians into the British Oversees territory.

In a message to members of the legislature earlier this week, Misick, in making reference to the recent tragedy in which 15 Haitians died when a boat with  migrants sank off the coast of the territory, said he believed that the consulate was not doing enough to stem the illegal entry of Haitians. 

“(I) must also condemn those mercenaries who would exploit the vulnerabilities of persons who are essentially persons who have very little hope, and so they decide to do desperate things….to escape the poverty of Haiti.”

Misick also voiced concern about the role of the Haitian Consulate, asking if  its role is to help find a solution to the illegal entry of boat people or it is part of the problem .

“One has to ask the question what purpose does the Haitian consulate serve in these islands? Whether they are a beacon of hope of light that says to the persons who want to escape that this is a safe haven to come to or whether they potentially are in collusion with the perpetrators of these vicious crime of human trafficking…”

He noted that the archipelago of the territory has thirty islands with most of them being uninhabited, adding that  despite firm statements by the Government, boats from Haiti have not stopped and continue to flow into the country at a disturbing frequency. 

According to Misick, the cost of repatriation to Haiti has risen to more than  US$4 million  in the last three years – a heavy burden for a small public treasury.