Barbados rejects claims it mistreated Jamaican mother, child denied entry
The Barbadian government says it has found no evidence to substantiate claims that a Jamaican woman and her infant son were mistreated after being refused entry by the Barbados Immigration Department on Saturday.
It was reported that Sonya Samantha King and her son, Kaleb Joseph, were put through a horrendous ordeal by immigration officers.
A statement yesterday by the Division of Defence and Security in the Office of the Barbadian Prime Minister said King was initially denied entry because she did not have evidence of either a return ticket to Jamaica or status in Trinidad as is legally required.
The division says it’s satisfied that the Immigration Officers on duty went above and beyond the call of duty to assist King.
It says hot water was made available so that the child could have tea and juice was provided from a vending machine which was the only food facility open at 1 o’clock in the morning, when the events unfolded.
The Barbadian Government says no sleeping facilities are provided at the airport for persons who have been refused entry, as this is historically the responsibility of the airlines.
It also says such persons are usually asked to remain in the seating area until the next plane arrives to take them back to their country.
But Bridgetown says given the time of night and the fact that King had an infant child, she was provided with a mattress, sheet and blanket.
The division says the mattress could only be placed on the floor but it was preferable to King remaining seated all night and was accepted by her without complaint.
The Barbadian government says the country remains strongly committed to the regional integration process.
It also says on average 99.7 per cent of all Jamaicans who arrive in Barbados annually gain entry.
To support this, it notes that last year only 31 of the 10,557 Jamaicans who sought entry to Barbados were denied, while in 2014, only 20 out of 10,031 were barred.
Up to June this year, 5,332 Jamaicans sought to enter Barbados and only 20 had been denied.