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LETTER OF THE DAY - Gov't misunderstands deportation issues

Published:Friday | January 1, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The Editor, Sir:

With regard to migration, deportation becomes necessary if a foreign national breaches the laws of a host country. The Government of Jamaica, and any deporting country, has a mutual stake in the deported migrant phenomenon - one being a removing country and the other a receiving one. For whatever legal reason, a removing country has a right to act in its best interest.

With reference to the UK proposal to offer Jamaicans incarcerated in that country up to £5,000 (J$720,000) if they take up an offer to return home before their sentences expires - the UK is acting in its self-interest. And if one should take a deep look at the move, it (UK) is assisting the deported migrants in a humanitarian way, unlike the US which evicts most individuals with nothing. As a deported migrant since 2004, who has seen some of the problems that are associated with deportation to Jamaica, I join ranks with Percival Latouche, president of the Returning Residents Association, in supporting the UK proposal.

Dr Kenneth Baugh, minister of foreign affairs, and Daryl Vaz, information minister, should be reminded that, regardless of what that they think or feel about the move by the UK, Jamaicans who are incarcerated in that country eventually will be deported once their sentences are completed and Jamaica is obliged, under international law, to accept them. The thing that puzzles me the most is the fact that such a proposed move by the UK is strange to both government ministers equally.

Right to deport

The senior cop in Jamaica, who spoke on condition of anonymity, is entitled to his or her view or opinion but, in the long run, the UK has a right to deport foreign criminals, and so do Jamaica. Whether they are released early, or upon the completion of their sentences, Jamaica will be their destination and well-thinking Jamaicans will agree.

In my opinion, the Government of Jamaica is not up to par with regard to deported migrants arriving from First World countries because a country like the US acted upon its strength and influence and is committing many civil and human-rights violation against many individuals, including those with Jamaican backgrounds.

I am, etc:


Morant Bay, St. Thomas