By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Oct. 28, 2016: While many, including Caribbean nationals and leaders, have criticized Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump for his harsh immigration plan that includes deporting millions of undocumented immigrants, in the tiny Eastern Caribbean island of St. Kitts, a Trump-like deportation plan is being played out.
Over 100 immigrants, many from Jamaica, Haiti, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic, were rounded up from a number of night spots in the Newtown area on Saturday night, October 22nd, and herded into waiting buses, WINN FM reports indicate.
The islands Immigration Department, supported by officers of the Special Services Unit (SSU) and the Anti-Drug Unit, conducted the round-up operation. The migrants were initially taken to a local Fire Station and asked to present documentation to prove their legal status in the Federation. Those who did were released while others, who were considered undocumented, are still in custody and are being held at various police stations in St. Kitts, according to WINN FM.
The Trump-like deportation move in a CARICOM nation comes over a year after Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris strongly condemned the decision by the Dominican Republic to deport persons of Haitian descent.
“St. Kitts and Nevis respects a country’s enforcement of its immigration policies, however, given the socio-economic vulnerability of Haiti, we urge that the enforcement be done in collaboration with Haiti,” he said last June on Caribbean360.com.
Head of the Immigration Department in St. Kitts, Inspector Jacqueline Browne, is quoted as saying that “Operation Legal Stay” was one of the many ways the department ensures compliance.
“Visits to job sites and other such engagements are routinely done,” she is reported to have said, adding that Saturday’s operation was a more blanketed approach that had yielded results.
Meanwhile, the Opposition St. Kitts and Nevis Labour Party has slammed the government of the recent deportation round-up in St. Kitts. In a statement issued Thursday, the Caretaker for St. Christopher 8 for the opposition, Dr Terrance Drew, said while PM Harris is in the BVI calling for expatriates to be embraced, he orders his police to round up nationals of other countries at home.
“Here is Dr Harris in Tortola telling the government in the BVI that they must treat Caribbean nationals well, yet in St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr Harris is treating fellow Caribbean nationals inhumanely. What type of leader of this? What type of deception is this?” Dr Drew on “Issues” on Freedom FM and Kyss FM on Wednesday. “It is the hypocrisy that Dr Harris continues to display. It is the deception that he displays in everything he says and do. While he is making those glorified statements we see the rounding up of our Spanish brothers and sisters, many of them who were citizens of St Kitts and Nevis.”
St. Kitts and Nevis supports the Citizenship by Investment program which is used to attract investors who make a substantial contribution to the development of the Federation. These investors are then given the opportunity to apply for citizenship and passport.