Brooklyn Group Writes Barbados PM Over Guyanese Deportation Case

Hardbeatnews, BROOKLYN, N.Y., Thurs. July 28, 2005: A Brooklyn-based Caribbean group, that last year presented Barbados PM Owen Arthur with its Democracy Prize, now wants the head of state to implement a swift review of the deportation proceedings as well as Barbados’ immigration policy towards Guyanese.

President of the Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy, Rickford Burke, in a statement yesterday said he has written to Arthur, expressing concern over last week’s deportation of some 30 Guyanese nationals from Barbados.

Burke said he noted in the letter that “the Institute will eschew ascribing any motive to the cause of action by the Barbados Immigration Service and will not prejudge a thorough review of this incident by your government.”

But he added that statements by Chief Immigration Officer of Barbados, Gilbert Greaves, published in the Barbadian and Caribbean media on July 22, are worrisome.

Greaves had been quoted as saying, “We had minors attempting to join their parents who the records show are here illegally; persons arriving with no money, no sponsors and no local addresses where they were staying; some who had overstayed their visits on previous occasions and some even provided misinformation to the immigration officers.”

But Burke argued that “the anecdotal evidence suggests that the Guyanese nationals in question were not granted entry into Barbados and therefore could not have been engaged in illicit conduct in country.”

“In light of this fact, the deportation action, as well as the reasons set out by Mr. Greaves require further scrutiny,” he added, noting that “deportation is in order when an alien presents a clear and present danger to the public safety and welfare of a country.”

Burke also claims he told Arthur that “CGID believes that the immigration policies enforced against the Guyanese nationals last week, for reasons cited by Barbados’ Chief Immigration Officer, appear to be discriminatory and counter-productive and can erode the gains attained through deeper Caribbean integration.” –