Deportees To Caribbean Close To 6,000 For FY 2005

Hardbeatnews, NEW YORK, N.Y., Fri. Oct. 28, 2005: About 6,000 Caribbean immigrants were deported back to the region for the just-concluded fiscal year, October 2004 to August 2005, a slight drop from last year. But of that number, about 4,800 were criminal aliens, according to the recent U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement figures, obtained by HBN yesterday.

They join thousands of criminal aliens who have been deported back to the Caribbean since the introduction of the 1996 Effective Death Penalty Act. This as the region battles a crime wave, which experts, including the Minister of National Security of Jamaica, blame largely on U.S. deportees.

Again this fiscal year, the largest groups of deportees, including those who were convicted of a crime and served time, were sent back to the Dominican Republic and Jamaica but there was a slight drop.

The DR received a whopping 2,432 overall; among them, 2,019 were ‘criminal aliens.’ However, there was a slight decrease when compared to last year, which saw a total of 2, 941 deportees, of which 2,420 were criminal immigrants, returned to the country that’s a popular American tourist destination.

Jamaican deportees iced and sent back to their homeland this period totaled 1,471 with the majority, 1,352, labeled as criminal. But again there was a drop in the number compared to 2004 when a total of 1, 757, were sent back, with 1,579 considered criminal.

Haiti, which is caught up in political strife and violence, received 987 immigrants for the just-concluded fiscal year, a jump from last year’s 730. Of that number, 576 were criminal immigrants while 420 were non-criminal.

Trinidad & Tobago, which has been battling a kidnapping and crime spree, were forced to make room for 286, some three less than last year. But of that number, a whopping 256 were criminal, two more than last year.

In neighboring Guyana, which like its T&T neighbor has been battling rising crime, 253 deportees were sent back by the U.S. over the course of last fiscal year, but compared to 275 for last year it was definitely a decrease. Of that number, however, 216 were criminals.

Among the worst known Guyanese deportee was Jon Paul Kirton, who was deported to Guyana on April 8, 2005. Kirton has an extensive criminal history including charges of weapons possession, assault on a police officer, resisting arrest, battery and domestic violence and sexual assault. The charges stemmed from crimes in New Jersey, Florida and Texas.

Of the other Caribbean countries, only the Bahamas topped the 100 mark, with 123 deportees sent back this period compared to 143 last year, with 112 labeled criminal.

Barbados, a tiny 430 sq km island, was next with 52, all of whom were criminal deportees. But compared to 68 last year, the decline was obvious.

Thirty-six Cuban were sent back compared to 60 last year while 33 nationals of the 133 sq. miles nation of St. Vincent & the Grenadines, a country which the World Bank says has seen a lot of brain drain from top, skilled nationals in recent years, were again deported this year. But of that number 29 were criminal aliens.

In nearby Antigua, which is already battling a crime problem, 24 criminal aliens were returned, bringing the total of deportees to the tiny island of 64,000 people, to 28 this year, a slight jump from last year by two.

Grenada, still trying to recover from decimation by Hurricanes Ivan and Emily, were sent back 27 of its nationals; of that number 23 were considered to be criminal aliens. That number, like Antigua, was one of the few increases from last year; when the Spice Isle was sent back only 20 Grenadians.

Dominica received 21, 16 of whom are criminal aliens. It was also a slight increase from last year’s number of 19.

St. Lucia, meanwhile, had to welcome back 20 of its national, 15 criminal; while St. Kitts were sent back 18, 17 of them convicted felons. That’s about the same for last year.

Other islands fared somewhat better, but that may be because of their lower migration rate to the U.S. Turks & Caicos were sent back 4; Aruba 3; Bermuda two and the Cayman Islands, 1, all of whom have served jail time.

While Montserrat, Martinique and Guadeloupe, received 5,4 and 2 each, a slight rise from their 2004 totals.

ICE’s Office of Detention and Removal is responsible for removing unauthorized aliens from the United States and it has become a national priority. Wesley Lee acting director Of Detention And Removal Operations, told the Senate Committee On The Judiciary recently that, “By aggressively enforcing our immigration laws, we seek to deter criminal and terrorist organizations who threaten our way of life, and we seek to strengthen the legal immigration process for worthy applicants.” –