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PM Gonsalves criticizes US on deportee matter

PM Gonsalves criticizes US on deportee matter


The Prime Minister has criticized the US government for its lack of total compliance in the information it provides about deportees sent back to St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Speaking on Boom 106.9 SVG’s morning programme ‘OMG In The Morning’ last Tuesday, May 24, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves described the matter as a “serious issue” that not only afflicts SVG, but also the wider Caribbean and Latin America.

“We have had great difficulty, with the Americans in particular, to give us the information, the antecedence, the history of the individuals who are being deported. I just don’t get it. They give you all kinds of reasons why you can’t get it, but it just doesn’t make any sense to me,” lamented Gonsalves.{{more}}

The Prime Minister pointed out that while the US authorities will provide some information about the individuals being deported, it is nowhere near sufficient – even though policy exists through which SVG authorities can request full disclosure.

“Even if you are informed about the specific reason for deportation, they don’t tell you his antecedence. Because a man may be specifically deported for an immigration violation, but the person deported… is a hardened criminal who has a record, and they only now caught up with it through this immigration issue.”

He added: “Basically, they don’t want to take the time to give you because… they may deport persons to St Vincent and the Grenadines, but they deport through the Caribbean and through Latin America, so they don’t want to be tied up with all the bureaucratic work to give you the information in each case.

“They just land their problems down on you… Throughout the entire Caribbean, that is an issue on which we have been fighting.”

Referring to the deportees, Gonsalves further pointed out: “A large number of them go to the States as young children and know nothing about St Vincent and the Grenadines nor Jamaica nor Barbados for that matter.”

In the Friday, May 20 edition of SEARCHLIGHT, it was reported that Vincentian Rosanne Small-Morgan, who resides in the US, has reignited her efforts to change how the reintegration of criminals deported from North America to the Caribbean is handled by governments on both sides of the coin.

This comes in the wake of the arrest of Veron Primus – a deportee from the US – who was charged with the November 2015 murder of a local businesswoman and the recent kidnapping of another.

In 2008, Junior Quashie, a deportee from Canada, was arrested for the murder of a 73-year-old retired librarian (Small-Morgan’s mother), and is said to have a history of mental illness.

Additionally, US congressman Hakeem Jeffries was quoted recently as having stated that a summit is needed, involving the Caribbean, Latin America and US law enforcement on how the deportation matter is handled.

“A large part of the problem is that many felons were being sent back to these countries from our prisons here in America without adequate communication to the local host countries as to who they would be receiving…” Jeffries said in a recent interview. (JSV)