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The refugee status situation

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Fri, Nov 25. 2011

Editor: The refugee status situation, where many Vincentians have applied for refugee status in Canada, is not a situation that should make any Vincentian proud, but rather unhappy.{{more}}

We know that for someone to receive refugee status he/she must prove that they are escaping persecution. Unfortunately, many have not been turned down and later on deported back home. This situation has placed SVG in a negative light that can make it difficult for Vincentians traveling to Canada, where the immigration will be skeptical of any Vincentian visiting the country, and also it can lead to a visa restriction where any Vincentian going to Canada will need a visa.

What is unfortunate to say the least is for the Leader of the Opposition and Secretary of the Human Rights Association to be sending ladies to Canada and recommending them for refugee status. This situation has cast a negative image on Mr. Eustace’s character and leadership. While we recognize the economic hardship that exists at the moment and the desire to migrate to Canada, it should not be for refugee status. It would have made been more positive if the Leader of the Opposition and the Human Rights Association had helped them in getting there and assisted them in getting employment. This we know is difficult.

I wonder how do those persons who were sponsored here to travel to Canada and apply for refugee status, when they were denied and then later deported home, how they would feel to return back to situations they claimed were abusive? Also, what would they think of the sponsors for having been deported? It makes it difficult for them to return to Canada, even for a good cause.

I, therefore, call upon the government to make a serious investigation into this refugee status and ensure as much as possible that it be minimized, if possible eradicated and also that the sponsors be brought into questioning. After all, regardless of which side of the fence we support politically, we should never try to damage the image and name of SVG. We must bear in mind that ULP will not always be in power and those same politicians who today give a negative image of this country will want to be the ones in power and want SVG to have a good name, but they would have already destroyed the image of this country. Let us remember it is better to prevent the disease from developing than trying to heal it when it has already festered into a deep injury.

We, all Vincentians, let us love our country and not destroy with negative things and let us seek to always promote the country with honesty and truthfulness. GOD BLESS SVG, WE LOVE YOU.

Kennard King

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