Antigua & Barbuda is being warned to prepare to accept an influx of deportees as the Donald Trump administration in the United States widens the net for immigration deportation.
The country’s Ambassador to the United States Sir Ronald Sanders and US-based Antiguan Immigration Attorney, Ralph Bowen have suggested that the matter should be taken very seriously, particularly in light of a communication from Homeland Security which indicates that undocumented immigrants will be picked up and that new officers will be employed to do so.
Sir Ron has asked government to put receptive measures in place.
“We have got to know who these people are; we are talking the criminal elements now. We have got to make arrangements for how they are received in Antigua, how they are monitored and integrated into society in some kind of orderly way.”
Sir Ronald said immediately after news broke, this week, he penned letters to Prime Minister Gaston Browne, Foreign Affairs Minister Charles “Max” Fernandez, Attorney General Steadroy Benjamin, the commissioner of police, and head of the Immigration Department and the director of the Organisation of Drug and Money Laundering Control Policy (ONDCP) warning of the possible outcomes.
Much like Sir Ron, Bowen admitted that the deportation of illegal immigrants is not new, however, it has escalated under Trump’s leadership and his determination to implement his campaign promises.
The Antiguan native said it is now incumbent on local authorities to devise some level of transition plan for what will be a culture shock to many.
More in today’s Daily Observer.