BarbadosMemberNews

In Defence Of Barbados?

KINGSTON, Jamaica – There has been significant criticism of the Barbadian government and its agents (immigration officials), in light of the Shanique Myrie case. There is some justification for this response in light of similar experiences recounted to me during the five months I spent doing fieldwork in Barbados as part of my PhD research. But in all of this, is it possible to advance a defence for Barbados?
I returned to Jamaica from Barbados in mid-March 2010 and it was not long thereafter that the first stories emerged in print media regarding Ms Myrie's experience. My immediate reaction was to believe her story. During my interactions with migrants, I had heard other harrowing experiences of how CARICOM nationals are treated when they had attempted to gain entry into Barbados and once they had commenced their lives there.
These narratives contained certain common threads which revealed a number of key points. First, the hostile reception of CARICOM nationals arriving in Barbados is a long-standing problem. Several migrants provided examples of having been turned around at the airport, a sort of summary repatriation having been refused entry and then sent home on the next available flight.

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