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Haiti - Social : TCI and Haiti together in the fight against illegal immigration
20/08/2013 11:21:21

Haiti - Social : TCI and Haiti together in the fight against illegal immigration
The Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI), Ric Todd and Don-Hue Gardiner, Minister of Border Control and Labour work on a draft memorandum of understanding with the Haitian government on illegal immigration and measures to combat it. This information follows the visit of the Governor to Haiti from August 11 to 13, and his meeting with the President Martelly.

"This visit to Haiti is to be seen in the context of efforts we have been making over the past many months to build our relations with Haiti [...]" reminded the Governor Todd adind that the main point put across to the president was that the TCI is a small and fragile country and is concerned about illegal immigration from Haiti.

"We feel that illegal immigration poses serious challenges and risks to our country and we want to work with the Haitian authorities to combat illegal immigration, both by police cooperation, coast guard cooperation but also by the Haitian government itself doing what it can to dissuade people from making the very dangerous journey across to the TCI [...]" indicating having explained to President Martelly, that 800 Haitians have been repatriated and that this has cost nearly 1% of the budget of TCI that each Haitian repatriated to Haiti, costing the TCI, 1,300 U.S. dollars.

"He had no difficulty in understanding our concerns... and he was very happy with our proposal that we would work together to achieve a memorandum of understanding on how TCI and Haiti can work together on illegal immigration."

Asked about what Haitian President considers a way to fight illegal immigration into the TCI, the Governor said that the President Martelly saw the growth of the economy of Haiti as one of the most important things.

Adding "The second thing he wants to do, Governor Todd continued, is have increased cooperation between maritime police of both countries as well as increase and improve the message put out to the people of Haiti about the realities of migrating illegally to another country [...]

To be honest there is a very strong will on the side of the Haitian authorities to do more [...] They have some capacity problems which they are working on and there is also a great deal of support for the Haitian government from the international community... so I think there are reasons to be optimistic that the Haitian capacity to work with us against illegal migration is going to grow,"
confident that the Haitian authorities will do their part in the fight against this problem.

The memorandum will include monitoring and follow-up mechanisms.

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