The United States embassy in Bridgetown is strongly refuting suggestions that it was indiscriminately dumping large numbers of Caribbean-born criminals on the region without as much as giving Caribbean leaders a heads-up.
“It is the view of the United States that each country has an international obligation to accept the return of its nationals who are not eligible to remain in the United States or any other country,” the Embassy said today in a statement.
Washington recently came under fire from St Lucian Prime Minister Allen Chastenet who described the US deportation policy as “horrific”, charging that while the Americans were dumping thousands of criminals on the doorsteps of small island states, the US government had also cut security funding to the Caribbean.
Chastenet’s views were strongly endorsed by his Vincentian counterpart Dr Ralph Gonsalves who told Barbados TODAY the practice has been a headache for Caribbean leaders over the years, with many of the deportees engaging in crime either directly or indirectly.
“The problem is that when they deport them they don’t give us their full particulars, what are the antecedents, what are the details of the crime for which they were sentenced and then deported; what their record is so that we can do a better job of reincorporating them into society. And of course we get no resources in respect of having them to come back into our society in some structured, organized way,” Gonsalves said.
But the US authorities insisted this was not the case, arguing that when criminals are returned to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, the Bridgetown embassy provides all the relevant information to local law enforcers and other key officials.
The statement explained that information regarding “the crime for which the individual is being deported, all pertinent information about the logistics of their return, and how local law enforcement can receive more detailed information regarding the criminal history of the individual,” is shared.