Ordinary Barbadians might suffer the consequences of the new Deportation policy by Multi-Caribbean D. G. Corrie

Dear {Bajan Reporter},

I am a Barbadian by birth and a frequent visitor to Guyana (where I have family through my mother, wife and children) and to Trinidad (where I have family from my father): and I have always been treated well by Immigration officials in those countries. However, I am wondering how much longer my pleasant treatment will last – in light of the widely publicized deportations ‘policy‘ in Barbados presently.

I recall Immigration officials in both Guyana and Trinidad going beyond the call of duty on two very memorable occasions, in one case the departure tax in Guyana was raised and I was not aware of it when I checked in to get my return flight to Barbados. I could not believe it when a female Guyanese Immigration Officer took money out of her own pocket and gave to me so I could pay the departure tax and catch my flight.

I sent the money back to her – but that is not the point, she never knew if she would see this strange ‘Bajan‘ ever again and STILL showed such kindness.

On another occasion upon arrival in Trinidad the airline had not provided us any immigration forms and I only received one when I was mere feet away from the Trinidad immigration officer’s counter, my form was not filled out at all and the female Trinidad immigration officer actually filled out the form for me with big smile. I have never received such treatment in my own country!

As a frequent traveler to both of these countries I sincerely hope that Barbadian passport holders are not subjected to any hostile reprisals by persons in positions of authority in Guyana especially – since most of the deportees from Barbados seem to be our fellow Guyanese brothers and sisters; and WE arrive at their airport hoping to be granted the opportunity to be allowed entry into THEIR beautiful country.

However, the saddest fact of all is this observation of my father’s:

When the English speaking Caribbean countries were colonies of Britain – there was actually more freedom of inter-regional movement and migration than there is today

…isn’t that a depressing and sad fact that in all our decades of post colonialism talk about ‘regional unity and integration’ – it is still just a lot of empty words and rhetoric.


Damon Gerard Corrie
A Bajan-Guy-Trini

13 Responses

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  1. Damon, are we wrong for protecting the sovereignty of our country? Everyday guyanese come into Barbados and are granted entry but we have an alarming amount here who have filed false immigratiom documents, many who have evaded immigration for years and it is a crime to lie to ANY country. While T&T is saying how nice they are to guyanese, they too are shipping them back. If as the report on the amount that Barbados are sending back daily id true, how are they getting there? there must be an aircraft at the airport just waiting for the deportees.

  2. It seems everyone in the Caribbean expects to put a gallon in a pint pot. For your information Mr.Corrie Barbados is 166 sq miles if you are not aware and Guyana is over 80,000 sq miles. The world and he wife wants to live here and we will no longer tolerate the vacationers who come here and never leave.

  3. Maybe you were treated better because of your race or because you can turn on a local accent?? I have NEVER had good treatment while visiting other Caribbean countries.

    Maybe you're telling the truth, maybe you're lying to embellish your story to get sympathy for illegal immigrants? Who's to say.

  4. would it help if Barbados withdrew from the CSME and stop all the 55% trading with them. It would then leave the rest of these states to send home those Bajans settled there, impose import taxes on barbadian products and drive the already rediculously high cost of living in Barbados even higher.
    What a fiasco that would be, not just for Barbados but for Caribbean peoples acros the globe. The PMs policy is both foolish and short sighted; it fails to recognise how his action will impact on barbados across the globe including tourism
    A sad bajan

  5. Now that David Thompson has revealed that there were only 4 Guyanese deported since June 1st, 2009 what do you think Mr. Corrie?

  6. Glad to be maintaining my knack for controversy, I think it would be nice if people were able to use their actual names and not hide behind 'handles' but that's just how some 'roll' I guess.
    Anyone who thinks politicians only tell the truth is in a sad state of denial.
    I speak the same way I have always spoken, not with any obvious accent whatsoever.
    Perhaps my pleasant demeanor lends others of the opposite sex (notice I specifically said FEMALE officers in the article above not male) to respond in kind to me, I actively seek out female over male authority figures to deal with as I find males to be more hostile in general…might be a testosterone thing.
    I am very aware of Geographical facts, I am also aware of historical ones as well…many Barbadians forget that there was a time when thousands of Barbadians flocked to Guyana to seek a better life and were welcomed there – hence the many 'Bajans' with Guyanese roots.
    Common sense would tell anyone that a small island cannot absorb as many as a large country.

    Instead of letting personal prejudices determine
    the motivation for your various comments – examine what I actually had to say very carefully.
    You will notice MY concern is how I might be treated when visiting those countries again as a Barbados Passport bearer by THEIR immigration officials (what if the officer I face had a relative deported recently and decides to 'take out the spite' on me because I am a 'Bajan'?), that is the focus of my article, not whether I support the deportation of illegal immigrants or not. Get your facts straight before undertaking any of your emotion-driven commentaries.

    Damon Gerard Corrie

  7. This reminds me of the time when both America and Israel proclaimed Yasser Arafat is the hindrance for a peace deal to occur between the Palestinians and the Israelis. Yasser died Nov. 11th, 2004. Almost 5 years after his death, this peace deal cannot materialize. Many wars in the Middle East have since been fought. What is their new excuse now?

    The Bajan government is indicating, if every Guyanese not legalized, is deported, as well as the other illegal aliens, Barbados will become a better nation. What will be their next excuse when this does not materialize?

    The David Thompson government is trying to divert attention from the real problems Barbados face. The extremely high cost of living residents of Barbados face daily is not caused by illegals. Stop pulling wool over people?s eyes and address the real issues.


  8. Mubarak has hit the nail squarely on the head, but beyond the distraction there is nothing in the new policy that addresses the real issue of Caribbean migration, besides the ejection of bodies from Barbadian space for populist gratification.

    Where is the vision for managed migration? What has become of the Guest Workers Programme? How will we determine what sectors of the economy need imported labour? How will that labour be procured? Are we ready to lower the bar to include unskilled labour? These and several other questions remain unanswered by the Government.

    If I may paraphrase Neil Armstrong this new policy represents one small step for the DLP and one giant leap backwards for regional integration and Barbados.

    Damon's Cousin

  9. I too am worried that I may get treated badly whilst visiting my family in Guyana !! as in Barbados, Guyana is "small" socially, and it is very likely that some of the immigration officers are related to / or friends with someone who has been deported from Barbados.

    Although i am not in disagreement with the deportation of illegal immigrants, as this happens in all countries,however, from numerous reports, Barbadian officers are treating these people inhumanely !! there is no reason for this ill treatment – these are people (most of whom are NOT troublemakers or criminals) NOT animals. Common decency is needed by officials when handling these cases.

    It is my understanding that illegal immigrants are offered the "opportunity" to pay for their own ticket back home in exchange for a more lenient "stamp" in their passport. Only those that cannot afford this are then stamped "deported". This may explain why the pm has stated that only 4 guyanese were actually deported !! He didn't mention how many were rounded up at some ungodly hour in the morning and taken by paddy-wagon to the airport. Some of these persons with only the clothes they were wearing, some of these persons with children !! Is this the Barbados that we are proud of ?

  10. Hi Damon,
    My understanding is that many Caribbean nationals already have a kind of hatred for Bajans. I have met many Caricom nationals right here in Barbados who have said the most hateful and untrue things about Barbadians, while still fully enjoying many of the privileges that this island has to offer. My belief is that if Bajans are met with hostility in these islands it would be because of the way many of them have always felt about us, and the current immigration issue would just be used as an excuse to engage in further hatred.

  11. Furthermore Damon,
    If, as you say, Guyanese immigration officers and nationals will retaliate against Bajans in their own country (Guyana) it would be interesting to see the regional reaction to that. Will the entire Caribbean also rise up and protest the inhumane treatment of Bajans in Guyana as they are doing now re: Guyanese in Barbados? Somehow I suspect not. Would that then not make them the same "animals" that they are accusing us Bajans of being?
    As much as I love the Caribbean, Caribbean people and believe in Caribbean unity, I think this just reflects how petty we are as a people. Thanks for listening.

  12. There have been many times during my living in Barbados that i have seen, and heard many things that Barbadians have to say about Guyanese, but not just Guyanese, but also anyone that is not true bajan, from generations behind. And also not even there only, they also have huge hang ups of people of different classes. I have gotten into many arguements with people during school days, and after, that started out with nothing close to being about racial, and suddenly i am getting cursed out because of my color, and that "us rich people can do anything" Well i wasn't rich, more middle lower class, at that time. The truth is, i sometimes got cursed out by both sides of the color bracket. For some reason i changed looks to other people. Being a Caribbean man, i got all sides of the coconut, but can still fill you up, and good to the last drop(smile). Vindictiveness will always be there to many people, and it is a pity that we as a people have to come to this type of behavior. Granted many people from other countries will try to get away from their homeland to try to find a better place to live, and grow their family. This won't stop, because the world is supposed to be our playground. I don't fully agree with people who try to be illegal in their effort to "make things work", but i do understand the need for them to do so. I also understand the Mr Thompson's attempt to curb this practice, and i am sure that if he continues he will succeed. But the manner in which it is being done, and for those who believe him about the numbers, please open your eyes, it is being done very distastefully. Bordering on the verge of being inhumane. As for if Guyana will "do onto others, as they have done unto us" i can only hope that they do not go that route. Being vindictive, and lowering our standards to match what someone else is doing, will always be the beginning of a frame of mind that is very hard to come out from. If we can't love our neighbor right at home, in the real world, and it could be the neighbor that is in the next room, much less a neighbor of islands, doesn't that prove that we don't fully love ourselves? At least being a doctor in energy medicine that's what i have proven and treated many times. But don't believe me, but remember to be honest with what you think, if you start to fool yourself, you may be going on the wrong road already…….

  13. I feel what you're saying Joe. The bottom line, in my experience, is that ALL Caribbean like to talk too much ignorance about each other. We all do it. If it's not one thing it's the next. I fully understand that we are not a monolithic people and we do have differences that need to be discussed. I am also aware that there are serious racial and class issues between us that need to be discussed honestly.
    But we have this ignorant tendency to always define our differences negatively which is going to be to our detriment. To be honest, my personal approach is to distance myself as far as possible from these type of negative Caribbean people, no matter what island they are from.
    The irony of the whole thing is that when we have to live in the UK or the US, all of the petty squabbling between us amazingly manages to come to a halt! But of course, we are still not happy with that and then we have to start talking nonense about Africans or African-Americans. Trust me, they have issues with us too!
    I think one of the challenges we face as ordinary Caribbean people is to honestly tackle and solve the negative issues affecting us, but at the same time not allow these negative and destructive issues to define us as a people.


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