By Drexwell Seymour
– Ask the First World Countries to help Haiti or better yet help Haiti yourself
Recently, a vessel carrying 842 Haitian migrants was headed to the USA but ended up in Cuba. The boat was abandoned by its captain and was drifting at sea. Soon thereafter, the United Nations released a statement encouraging Caribbean Countries to do more to help Haitians that are fleeing Haiti. One way the Organization suggested that Caribbean Countries can help is to offer individuals fair asylum procedures if they need international protection.
The release also stated that UN is working with governments in the region to strengthen their asylum system. Unfortunately, the report did not list the governments who they are in discussion with, but I hope Turks and Caicos Islands government is not one of them
Let me say this, I empathize with the people of Haiti given the circumstances that they faced in Haiti, but the Caribbean region should not have to bear the burden. Therefore, I challenge the United Nations, to ask the First World Countries such as the USA to help Haiti with asylum or better yet United Nations should try and see what they can do to help the improve the condition of Haiti. After all, one of the purposes of the United Nations is to help solve international problems such as helping the poor.
No need to pressure the Caribbean region
The world classifies the Caribbean as third world countries even though I personally don’t think we are third world. However, the point I am trying to make is, if we are third world then why would an organization such as UN put pressure on us to do more to help Haiti. Quite frankly, I don’t know what Caribbean countries they are talking about, but we know that the Haitians do not normally flee to other parts of the Caribbean other than The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands.
I cannot speak for The Bahamas as I don’t live there and don’t know much what takes place there, but I can speak for the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI). The TCI is not able to accommodate or provide any refugee status to the people of Haiti. We are a small country with only 40,000 people, the majority of which are already Haitians. This is a national security threat and should not be considered.
We are already following the UN agreement by providing free elementary and secondary education to immigrants and this is already creating a burden on us. Because of this, immigrants are finding ways to get their children in the country and placing them in the public schools. The public schools are overcrowded on the island of Providenciales and so many locals are now putting their children in private schools which is costing them thousands of dollars while it is costing the immigrants nothing. This also is creating social conflict among the locals and the immigrants particularly the Haitian community. I wonder what the Right Most Excellent JAGS McCartney would have done to deal with this situation if he were alive.
Ask the USA for help
I don’t believe that the Haitians are leaving Haiti to live in the Turks and Caicos or The Bahamas. I think they want to be in the USA and who knows perhaps they are being told that they are on their way to the USA. The USA is one of the most powerful nations in the World and is not too far away from Haiti. The UN should not be putting any burdens on the Turks and Caicos and The Bahamas to the help the Haitians. They should be working with the USA to see if they can help provide asylum opportunities for the Haitians that flee. After all, that is where the Haitians really want to be.
Help Haiti yourself
According to UN, Haiti is faced with “violent-gang related activity, internal displacement, natural disasters and lack of opportunities.” I believe that given the size of Haiti and the natural resources that Haiti has, Haiti has great potential. By UN encouraging Caribbean Regions to help the Haitians flee, this will promote and encourage more Haitians to flee especially if they are aware that asylum will be granted to them. This is not the solution to the problems in Haiti. Therefore, the United Nations should see what they can do to improve the economic conditions of Haiti. If the economic conditions improved, the Haitians would not want to leave their country and perhaps if the economic conditions improved, there may be less internal displacement and violence.
The Caribbean region particularly The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos need help. Too many sloops are entering our countries, some are detected, and some are undetected. Those that entered undetected are creating a burden on our health, educational and financial situations. Even those that entered that are detected are creating a burden financially because we must pay a significant amount to repatriate the Haitians.
Why doesn’t the United Nations help us to deal with this burden?
United Nations, if you want the Caribbean countries to help Haiti, why don’t you also help the Caribbean countries to achieve their goals which is one of your purposes for existence. With that said, why doesn’t the United Nations come to the Turks and Caicos and educate the public about the pros and cons of independence. Why doesn’t the UN speak on behalf of the BVI whose democratic rights may be taken away from by allowing the governor to run the country.