Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Impact of deportation on the Caribbean

If you look at a map of the Caribbean, you'll see the many shapes representing the islands, with the largest islands to the west and the small islands to the east, curving on down to South America and ending with the following islands: Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao on the west.
The whole formation of islands is referred to as the Antilles, divided into the Greater Antilles and the Lesser Antilles. The Greater Antilles is the Caribbean's largest islands: Cuba, Hispaniola (an island shared by the Dominican Republic and Haiti), Jamaica, and Puerto Rico.
The area is divided into the Eastern and Western Caribbean. The Eastern islands are the same as the Lesser Antilles; the Western Caribbean is the Greater Antilles. The Bahamas, technically not part of the Caribbean shares its azure waters and perpetual summer.
Every island has its own Caribbean spirit; their cultures borrow heavily from their founding fathers. French food fills the air of Martinique, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, and Guadeloupe. Dutch architecture in Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, Saint Maarten, and Saint Eustatius. Spanish atmosphere in the islands of the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, Montserrat, the Cayman Islands and the Turks and Caicos still operate as British dependencies. Former British colonies are the Bahamas, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, and Jamaica.
The impact of deportations on the Caribbean has been so adverse that CARICOM leaders were forced to put it on the front burner when they met with U.S. President George W. Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and congressional leaders, including the Congressional Black Caucus, during last month's Conference on the Caribbean in Washington.
Each year, thousands of convicted felons are returned from the United States, and while the vast majority may have been stripped of their material possessions, for many, their propensity to criminality remains intact.
In an analysis of deportation data for Guyana, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago, a recent CARICOM study found that almost 30,000 criminal offenders had been deported to those islands between 1990 and 2005.
Criminal deportation constitutes a real threat to the security of the region, and to take actions that remain true to this nation’s ideal of enhancing global security by shifting the burden of maintaining security to countries that are least equipped to do so is not wise.

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