According to the Constitution of the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Governor appoints two citizens to the House of Assembly at his own discretion. There is a mixed reaction about these appointments due to the fact that Mr. Harold Charles and Mr. Beliard are originally from Haiti and the Dominican Republic respectively. While many of us may not like the Governor’s choices, the fact is, both of these individuals are Turks and Caicos Islanders. Our law does not say you have to be born in the Turks and Caicos or have a parent born in the Turks and Caicos to be an appointed member or an elected member.
It is obvious though that the Governor is sending several messages to the people of the Turks and Caicos. His selection however, has counteract what he was trying to achieve. With that said, the appointment of these two individuals to the House of Assembly is a wakeup call to the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
2015 Immigration Ordinance too generous
I believe the 2015 Immigration Ordinance was too generous. I believe the current administration realized the mistake and therefore withdrew their two appointees from Turks and Caicos Islander Status Commission.
I know people have been here for many years and want some sort of security and the freedom to enter and exit the country without the control of immigration. However, it does not mean we have to grant them citizenship. I believe the grant of permanent residency is adequate.
Becoming a citizen of a country is a privilege and we should not take this for granted and give it away so easily. There are people who have been granted citizenship and do not assimilate with Turks and Caicos Islands people and their culture but yet want to enjoy the benefits of being a Turks and Caicos Islander.
Any country whereby the immigrants outnumber the citizens must be considered a threat. It is even more dangerous when individuals from one country alone outnumbered the citizens. Therefore, I believe the newly elected Government must implement a Quota System on the countries form which the work permit holders come from.
The review of the Constitution must be a priority for this new Government. While I do not have an issue with the Governor making an appointment to the HOA, I do have an issue with him having the ability to appoint two persons. I think it should be only one person and therefore in order for this to change, we must change the Constitution.
There is one Turks and Caicos Islander Status
While many of us refer to some individuals as indigenous Turks and Caicos Islanders and others as “paper” Turks and Caicos Islander, the truth is once you obtained a Turks and Caicos Islander status, you are a Turks and Caicos Islander. There are people who may have only one parent who is a Turks and Caicos Islander but we do not refer to these children as full Turks and Caicos Islanders. These children are Turks and Caicos Islanders. There are people who have been living here for years and have received their Turks and Caicos Islander Status but yet we refer to them as foreigners. Once you receive your status, you are a Turks and Caicos Islander. The demographics of the Turks and Caicos is not the same as it was thirty years ago.
It is interesting that the Governor appointed someone with a Haitian background and a Dominican background. It should be noted that according to the National Skills Audit report, Haiti is the largest of the migrant population followed by Jamaica then the Dominican Republic.
Unless these two individuals submit private motions to the House of Assembly, I don’t think their appointments will achieve the purpose for which the Governor wants. However, the appointments have provoked a discussion and a wakeup call.