Amnesty will not work and it is not in the citizens’ contract
Based on a question at the Press Conference on December 9th, the Minister revealed that the Government is considering an amnesty to deal with the legacy issues in this country such as illegal individuals residing in this country.
Like many countries, illegal immigration is a significant issue that plagues the Turks and Caicos Islands. Unlike other countries though, citizens of the Turks and Caicos Islands are already outnumbered. The last census taken in 2012 revealed a population of 31,458 and of that amount, 57.5% is non Turks and Caicos Islanders. We are now in 2021 and it is estimated that the population is approximately 40,000. I don’t know the breakdown of Turks and Caicos Islanders vs non Turks and Caicos Islanders but I do know that the growth rate among Turks and Caicos Islanders is very small and many Turks and Caicos Islanders have migrated to the UK and the USA and so the TCI islanders as a percentage of the overall population have decreased significantly.
This is a major threat to the Turks and Caicos Islanders that have remained in the country. Because of this threat alone, the Government should not even consider any amnesty program.
Amnesty does not work
Amnesty will not resolve the issues. In fact, it will enable more illegals. By providing amnesty to individuals that are not legal, you are enabling them to a pathway to citizenship of the Turks and Caicos Islands. Remember a generous immigration policy was implemented in the Turks and Caicos in 2015.
Why would any Government consider such a program that can be a threat to the people of this country? We are not like other countries where the citizens make up the majority of the population. Even if we were the majority of the population, we have to be careful to provide amnesty to individuals that already account for high percentage of the population.
We do not even have data about how many legal and illegals are in this country. I believe if we were to do a thorough analysis, it will be revealed that we have more than 20,000 illegals in this country.
Once we provide amnesty, you will see more individuals coming to the Turks and Caicos claiming to be family members of the individuals that we provided amnesty to.
Send the illegals back
Anyone in this country that is illegal must be returned to their home country no matter how long they were here. Too many people are using the term stateless as a means to regularize individuals but no one is stateless. Every child born in this country can take the status of their mother and so we must send a strong message that we will not tolerate illegals or illegal activities. Yes some of them may have never been to the birth place of their parents but now is the time. There is very little assimilation in this country and by providing amnesty, there will be a further divide.
Successive Governments have allowed this to get out of hand. It is time to deal with this. Many will also argue that the illegals are contributing to the success of the country. If that is the case, then that is a big issue as no one should be hiring anyone that is illegal in this country. Furthermore, everyone that is contributing is getting paid for their services whether they are legal or illegal.
Implement a Quota and Focused on the Diaspora
I believe the Government should implement a quota system for each country because sooner or later, we are going to have a big issue in this country. Government must realize the decisions they make today will impact the future of our children and grandchildren. To alleviate the threats of being outnumbered by one set of individuals, a quota system should be implemented.
In addition, the Government must focused on attracting the return of the TCI Diaspora to TCI. This can be done through a great incentive program.
The Government likes to remind us about the citizens’ contract that they campaigned on. I would like to remind the Government that amnesty is not in the citizens’ contract. If it is there, please show us.
The Government has to be very careful in being persuaded by others to offer an amnesty. There is an agenda and day by day, there is a revelation of the hidden agenda which is to enlarge the franchise. Don’t be influence by individuals who are here on a temporary basis. You, the elected officials do not have any other place to go so rather than considering amnesty, please reconsider your plans and remember the citizens of the Turks and Caicos Islands that you say will be first on your agenda.