Rickey Singh on Immigration & Free Trade: “Witch-Hunting Atmosphere In Barbados”

Rickey Singh Barbados Immigration

“In the absence of data in support of official claims of huge numbers of illegal Caricom migrants in the country, and the extent of pressure their presence is causing for the social services, the amnesty, which went into force on June 2, has unleashed a witch-hunting atmosphere and is nurturing tensions never before known in Barbados.”

… Rickey Singh in the Trinidad & Tobago Express article These Threats To Free Trade

Tough Times Make Bajans Less Charitable Towards Immigrants

Every sovereign nation has the right to control its borders and to limit immigration to the number and types of people that are beneficial to the country. What is happening in Barbados now is not so much a debate on immigration as total shock that the Government of Barbados announced it would actually enforce the existing laws. Horrors!

Imagine that… actually enforcing the Rule of Law in Barbados. No wonder people are upset!

This immigration dust-up would not have happened without the current financial crunch, and similar debates are happening around the world in the “have” countries and in the region, Barbados is certainly a “have” country – even if it is all borrowed.

What Rickey Singh’s article should remind us of is that this financial crisis will be over someday. Barbados does not want to be seen as a pushover nation, but neither do we want to be remembered as being viciously hostile to immigrants the moment the economy faltered. Listening to some of the comments on the ZR or published in the papers and on the web, I have to wonder about some folks who attend church on Saturday or Sunday and cuss out immigrants Monday to Friday like they are some sort of sub-human invaders.

It is a small planet. Some folks would do well to remember that and treat their fellow travelers with a little more kindness.

… submitted by a BFP reader. Some edits by Marcus.


Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Ethics, Immigration

23 responses to “Rickey Singh on Immigration & Free Trade: “Witch-Hunting Atmosphere In Barbados”

  1. Anon

    It is time for Guyanese to go home, the party is over!

  2. Luc

    It is a sad reality that once a society gets into a ‘mood’ of pessimism and doubt about the future things can get very nasty. These social moods can trigger riots and even wars (which in turn can end a financial crisis). Remember the Great Depression was ended by a global war.
    I suppose it is only natural that when resources or jobs get hard to come by, people will naturally respond as a heard by becoming tight-fisted and even panic driven. And because we know this can happen, we should always remember that we are all, to some degree or other, a victim of the current economic system. When the music stops, we discover there aren’t enough chairs. It is not the migrant people per se who are doing us out of a living but the fiat-money and debt based monetary system we live in, even though at other times (when social mood is upbeat) that same system can deliver an over abundance of wealth.

  3. Hants

    It is also a reality that Barbados is densely populated and unable to provide for illegals during a prolonged recession.

    As jobs dry up illegals will have no resources and cannot collect welfare or unemployment insurance.

    How will they survive?

  4. oh come on.

    what ppl fail to realise that it isnt immigration that is the problem, illegal immigration is the problem.
    when will ppl realise this? it is ILLEGAL, ie AGAINST THE LAW. if you are here and your work permit is over, or your vacation is over, GO HOME. that isnt hostile. what you are saying is that you have been given the opportunity to work here or visit here for x amount of time, when X has been reached you board a plane and return to where u come from, or go trough the proper channels to extend your X. same for any bajan working or staying abroad, when it is time to leave, leave. i dont see where the debate is.

    and hants the answer to your question is
    eventually they will survive using man’s natural instinct when there is no other way to eat, Crime. a hungry man will do whatever necessary to eat.

  5. Luc

    Agreed, the law is the law… right? And it is as illegal and restrictive as you decide to make it. At 1,620 people per square mile, Bardados is the 16th most densely populated nation or region on the planet, slightly less than China; quite crowded. Monaco is 43,780/sq. ml and Singapore 17,650/sq. ml. while the once prosperous Guyana (despite it abundant resources of natural wealth) is only 9.1 people per square mile, and virtually broke. People go where the going is good. And leave when it is not… unless there is nowhere to legally go to.
    Of course it would be very unwise to unilaterally open ones borders. Looking at the bigger picture. Have you ever asked yourself why for example the EU sees free and natural movement of labour and resources as a good thing? And why it is cheaper for many countries to trade with distant lands than with their neighbours? Regional co-operation and development requires competent leadership, vision, aspirational targets and an understanding of how wealth is created. Not tight-fisted, attitudes.

  6. Hants

    Some crime is “collateral damage” from illegal immigration.

    Some Bajans seem to have forgotten what the word ILLEGAL means.

    More importantly, Barbados must stop increasing its “population” until its infrastructure is improved.

    If it does not, you will soon have to boil water before you drink it..

  7. Hants

    Barbados evolved from an “Agricultural” society where people are socialised to live with some “space” around them.

    Monaco and Singapore are concrete jungles with very strict laws rules and regulations.

    Barbados does not have the resources to create the infrastructure like these 2 countries.


  8. reality check

    “Monaco and Singapore are concrete jungles with very strict laws rules and regulations”

    If Barbados doesn’t protect its precious and open green spaces now with its own lands, it will quickly become a concrete jungle City State.

    this is somewhat akin to building up debt with no accounatbility and then having to ask what happened?

    Barbados has no little or no laws with zero enforcement and had better smarten up.

    Green space is irreplaceable once it is gone.

  9. Hants


    I have a couple acres of “green space” in Barbados and I will fight to the death to keep it.

    I currently live in a concrete jungle and have no intention to retire in one.

    The ability to feed yourself is paramount.

    The illegal Guyanese immigrants are better off than Bajans. They can go back home, cut down some trees, clear some bush and feed themselves.

    Food fuh taut.

  10. The Scout

    One of these guyanese workers in Barbados told me he has built 3 houses out of working in Barbados and is about to build his 4th. While he is doing that many bajan workers are spelling hell to exist in their own country because of these people.

  11. J

    You want to sell Hants??

  12. Hants


    NO. I will not sell any property I own in Barbados.

  13. Hants

    from today’s Nation,

    “But get this, ladies: the challenge was finding someone to sing the song – and not because they were busy ‘cooking dahl puree ‘ but because the 20 who applied – were all illegal!

    “After I wrote the song, it was just sitting there for about two weeks, because out of the 21 who applied, 20 were illegal. We even thought of getting a Bajan to do it for us, but eventually we found a Guyanese that would be able to appear on stage,” Lewis stated. “

  14. Luc

    I would say that were it not for emmigration into Barbados, population growth would be negative and the demographic would be such that those of working age would form too small a share of the total to support the economy. As it is, the population growth-rate is trending downwards and has already declined about 65% in the last ten years. In that time, what have the politicians actually done to improve things beyond what was ‘God given’??

  15. oh come on

    again let me reiterate ILLEGAL immigration is the problem, i see our opposition is trying to spin this topic, they are failing to include ILLEGAL infront of immigration policy, which makes it appear as tho the current government has a problem with immigration.

    when our carribean neighbors and or opposition want to play dirty, notice they always leave out the ILLEGAL part when they speak of immigration.

  16. Hants

    Illegal gambling is profitable. How about allowing illegal casinos.

    Then the government could allow the illegal immigrants to work in the illegal casinos and that would make Jagdeo happy.

    oops. Wrong.
    Jagdeo is giving Casino licenses to hotels in Guyana so maybe there will soon be an exodus from Barbados of illegal and legal immigrants.

  17. victor

    Hants, I’m gIad you are not seIIing your Iand and I wish more peopIe thought Iike you. Where is that concrete jungIe you are Iiving in right now? Is that someone eIse’s Iand? If it is and you wanted to buy there, couId you?

  18. Luc

    Again… it is as illegal and restrictive as you [and the law makers you keep in power] decide to make it.

  19. Hants

    I live in a city in Canada and yes I bought the property I live in. l

    Canada is bigger than the USA and has a population of only 33 million people.
    Lots of room for immigrants.

  20. oh come on.

    also lets not forget our previous prime minister hired pure illegal immigrant labor to renovate his property, this was during government’s push of BUY 100% bajan campaign……oh how we forget.

  21. reluctant nonbeliever

    Anyone hear that immigration officers sweeping parts of the south coast the past few days?
    Last night I gather they hit Maxwell…

  22. Hants


    JAMAICA’S LATEST “tit for tat” trade threat to protect its economy from claimed unfair practices underscores a growing discontent in intra-regional free trade that does not augur well for the future of CARICOM’s Single Market (CSM).

  23. Bajangirl

    ….they will survive as most other illegals do, here and elsewhere: by turning to CRIME!

    And THAT’s why they have to go – now, please.