Immigration debate rages on

Where does compassion stop and idiocy begin?

Two BFP regulars are squaring off in the comments section. Mark L Fenty Sr. is calling for some sensitivity for our Caribbean brothers and sisters “visiting” Barbados. Another reader, “Observer” has had enough of illegal immigration.

Observer praises the DLP government’s recent decision to restrict health care, saying “Thank God that there was a change of Government else our social services would have been under further strain to cope.”

We’ve taken editor’s license to clean up some of the spelling and missed words that happen in the heat of debate and we’ve added the titles and subtitles too. If we’ve changed any meanings, I’m sure our friends Mark and Observer will let us know.

“DING!!! Round Two. FIGHT!!!…”

Illegal immigration problem caused by a failure to police the system.

by Mark L. Fenty Sr.

To those people who believe that Barbados isn’t going to reach a state of economic decline to the point where thousands of Barbadians are going to be flooding the more prosperous islands of the Caribbean: think again. This I believe is going to be directly attributed to the antiquated tourist industry that Barbados relies on so heavily for its foreign exchange, coupled with our insensitivity toward our fellow Caribbean nationals who reside in Barbados in an illegal status.

It is important that we restrain our own biases in order to make an objective assessment of this immigration issue. The people in Barbados have every reason to believe that there are being victimized by people who appear to be freeloaders. However, it is quite the contrary, because when I look at the people of the Caribbean I see a people who are independent, industrious, and who are dress with great sense of moral decorum.

I’m speaking as a Bajan who once lived in the city of Barbados among many Caribbean nationals who I considered my close friends and still do today. I have found most of them to be hard working and ambitious people.

Clearly our sense of right and wrong about this immigration issue are predicated upon our inability to objectively, logically view it without being emotionally charged. And therefore, we should not loose sight of the fact, that the issue of illegal immigration in Barbados should not be attributed to the Caribbean national unilaterally, but to the inability of an immigration system the failed to police the problem effectively.

Above left as a comment by Mark L. Fenty Sr.

Soft hearts and soft heads are the problem with Immigration!

by Observer


So what, if you are wrong you cannot be right. No wonder why we have so much indifference in society, when people like you can argue that wrong is right.

I am not advocating that we disrespect our Caribbean brothers, but an illegal immigrant can’t expect to be here and not qualify for a service and expect to receive it. Soon you will be arguing that they should get welfare assistance as well.

I have no problem if Barbadians emigrate to greener pastures, but if they emigrate illegally then they should not expect to benefit from the social services, except for humanitarian reasons and that happens even in America.

Until Caricom deals with the issue of contingency rights, the debate will continue.

If people come for a vacation they should return home and apply to be in Barbados in the right way. It is people like you who encourage them to overstay and work illegally and marry for convenience and flout our immigration laws. Thank God that there was a change of Government else our social services would have been under further strain to cope.

Above left as a comment by BFP reader Observer


Filed under Barbados, CARICOM, Human Rights, Immigration

14 responses to “Immigration debate rages on


    As I said before Barbados cannot and must not be seen as the free Health center of the World.

    The wisdom of Barbados’ Governments over the many past years have ensured that we BARBADIANS have what we have, including a reasonably good health care system.

    It did not take rocket science to provide for BARBADIANS that which we can now be proud of.

    However what do we see else where in the CARIBBEAN, to put it in Bajan terms “tiefing” left, right and center. Caribbean politicians living high off the hog. Taxpayers money which should have been used to create proper infrastructure for the citizens of other Caribbean countries, including free Health care, winding up in their pockets.

    Caribbean politicians with the exception of BARBADOS have not often put the needs of their people first. Hence the mess that most of them find themselves in today. For example how can one explain the poor condition of GUYANA, a country rich in almost every resource under the sun? Caribbean countries such as GUYANA and JAMAICA, but not limited to them, ought not to be exporting its citizens so that they become burdens on others.

    Providing properly for their citizens is not a prority of Caribbean Governments with the exception of BARBADOS. They havemore important things to do At the top of that list is Political Cannibalisation.

    How do we now find ourselves in this disgusting situation?
    One name :-

    Unless we want utter chaos in BARBADOS and the overwhelming of ALL our support services, then at the next general elections we must vote in a manner that ensures that the corrupt Barbados Labour Party remains on the opposition benches.

    To save Barbados,


    Otherwise we and our children and our children’s children will suck salt.

    Please also note that the corrupt Barbados Labour Party is ALWAYS ON THE SIDE OF ILLEGAL ALIENS. That is saying everything.

  2. observer

    @what will they think of next

    You got that right brother.

    Where have you gone Mr. Fenty? I am awaitng your response.

  3. Contemplating Life

    Just to add my 2 cents here. I totally agree that it is unfair for non nationals here ILLEGALLY to be receiving medical (unless in case of emergency) and other social service benefits payed for taxpayers. However if you are granted status as a citizen, permanent resident etc and are contributing to the system in the form of income taxes, contributions to n.i.s. etc you should be able to access those same benefits even if not immediately but after a specified time frame for example of a year of residency. Where a big problem lies is that there are over 15000 legitimate applications for residency, citizenship etc in the immigration department waiting to be processed for several years according to the Nation Newspaper 2 Sundays ago.
    = 15000 more people that could be legitimately employed and contributing to the system as we speak. Not to mention the joy of these people who end up living in “limbo” waiting on these documents in order to progress and contribute to life here.


    I support your point, “Contemplating Life “.

  5. the scout

    Contemplating Life
    Who is to say that these 15000 applicants would get citizenship. Most of these would have been contributing through taxes in their own country but did not get the benefits bajans get from their, why therefore should they be classified as wholely Barbadian? This should be reserved for persons born in this country or for offspring of borned bajans to the second generation.

  6. just want to know

    I have been working in The Health Care system for 21 years, and it has always been the same, each and everyone getting the health care they deserve, and surely the Barbados Labour Party has not been in power for all that time. When people are spitting venom like what will they think of next, I certainly don’t agree with that. Many Barbadians live in England, Canada, America. Where ever you go, one can find a bajan, so let us be sensible and fair. What I would like to see is the people who are illegal, living and working here be given the right to become citizen, fifteen thousand applicants for citizenship is a lot of people, so let us make an effort to get these people properly registered. The people who take advantage of the health service are the ones who should know better.

  7. observer

    @ Just want to Know

    If you are truly working in health care, you dont even got a clue about the policy that had fallen in to abeyance because of callousness, nevertheless it is know being enforced. How can you say that the peole who take advantage of the health service are ones who should know better. If they are entitled to the benfits of using the system and they use it, how can you say they abuse it. If they have an ailment they will seek medical treatment.
    There might be one or two persons for psysological reasons who abuse the system, but that is s miniscule amount.

    So go come with emperical argument and just dont blog for blogging sake.

    The Ministry of Health is not responsible for dealing with immigation status, until their staus is resolves they are not pernament resisdents or citizens. So what, Barbadians are every where. If they violate the rules of another coutry, should we reciprocate and allow people to break ours. What spurious foolishness are you talking.

    By the way, anybody can come on this blog to legitimise tehir arguement by saying that they work in health care, but what matters is the evidence presented in developing an argument.

  8. Contemplating Life

    In response to the scout:
    Read my contribution again…I used the word LEGITIMATE for a reason……
    By the way in many countries, once your status is regularized and you are contributing to the health, social insurance, etc systems you are entitled to benefit from those systems. What usually happens as I am sure many bajans from over and away will confirm you usually have to contribute to the scheme for an extended period of time , for example a year after gaining status before you can claim any said benefit.

  9. Responder

    Keep talking ya talk Observer. It seems that there are illegal aliens loving die hard persons in this country that would love to see (1) Increase taxes, illegal aliens exempted. (2)Land purchase by illegal aliens. (3)illegals aliens taking away jobs from Bajans. (4) Illegal aliens opening businesses, no vat and no NIS payable, and just for the hell of it, (5)run for Prime Minister. IAP – Illegal Aliens Party.

  10. sam cooke and duppy

    the blp only want the illegals to influence the vote, SHAME ON THE BLP selling us out

  11. watcher

    One of the things that has to be contemplated is how are you going to control the system of who gets coverage. When Canada first issued “Health Cards” they had a name and a health insurance number on them without any photo ID. So when you went to a Doctor you got the service simply by virtue of being in posession of a Health Card with a number. That lead to all kinds of abuses. I am sure you could well imagine many ways to carry ID of a name on a card that has no photo id requirment. What Canada finally did about 12 years ago is start a program of “photo id health cards” that are valid for only 5 years but if you have a original non photo id health card you dont’t need the new one.
    So take this into account and think about one Government Department not being able to process 15,000 applications. Now how you going to register and control 275,000 potential users of the system.

    Until there is a plan to get secure ID cards, nothing going to change. What we are talking about is what should or might happen but until logic is put to the control problem it will be business as usual. Bring the topic up again in 10 years and see where we are.

  12. da costa

    One of the things I find amasing is the fact that, barbadians have such a biased view of new comers to their island. Most of us have our Great grand parents who for generations has, broken their backs to build barbados under the Crown. I have family in duke and cater returning to barbados who have been sworn at in the streets and told where to go, by individuals whos family more or less done piss all for barbados. so for all those rediculous barbadians out there learn your history and recognised when your family is returning home.

  13. Mark Fenty

    Da Costa your scenario doesn’t even come close to the kind of arrogance that is intricately interwoven in Barbadian cultural ethos. The poor (Great Syndrome) afflicts the commonest of Barbadian families. Hear this brief
    example my friend, there’re persons in one’s family (now, I am referring to the average Barbadian family now) who would walk by you in Bridgetown, in the company of they friends of course, and wouldn’t even look in your direct, far less more speak to you. But as soon as they arrive home, they pretend that you haven’t realized the way their acted towards you down- town, shame isn’t it? (Excuse my molestation of the English language because I’m keeping it real my friend). I call this kind of behavior the (Poor Great Syndrome), here in America it is known as (Ghetto Fabulous). You know, I hate to admit it, but I honestly detest those kinds of individuals whose judgment is the psychological equivalent to that of Frog.

  14. Mark Fenty

    You know, I’ve been in America close to some thirty years now, and I’ve always acknowledged my humble beginning. And coming from the lower Echelon of the Barbadian society,I’ve never pretended to be anyone but a man who has left his native-land in search of material opportunity. And it is for this reason that I lift my hands to the sky everyday, and thank God for opportunity that he has given me to see life from a different angle. And to be quite honest, it has allowed me to cultivate my mind in ways that my native land wouldn’t have, if I had stood there in perpetuity. now, my native intelligence brings me back; to the struggles my family and I endured when I lived in Barbados. And I’ll always cement my loyalty to the underprivileged and less fortunate from whence I came. These voices that still continues to be marginalze, and vitiated by those elemnts who quote, unquote thinks that their are the cat’s meyoow.