15 Haitians are expected to be deported from Grenada soon. They entered into the spice island as tourists on Sunday but the Grenada immigration department has determined that they would be a burden to the public purse.
Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell, who is also the Minister for National Security and Immigration, told a news conference that the Haitians arrived in Grenada on a flight from neighbouring Trinidad and Tobago.
He said that the decision was based on the amount of cash in the possession of the Haitians when they arrived here.
“So, the Immigration officers in their normal routine checks were able to ascertain to make the determination that in fact, they will be a charge on the public purse if they were in fact permitted to enter the state,”
Mitchell said because Haiti is a member of CARICOM there are very specific and limited grounds that can be used to prevent a CARICOM national from entering a member state.
“One of which is a charge on the public purse and the second will be in broad terms, national security risk, in this case, it was purely on the basis of a charge on the public purse…If you are not a citizen of Grenada and you come to Grenada, you can only be staying at a hotel for at least one night unless you have a friend or family, and in the absence of friends or family it means that you have to be able to afford a hotel at least for one night”
“If you don’t have cash or credit card that allows you to afford a hotel for one night, it means you don’t have a place to stay, and if you don’t have a place to stay and we let you into our community what is going to happen, it means we as a state will have to take care of you,” he said.
They were expected to be repatriated tonight