Less than 600 West African migrants remain in Antigua

Editorial Staff

Apr 3, 2023

Chief Immigration Officer Katrina Yearwood (Photo by Makeida Antonio)

Of the 900-plus West Africans who landed in Antigua and Barbuda between November 2022 and February 2023, about 450 of them are still in the country.

Chief Immigration Officer Katrina Yearwood made that disclosure recently when quizzed by the media on the issue

Yearwood said she could not confirm whether the migrants that left when the figure was revealed did so through “normal channels” but she could confirm that just about 200 of the total group that came as tourists left the twin island state legally.

When the West Africans arrived in Antigua, they claimed they were duped into believing that V.C Bird International would be a transit point with connecting flights to the United States

The West Africans were left stranded on the island with no plan B. Reports are that they started to make arrangements to leave the island illegally, keeping their “destination” on their mind

Meanwhile, Yearwood said a team from the Immigration Department is monitoring the movement of the West Africans who are currently on the island and remain knowledgeable about the communities where they reside but the situation is fluid

“Whether it is Africans or any non-nationals that are here in Antigua and Barbuda, you are never going to know at any given time where they are in actuality … because sometimes they move from the home.

“So, you would have come in and it is written on your ED [embarkation-disembarkation] card that you are staying at Garfields villa, then after a while, you may decide I do not like the accommodation at that villa, so I am going to move and go to a different location and when you move from that different location, that is not something that Immigration is easily informed of”.

“With the Africans … we have a team in place that is being led by our intel unit here at Immigration. We have an idea of what zones they are in, which accommodations that they are at and, like I said, this is fluid. So, what I would have been informed of yesterday of where they would be, could easily change today,” Yearwood explained.

The government has also provided the option of assisting the West Africans who may want to return to their homeland but Yearwood said no one has taken up the offer.


  1. Man on the sea

    Cracktrina yearwood the smoke from your crack pipe got into your eyes so u can’t see ,and u don’t have a clue as to what’s going on, u have been getting government money for nothing and u need to give back every cent !

  2. Teacher for life

    Editors, your headline should have read “fewer than”…instead of ” less than”….you can have less water but fewer countable objects.


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