Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – March 22, 2018 – The Progressive National Party is calling for a freeze on work permits for Haitians, adding that to have 30 to 35% of the population from one particular migrant demographic is ‘unhealthy’. The former Chief Minister admits to being weary of the Haitian Government’s sincerity when it comes to curbing illegal migration issues with countries like the Turks and Caicos and others within the Hemisphere.
During a Tuesday press conference held at his private office, Leader of the Opposition PNP, Washington Misick appeared to agree – in part – with a policy of the PDM Administration where first time work permit applications are not being accepted at the Labour Department. However, Misick said the focus should be on the larger migrant groups citing Haitians and Jamaicans as topping the list of the expatriate workforce.
“We need to come up with a policy that puts quota on different countries and we put a moratorium on the Haitian quota for now, we can revisit it in the future but for right now we need to put a quota on it and we need to be concerned about our relationship as a member of CARICOM…” Hon. Misick continued, “… but we need to speak sternly to them and we need to make sure that they understand we are not going to allow our islands to be colonized by Haiti.”
“The Haitian Government is not an honest partner, it is not in their interest. They generate significant foreign exchange and foreign reserves from Haitians who send their money back home.”
The former Minister of Finance cited the TCI Financial Services Commission’s report that over $30 million dollars has left the Turks and Caicos, gone to Haiti. It was less clear to the Minister what time frame the figure reflected.
“There is a lot more that is sent in envelopes from people going backwards and forwards.”
“I think that it is time for us to, with the exception of those persons who are already in the system, it is time for us to say that we are not going to issue any more work permits to Haitian nationals until we get this problem under control.”
The Minister was speaking to the results of the Skills Audit Report, which was made public on February 28, 2018.