TCI News

TCI: Cost of Illegal Migration to Turks and Caicos, $4.3M

#TurksandCaicos, April 24, 2018 – Providenciales – The Turks and Caicos Islands Government is averaging a cost of $961.48 for every illegal immigrant sent home. And for the period of 2013-2017 a total of 4,548 people were repatriated; draining a whopping $4.3m out the public purse.

“The high number of undocumented persons in the Turks and Caicos is a cause of concern for this government, and last year on two separate reports we received possible numbers which are at alarming rates.”

The information on the expense of illegal migration was revealed in two studies conducted last year and it exposed that the majority of illegals within the country are people who have either overstayed their visa, or whose work permits have expired rather than people coming in by sloop landings from Haiti. In August 2017, the PDM Administration called for a voluntary repatriation.

“We appreciate when the annoncement was made by the Deputy Premier in August there were hundreds of persons who volunteered to leave, hoping to return of course, with legal status.  And we are sure that once we continue these ongoing efforts and we intensify as the Ministry of Border Control intends to, that we will see more voluntarily leaving.”

Premier and Minister of Finance Sharlene Robinson alongside Deputy Premier and Minister of Border Control Sean Astwood updated on the ongoing effort to combat illegal immigration.

“This is a drain on the public purse for which we cannot continue.  I can say to you we are not able to plan as effectively as we should with the scarce resources that we have, not knowing the number of persons that are in this country.”

For the first quarter in 2018; 432 illegal immigrants were repatriated to six different countries at an estimated cost of $367,368. Operation Guardian, established in February is now supported by Interpol and undercover operations and a search following another illegal boat from Haiti resulted in another 60 people being captured and detained.

 

By:  Jean Sagesse

 

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