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From: Roy Sievers (e-mail him)
As hotel and leisure jobs vanish because of the global financial crisis that has slowed tourism, immigration enforcement has been stepped up throughout the Caribbean.
Over the last three years, deportations have doubled.
Now that richer islands like Bahamas, Antigua and Barbados protect themselves from migration from the poorer countries like Jamaica and Haiti, the "OneCaribbean" concept (similar to the North American Union) developed by the 15-nation Caribbean Community that advocates the free movement of labor has suffered an embarrassment.
"Free movement" of people doesn`t work so well when citizens of the host nations lose jobs to the migrants.
As Antigua`s chief immigration officer Ivor Walker asked: "Why are we still hosting so many non-nationals in the country? Why are they not sent back? Why are their jobs not being taken?" [Caribbean Cracks Down on Illegal Immigration as Jobs Dry Up in Tourism-based Industries, by Mike Melia, Associated Press, September 5, 2009]
Walker`s question is one that Janet Napolitano should ask.
Sievers, born in California, is a financial executive. His previous letters about whether Puerto Ricans consider themselves American and the immigration crisis in the Dominican Republic are here and here.