Guyanese, Jamaicans top list of CARICOM nationals denied entry to Barbados
Jamaica (Jamaica Gleaner) – Jamaican and Guyanese citizens account for the vast majority of CARICOM nationals who have been refused entry into Barbados over the last five years, according to statistics compiled by immigration officials there.
However, the statistics, which are among the evidence tendered before the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) in the Shanique Myrie case, have shown that the majority of CARICOM nationals seeking entry into Barbados came from Trinidad and Tobago, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
According to the data, 2128 Guyanese nationals and 1,485 Jamaicans were refused entry into Barbados between 2007 and last year.
By comparison, the figures show that for the same five-year period, Barbadian immigration officers refused entry to 131 St Lucians, 134 Trinidadians and 372 citizens of St Vincent and the Grenadines.
A breakdown of the numbers for last year shows that 42,295 Trinidadians visited Barbados, but only 28 were refused entry. It also revealed that 29,781 citizens of St Vincent and the Grenadines visited Barbados, but only 41 were refused entry.
By comparison, 12,888 Jamaicans visited Barbados last year and 204 were refused entry; 163 of the 21,358 Guyanese who sought entry were refused.
The Jamaican Government joined the Shanique Myrie case last year as an intervenor and is seeking to prove that there has been a “persistent and relatively constant disparity” in the number of Jamaican nationals denied entry into Barbados when compared with nationals from other CARICOM countries.
Apart from the damages being sought by Myrie in the landmark case, the CCJ is being asked to interpret the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas and provide a clear position on rights and privileges it provides for Caribbean nationals.
Among the rights the CCJ is being asked to adjudicate are freedom of movement, the right to hassle-free travel within CARICOM and non-discrimination on the basis of nationality as well as the obligations of member states in carrying out their functions to ensure respect for and protection of the human dignity of every individual.
Myrie has alleged that she was subjected to two painful and embarrassing cavity searches, and held in a dark, filthy cell for several hours before she was deported to Jamaica in March 2011.
The case will shift to Barbados on March 18 when lawyers for the government will begin presenting their witnesses.
Following this, they will travel to Trinidad and Tobago to make final submissions to the CCJ.