The election of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States of America (USA) has seen some expressing concerns, since he has among other things, committed to deporting all illegal migrants from that country when he officially takes Office.
President David Granger has since expressed some level of concern with regard Guyana’s ability to handle any possible influx of Guyanese being deported from the USA.
The President was at the time engaging the local media for his weekly television programme – ‘The Public Interest’ – and when questioned on the matter said bluntly “we don’t have the capability.”
He was speaking to the possible influx of deportees involved in the commission of violent crimes.
The President was adamant that Government will be looking to work with its US security counterparts with a view to being notified when such persons are being deported to Guyana.
Granger conceded that there is still some degree of narco-trafficking in Guyana in addition to execution-type murders and “we don’t want to have people coming back here who contribute to that form of criminality.”
“We want to be better prepared,” the President said, as he disclosed that the issue is something the Public Security Ministry is aware of.
According to President Granger, “we will have to put measures in place to ensure deportees do not try to perpetrate crimes when they get back here but it is something we must prepare for.”
US President-elect Donald Trump has repeatedly over the course of his election bid pitched the idea of deporting all illegal immigrants from the US with particular reference to Mexicans.
The remarks have however sent shockwaves across the US’ migrant communities including Guyanese, some of whom are ‘illegal’ residents in that country.
President Granger is of the view however that such practices cannot be condoned and it is within the right of any sovereign nation to ensure and take actions to minimise the impact of those abuses.
According to Granger, the deportation of illegals from a country “is not a Trump policy.”
No country, he said, “tolerates illegality and if there are abuses it is quite within the right of a sovereign state to minimise the impact of those abuses on the host country.”
He pointed to the fact that Guyana has over the years deported a number of persons from within its borders coupled with the fact that illegal Guyanese have been deported from other countries, including neighbouring Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Suriname.
He said what Guyana needs to do is to work closely with the US Government so that local authorities can be notified of persons being deported who would have been involved in committing violent crimes, “so we can build resources to manage them when they come back here…We don’t have the capability, as you know.”
The matter, he said, and reaffirmed, is within the power of a sovereign state to expel any illegal aliens it may have within its jurisdiction.
Meanwhile, President Granger also used the occasion to downplay the possible mass re-migration of Caribbean and Guyanese nationals as a result of the rhetoric associated with the US President-elect.
In fact, the President said he has in recent times been looking to woo members of the diaspora to return to Guyana: “I wish some of them would return and help to develop the country.”
He pointed to the fact that many Guyanese living in the USA would have over time, accumulated some level of capital, improved qualifications and experience, all of which would benefit not only Guyana but the region as a whole.
Granger said he is optimistic that over time as Trump continues to receive advice and prepares for his presidency, some of his hardline views would be modified.
The President said he was not in any way worried that a Donald Trump Presidency will be harmful to Guyana and the Caribbean Community (Caricom).
“No I am not afraid that any action he will take will be harmful to Guyana, he is a businessman, he is a tycoon, a magnate,” the President observed and said “if he can help to stimulate business in Caribbean and Guyana I am for it.”
Granger said he would in fact like to see more US and North American investors coming to Guyana to assist with its green energy programme, mining and manufacturing, among other sectors.
“If that is the type of businessman he is, I would welcome investment from the United States,” declared Granger. (Guyana Times)