…104 convicted Guyanese deported last year
Twenty-one Guyanese-born nationals were deported from the United States yesterday after having served jail time for a range of offences.
The U.S. Government chartered a special flight to transport the group of convicts to Guyana and other Caribbean destinations. The aircraft arrived at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport sometime around 15:30hrs yesterday.
Upon landing at Timehri, the deportees deplaned and were handed over by U.S. Government officials to ranks of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and the Immigration Department. The group of convicted Guyanese was subsequently escorted to the Georgetown-based Police Headquarters at Eve Leary under tight security, where they were processed and registered, before being released.
These involuntary migrants had served time for offences ranging from homicide, robberies, possession of illegal firearms, drug trafficking and rape.
The Guyana Police Force is expected to monitor the convicted deportees. In fact, they were informed before being freed that they would have to report to specific Police Stations on a regular basis, as part of the monitoring process.
Caribbean governments have complained bitterly over the years about nationals being deported to their country of birth without much information provided as to their medical and criminal backgrounds and even more importantly, some form of support regarding their smooth integration into their home countries.
In fact, President David Granger last month has expressed some level of concern with regards to Guyana’s ability to handle the influx of Guyanese convicted for serious and violent crimes being deported from the U.S. and other countries.
The President was at the time engaging the local media on his weekly television programme – ‘The Public Interest’ – and said that Government will be looking to work with its U.S. security counterparts with a view of 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.”
Meanwhile, Juncata Juvant, an organisation dedicated to improving the lot of deportees in Guyana, was recently resuscitated here. The organisation intends to establish a shelter facility, either independently or through collaborations with the private sector and/or Government.
At the re-launching ceremony last month, the body’s Vice-President Ruth Howard had promised to deliver a wider range of initiatives to ensure holistic development, support, reintegration and assistance to involuntary re-migrants under a five-year plan.
The United States deported 104 Guyanese from the country last year, according to statistics released by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).