Turks and Caicos Islands - Haiti Observer Blog

Turks and Caicos Islands, Haiti Observer Blog. Read the following articles about Turks and Caicos Islands


Memorandum of Understanding between Turks and Caicos Islands and Haiti

On 13 and 14, November 2014, at the invitation of the Haitian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Peter Beckingham a British diplomat, who is the current Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands visited Haiti to complete the process of a long awaited Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Turks and Caicos Islands and Haiti. The TCI Governor was accompanied by Clara Gardiner, the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Border Control and Labor, and Inspector Warrican, the Deputy Commander of Marine Division. After the meeting while talking to the press, Governor Beckingham conveyed the satisfaction of both the governments over the final text of the MOU. The two sides had produced the final draft of a memorandum of understanding and that will be signed shortly. The agreement of understanding covers people to people links, economic ties and issues of illegal migration. However, he has cautioned that the agreement is not supposed to bring overnight positive changes in relationships or on immigration issues, but it is an indication of the seriousness with which both Governments will view the growing relationship for a better tomorrow. The intended MoU signing was announced by Governor Beckingham and Hon. Don-Hue Gardiner, the Minister of Border Control and Labor during a joint news conference held at the Premier's Office in Providenciales on 30 July, 2014. The Haitian President Martelly was first got interested over a glimpse of the MOU during a high-level meeting in the Bahamas, which also included officials of the Bahamian government.

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Turks and Caicos Islands to Pressure Haiti to stop illegal migration

On July 2nd, Governor Peter Beckingham left for the Bahamas to talk about the illegal migration of Haitians. The governor briefed the media that he was going to meet with the Bahamian Governor General, including other persons, to continue with the talks. These talks, according to the Governor, were initiated by Bahamian Prime Minister Perry Christie while in TCI in April 2014. The talks were to pressure Haitian government to address issue of illegal migration.

The Haitians were trying to escape their country, therefore, the Governor, together with other persons, decided to put more pressure to stop people from migrating to the Turks and Caicos Islands. According to his statement, there are people from Haiti who have embarked on journeys going to these Islands. He said they have noticed for the last four days people from Haiti entering their waters.

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Turks and Caicos to use drone to fight Haitian illegal immigration

The Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) are having a problem with the migration of Haitians entering their country. To curb and decrease the numbers of Haitian immigrants, TCI Premier Rufus Ewing announced to the news media TCI wants to begin a drone program. They will be partnering with both Britain and Bahamian governments to achieve their objective.

Premier Rufus set forth the steps their government will implement in 2014, to increase TCI's border control and manage the immigration problem. TCI's approach is two-fold: ramping up its reconnaissance and monitoring coastal borders as well as constant flyovers of border areas.

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18 more Haitians dead as ship capsizes in Turks and Caicos Islands

Tragedy once again among Haitians guilty only for attempting to get a better life for their family. According to a, at least 18 Haitians migrants perished at sea when their boat capsized near Turks and Caicos Islands

The accident happened after Turks and Caicos marine branch police captured the boat and was towing it to a port. It was reported by the Caribbean Journal that 32 people were rescued by Turks and Caicos; however for 18, nothing could be done before they all drowned.

The last incident where Haitian boat people died at sea took place just one Month ago. In November, more than 30 people died when their boat sank off the Bahamas.

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At least 254 Haitians migrants dead at sea within past 5 years

Here is just a quick estimate of the number of Haitians who perished at sea while attempting to leave Haiti. The actual number is likely to be much greater. Just keep in mind that these people have only been trying to have a better life or provide for their family.

On May 4, 2007, it was reported that at least 61 Haitians migrants die at sea near Providenciales in Turks and Caicos Islands. The sailboat was carrying over 160 people.

On April 20, 2008: 22 Haitians died when a Speedboat carrying over 25 Haitian migrants sank near Nassau, Bahamas as they were attempting to reach the coast of Florida.

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Haiti to Work with Turks and Caicos Islands on Immigration Issue

Turk and Caicos Islands Governor Todd and Minister Gardiner of Border Control and Labor are producing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Haiti concerning illegal emigration from Haiti to TCI. The MOU will bullet-point directives to be used to fight it. Governor and President Martelly and members of their cabinets met to draft the MOU and come to an understanding about the seriousness of the issue.

Todd explained to Martelly TCI cannot handle the influx of illegal aliens from Haiti due to its small size and budget concerns. He got Martelly to apprehend the serious nature of illegal immigration to TCI, the risk of the ocean trip itself.

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Turks and Caicos Governor Ric Todd visits Haiti to discuss business partnership and migration

On Friday, August 9 2013 a delegation from Turks and Caicos visited Haiti for a trade mission. The team was led by EJ Saunders, the current CEO of Digicel TCI and the head of Providenciales Chamber of Commerce. Margarette Lemaire who is the Haitian Consul in TCI was also part of the delegation.

The mission is focused on identifying the investor opportunities in Haiti and exposing these opportunities to willing investors.

The trade mission is targeting various sectors in Haiti which include tourism industry, hotel industry, the agricultural sector, building and construction development and Haitian product distribution.

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Sunrise Airways to Bring More Tourism to Haiti

Cap Haitien is about to get an uptick in tourism this summer. Sunrise Airways, a new airliner, has submitted an application to Turk and Caicos Islands (TCI) Air Transport Licensing Authority (ATLA) to ferry passengers between Providenciales and Cap Haitien International Airports (IA).

Sunrise Airways' application must be made public to permit competing air-passenger carriers to make objections. If objections are made, a hearing will be held to determine their validity. The outcome of the hearing will be the deciding factor to either approve or refuse the air carrier an operating license. If no one raises objections, the application will proceed through the review process and sign-offs more quickly. TCI ATLA Director, Tom Swann, has reported to the news media he is not aware of any objections to Sunrise Airways' planned service route.

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The History of Haitian Migration in the US and elsewhere

History of Haitian migration is pretty old. While millions cross the borders to become permanent residents of other countries, there are millions others who ride the same ferry but only to return after some time. Millions of Haitian people migrate and settle in Bahamas, Montreal in Canada, Cancun and Mexico City in Mexico, Cuba, United States and Dominican Republic. Other countries like French Guiana, French Antilles, France, Senegal, Cote d'Ivoire, Chile, Puerto Rico, Turks and Caicos and Jamaica also have vast numbers of Haitian diaspora.

As of date, it is estimated that around 1.2 million Haitian people live in U.S. with proper documents while there are many others that have entered U.S. borders illegally. Canada is reported to have 200,000 Haitians while Dominican Republic is estimated to have 2 million Haitians. Bahamas accounts for 80,000 Haitians while the reported figure for France is 90,000.

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Haitians in the Turks and Caicos Islands face Deportation

The Turks and Caicos Islands Government announced Thursday that they will resume deportation of Haitians who were there illegally. This will affect only those who came before the January 12 2010 earthquake.

The Haitians in the Turks and Caicos Islands have been enjoying special protection after the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees had urged governments all over the world to grant interim protection to Haitians on humanitarian grounds to those who had left Haiti.

Turks and Caicos Island has an estimated population of 32,000 people. There is a large community of Haitians who left their country in search of a better life for their family. The Turks and Caicos Islands Government says it deported 938 Haitians in 2010 and 611 in 2011.

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