The trinidad Guardian / Mr Wayne Chance, Vision on Mission’s founder and executive president, must be thanked for his work in the field of the rehabilitation of deportees to T&T. He has caused the Attorney General to break his silence regarding the Government’s plan to assist in this regard. 

The question of deportation is intriguing. What exactly is the objective of deporting criminals from one jurisdiction to another? Is there fear that upon release, a prisoner will continue a life of crime in the jurisdiction in which the original crime was committed? If so, why transfer this fear to a receiving jurisdiction? Or, is the intent to psychologically extend the deportee’s sentence by allowing freedom in a society in which he has little or no familist or social connections at the expense of the receiving jurisdiction? Isn’t this a way of ensuring the continuation of errant behaviour in a new environment? In either jurisdiction, is there any chance (no pun intended) of private and state sponsored rehabilitation?

Mr Chance has publicly expressed his anxieties concerning the plight of criminals who have been deported to T&T and by extension, Caricom. What if Caribbean leaders come up with a detailed plan to encourage the next American president to agree to a new category of deportees namely, educated West Indians? The inter-governmental plan must be of societal, financial and economic benefit to all parties. The intent must be the reversal of the Caribbean brain drain via the encouragement of US dollar-investments in the overall development of those jurisdictions that are the recipients of criminal deportees.

America is a melting pot of diversity. So too is T&T! What if, as part of the plan, deliberate developmental/technical/educational connections are made between Facebook-whose Global Director of Diversity is a Trinidadian-and T&T? Similar connections could be established with the editor and publisher of the LA Times who is a Trinidadian, and the president of Howard University who is also from Trinidad. There are many genuinely educated Caribbean sons and daughters who live abroad who may welcome being repatriated (as opposed to being deported?), under conditions that are favourable to all parties, inclusive of the countries in question.

Our leaders may not be able to stop the deportation of criminals from one jurisdiction to another. They must however, be encouraged to root for at least the conditional repatriation of the best Caribbean minds so that the Caribbean can become the first beneficiary of their training and expertise. 

JH

Petit Valley

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