Gov’t is doing its part to reintegrate deportees- Minister Felix

GINA, GUYANA, Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The government is working to implement programmes to reintegrate involuntary re-migrants, commonly called deportees into the society, Minister of Citizenship, Winston Felix, told media operatives today.

The minister stated that the government first engages the relevant country’s immigration officials before the decision is made to deport Guyanese, but the government has no control over who are deported.

The Minster explained that though there are private programmes on stream to reintegrate deportees, the government is also doing its part.  “I know that there are private initiatives taken to assist in resettlement of what they call involuntary re-migrants. There are programmes developing privately, and government is also considering the best ways to assist these involuntary re-migrants to be resettled in Guyana,” Minister Felix explained.

Minister of Citizenship, Winston Felix

As at December 2016 there were almost two dozen Guyanese deportees from the United States of America. Some of them had left Guyana as children and knew no one here.

Minster Felix emphasised that Guyanese who often overstay their expected time when travelling overseas also burden Guyana’s immigration system. He alluded to the fact that the Ministry has been dealing with, and continues to deal with those deportees who visited the Unites States of America on a visa and are found overstaying their time. He added that the number of these cases is increasing yearly, and it is time to put an end to it.

The Minister of Citizenship acknowledged that there are instances where Guyanese have had terrible experiences in other countries. He said, however; the underlying issue is with Guyanese following the immigration policies to decrease the number of deportations to their homeland.

“These are issues we have been coping with day after day, week after week. I see no reason to dramatise it. We have a new situation developing in the world today, and all we have to do is to organise ourselves, to be able to effectively manage the situation if the numbers increase at any one time,” Minister Felix indicated.

The Minister reiterated that the government will do its best to create an enabling environment for deportees to become productive citizens. He also urged the Guyanese not overstay their time in other countries.

The Citizenship Ministry continues to work along with the Guyana Police Force and the Foreign Affairs Ministry to monitor and assist the involuntary migrants to reintegrate.

By: Ranetta La Fleur

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