5,000 Caribbean nationals deported from the U.S. in 2019

Michael Eli Dokosi December 17, 2019
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) via bbc.com

The Caribbean is a region of the Americas that consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands and the surrounding coasts. The region is southeast of the Gulf of Mexico and the North American mainland, east of Central America, and north of South America.

Owing to the economic might of the U.S., a good number of Caribbean nationals make a move legally, as well as, illegally to live, study and work in the country now headed by Donald Trump.

It should be noted some of these countries have pacts with the U.S. making them citizens of the U.S.

The U.S. currently has 14 territories in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Five territories (American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) are permanently inhabited, unincorporated territories; the other nine are small islands, atolls and reefs with no native (or permanent) population. Of the nine, only one is classified as an incorporated territory (Palmyra Atoll).

It has emerged 5,379 Caribbean nationals were removed from the US in the 2019 fiscal year, according to a News Americas analysis of the latest US Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Removal Operations data released recently.

At least 2,186 nationals from the Dominican Republic accounted for the largest number of deportees to the region followed by Cuba with 1,179 nationals sent packing in 2019. Jamaicans constituted the third largest number of deportees with 751 given the sack while 690 Haitians were also given the boot. 12 persons on that list are said to be from Antigua and Barbuda.

Caribbean Day dancers
Dancers celebrate Caribbean Day in New York City. (Photo: maisa_nyc/Flickr)

Other states whose nationals also got deported are Guyana-125; The Bahamas-109; Trinidad and Tobago-106; Belize-90; Barbados-29; St. Lucia-22; St. Vincent and the Grenadines-19; Dominica-16; Grenada-13; Suriname-12; St Kitts and Nevis-11; Netherlands Antilles-6; British Virgin Islands-4; Cayman Islands-3; Turks and Caicos-3; Anguilla-2; Bermuda-2; French Guiana-2; Aruba-1; Guadeloupe-1; and Montserrat with 1.

The Caribbean islands stretch from the Bahamas just off the coast of Miami, east to Barbados and south to the so-called ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao) off the north coast of Venezuela.

In 2017, approximately 4.4 million Caribbean immigrants resided in the United States, accounting for 10 percent of the nation’s 44.5 million immigrants. With the notable exception of Jamaica, all major Caribbean nations were under direct U.S. political control at some point, which has created incentives and opportunities for the nationals of these islands to migrate to the United States.

“The first wave of large-scale voluntary migration from the Caribbean to the United States began in the first half of the 20th century and consisted mostly of laborers, including guest workers from the British West Indies program who worked in U.S. agriculture in the mid-1940s, as well as political exiles from Cuba. The migration accelerated in the 1960s when U.S. companies recruited large numbers of English-“speaking workers (from laborers to nurses) from former English colonies (e.g., Jamaica). At the same time, political instability in Cuba, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic propelled emigration of the members of the elite and skilled professionals. The subsequent waves consisted mostly of their family members and working-class individuals. In contrast, skilled professionals have consistently constituted a relatively high share of Jamaican immigrants to the United States,” the report said.

Last Edited by:Kent Mensah Updated: December 17, 2019


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