Barbados Ambassador Calls Immigrants a “Headache”

Melissa Bryant, SKNVibes (St. Kits and Nevis), November 6, 2008

BARBADOS Ambassador to CARICOM Denis Kellman has reportedly said that he believed his country had reached maximum capacity because of immigration and that the free movement of people “would always create a problem”.

According to the Barbados Sun, Kellman stated that “any further opening of the floodgates to immigration under the guise of free movement afforded under the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) would lead to the suffering of all concerned”.

“Right now we have a hospital problem. We have confusion with traffic. The question is whether Barbados would gain.

“A lot of people believe that those countries sending people into Barbados, those countries would gain. But they will not gain. All they would be doing is sending those people to Barbados to suffer, because we have reached our peak. We have accepted enough people into Barbados as it stands,” said Kellman.

He added that social services were stretched to the limit and queried whether it would make sense for more people to move to Barbados, which has a population of about 270 000. He also blamed the influx of migrants for denying locals access to many well-paying jobs.

“Our employment statistics used to look so good. The truth is that I am not saying that work wasn’t being created. The work was created, but not for Barbadians,” concluded Kellman.

Prime Minister David Thompson holds responsibility for the CSME in the CARICOM Cabinet and recently angered Vincentian Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves when he suggested a policy of “Barbadians first”, which caused Gonsalves to respond that such comments went “against the spirit and letter” of CARICOM.

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