Senator Abrahams raises concern about anti-foreigner image

Opposition Senator Wilfred Abrahams says Barbados has a reputation for being anti-foreigner.

Contributing to debate on the Immigration (Amendment) Bill, 2014 in the Senate today, he suggested that to others in the region, it appeared that Barbados did not value other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) nationals.

Opposition Senator Wilfred Abrahams
Opposition Senator Wilfred Abrahams

“We in Barbados have gotten a reputation of [being] anti-foreigner . . . The Jamaicans think we are anti-Jamaican; the Guyanese think we are anti-Guyanese; the Trinidadians think we are anti-Trinidadian . . . Across the Caribbean, there is a feeling that Barbadians are anti-foreigners,” Abrahams said.

The attorney-at-law reminded Barbadians that most of the emerging economies of the world were built on migrant labour.

“In the 1960s and the 1970s thousands of Barbadians migrated to the United Kingdom to become nurses to work with the London Transport Authority. In the early 20th century, thousands of Barbadians migrated to Panama to work on the Panama Canal,” he pointed out.

“Those people migrated and created a life for themselves in these countries. Most of them remitted money to Barbados and contributed to the economy. So we developed as a people because of our ability to go overseas and make something of ourselves. The point is that at that time Barbadians were begging for a chance. We migrated into other people’s countries and asked them to give us the jobs we want to do. Are we trying to deny others the same chance?” Abrahams asked as he said he could not support the “ad hoc” amendment to the legislation.

Under the amendment, a person who is guilty of an offence under the Act or regulations made under the Act is liable on summary conviction, to a fine of $5,000 or to imprisonment for 12 months or to both; or on conviction on indictment, to a fine of $25,000 or to imprisonment for five years or to both.

19 Responses to Senator Abrahams raises concern about anti-foreigner image

  1. Sheldon Cox
    Sheldon Cox March 5, 2015 at 8:57 am

    When Barbados does it it’s a problem but every country has laws and people should respect people laws.

  2. Jai Khan
    Jai Khan March 5, 2015 at 9:12 am

    Mia cant put a muzzle pon he!!

  3. Michael Turton
    Michael Turton March 5, 2015 at 9:30 am

    It cannot be a free for all, the country has limited resources and funds available for social services; You cannot come to a country for six weeks and six years later ya still here…. ya want to migrate do it the legal. You know how many bajans living under the radar in the USA, cane infringement with the law how minor will be on a plane to Bim

  4. Michael Turton
    Michael Turton March 5, 2015 at 9:30 am

    It cannot be a free for all, the country has limited resources and funds available for social services; You cannot come to a country for six weeks and six years later ya still here…. ya want to migrate do it legal. You know how many bajans living under the radar in the USA, can’t come to parents funerals and one infringement with the law however minor are on their way to Bim because they are illegal immigrants. Read up on Border security and what’s happening in Australia, Bahamas, USA to mention a few or even what’s happening in some of neighbours in the region. The next time you come to Senate debate do research and speak from a position of authority don’t pull down willy nilly…….. I forgot to mention Canada ..

  5. Zabeeda Abdool
    Zabeeda Abdool March 5, 2015 at 10:43 am

    It’s a free world we all are just passing through….

  6. Signori Nera
    Signori Nera March 5, 2015 at 11:11 am

    To the comments ppl….Xenophobic much??

  7. NAKED DEPARTURE - The Trilogy Series
    NAKED DEPARTURE - The Trilogy Series March 5, 2015 at 11:21 am

    Well said Senator!

  8. Kennyatta Chery
    Kennyatta Chery March 5, 2015 at 11:57 am

    So Bajans can go all over the world and overstay, but now the tabe is turned you are crying. It doesn’t even have to be an illegal person for Bajans to express anti foreigners sentiments. I spent 15 years there from a young kid till a grown man perfectly legal and Bajans treated me like I was the worst thing on the planet. I have some wonderful friend, don’t get me wrong. But Bajans are just to full of themselves.

  9. Drian Xyers
    Drian Xyers March 5, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    You don’t mind foreigners but countries with bad reputations dump their criminal elements on us so they won’t have to deal with them.I don’t know how it is in Trinidad, Jamaica or Guyana but in Barbados if you want a passport you have to have a clean record and produce a certificate of character from the police to get one.

  10. Josh March 5, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    I went to Barbados last year on my British passport, for two weeks and my experience of immigration was my third worse after Russia and Germany and I’ve travelled to in excess of 20 countries – I am black by the way – If this was my experience as a black Briton what do the people coming from Caricom islands experience? I don’t want to raise the race issue again but there are a large number of white people native to Canada and the UK who now live in Barbados. Even Sir Cliff Richard is now domiciled in Barbados – can someone please explain under which immigration rule Sir Cliff was granted immigration status?

  11. Derick Medford
    Derick Medford March 5, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    Just the other day Trinidad was sending back Jamaicans by the plane load . Take a look at how many non nationals have integrated into the Barbadian society and you will see that these statements aren’t true .

  12. Mark Wrd
    Mark Wrd March 5, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    I think Barbados anti-black -foreigner .

  13. Antonio Cozier
    Antonio Cozier March 5, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    SCREW THAT/we in barbados have hell getting a job in our own country, because people coming from all over and taking them .people like u and others hire them because they work cheaper ,while we suffer AND THIS IS NOT FROM NO ANTI FOREIGNER ,I MARRY TO A NON NATIONAL

  14. James Austin Bynoe
    James Austin Bynoe March 5, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    talking pure nonsense and totally missed the point … No one has suggested a free for all … But we do have a growing reputation for not being “friendly” and welcoming to other Caribbean nations and that is simply not cool, especially with churches on every dam corner. Because a few violate immigration laws does not mean we have to be anti foreigner … This kind of narrow minded thinking is what’s hindering us as a nation.

  15. Nirmala Singh
    Nirmala Singh March 5, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    Well said senator,imagin how much house will shut down cause no foreign er here to rent, etc no foreigners n more jobs for ppl who think they job being taken away

  16. Alex Alleyne March 5, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    If BAJANS are this “anti foreigner” , am I to take it that the population of Barbados which is, two hundred and sixty thousand are all BAJANS . A couple of weeks ago a group in Jamaica call Joel Garner a “foreigner” , I did not hear you-all speaking to this issue or called any one there ‘anti foreigner’. Barbados is the dumping ground for all as long as you guys make money out of the deal .

  17. Asiba March 5, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    The reality is that Barbados need more people. The idea of having the Guyanese-the idea of a widen gene pool was the right one for Barbados. Barbados need more people and we will have to import people whether we like it or not. A significant percentage of the Barbadian population will be older , its not getting any younger

  18. Marty Pitt March 5, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    It is a shame of the Dems to bring this into law, Barbados first prime minister mother was a Vincentian his father from Turks an Caicos, both help in the development of Barbados so to are many Vincentians who help to cut sugar cane before they brought in machines as well as many other Caribbean nationals. Shame on the Dems.

  19. Tony Waterman March 6, 2015 at 1:36 am

    @Sheldon Cos !!! Not True, It happens here in Canada, The USA, England, et al. I an sure that it was around 1962 That England Passed a law that stopped Immigrnts from the Commonwealth from Immigrating there.

    @Jai Khan !!! if he is Muzzled where is the Free Speech, does that not put you in Jeapardy??

    @Michael Turton!!! True, but that is because they have a proper Immigration Service that does it’s job efficiently.

    @Kennyatta Chery!!!Very True and that is why we are disliked everywhere we go, and by every Country in the Caribbean.

    @Drian Xyers!!!That is a misleading Statement, i am going to assume that you mean sending back BAJANS that Committed Crime in their Country, if so where else do you suggest they send them??

    @Josh!!last question first, probably under Entrepeneurial Status, and even Canada does that also.
    first part. i travelled to Barbados on my Barbados Passport, and was asked how long i was staying, i travelled there on my Canadian Passporrt as was not asked anything, go figure

    @Derick Medford!!!TRUE and they have not been taken to the CCJ like we were, but that was because they were talks between the two Country’s foreign Ministers, while we just thumbed our noses at Shanique, and pissed of the Foreign affairs Minister of Jamaica.

    @Mark Wrd!!! You hit the Nail on the Head, and if you look at the Board of Tourism, you might notice that they never Market Barbados to Blacks.

    @Antonio Cozier!!! Last part first, how many racists do you know that don’t start out by saying “”I HAVE BLACK FRIENDS””
    I guess that England, Scotland, Canada, USA, St.Lucia,St.Vincent, Grenada, Bermuda, Bahamas,T&T,Cuba,Curacao, Aruba,Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica,South Carolina, did say the same thing as you are saying now,But it’s just that the shoe in now on the other Foot now. Look at me I have lived and made a living in Canada, along with a few hundred thousand Bajans including their Offspring, would you like us to be all shipped back to Barbados then, you would not have a foreigner taking your job then would you?? and that is a lie that they are taking jobs away, they always take jobs that no one else would do.

    @Alex Alleyne!!! Jamaicans who emigrate and return to Jamaica are referred to as Foreigners. so why not Joel Garner who is NOT a Jamaican??

    @Asiba!!! Your idea of widening the gene pool with Guyanese is not a very sgoos idea, unless you want to widen it with the Indo-Guyanese, why??? A Very large segment of Guyanese of AFRICAN descent has their Origins in Barbados (Where Harry? he gone BG) so inbreeding could result

    @Marty Pitt!!!Nonsense, how many Bajans who worked as farm labourers in Canada and the USA were ever handed Immigration Status?? and even back in the day Bajans who went to Bermuda and the Bahamas on Contract had to leave after the Contract unless they Married a National of that Country. I am not a fan of this Government, but they are not wrong on this one, our Aging Infastructure cannot support that many extra people.


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