January 30, 2010

Price of illegal immigrants "too high"

Published on: 1/30/2010. Nation Newspaper

THE COST of illegal immigrants is too high for Barbados to continue to bear.

"I can let you now that [at] one Government school . . . there are quite a few children that have not paid their school fees, and you could look at that right across the spectrum . . . there are school children that cannot pay those fees," said former chief immigration officer Gilbert Greaves.

He was speaking at the first public discussion on the Green Paper On Immigration, held on Thursday evening at the Christ Church Parish Centre.

Greaves also gave an example of how taxpayers are being burdened.

"Right now, in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital there is a gentleman who fell off a ladder working where he should not be working and he was paralysed. He doesn't have a cent to pay for the medical attention he is seeking . . . . Now he has been in the hospital for about six weeks or so and we can find out from the hospital how much the taxpayer is paying [for the treatment] . . . ."

Earlier, in the first public discussion on immigration, Minister of State responsible for Labour and Immigration, Arni Walters defended the proposal for a tougher penalty on employers that flout immigration law. (LW)

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