Monday, January 20, 2003

A letter published in today's Gleaner:


Britain has built another wall against freedom. Apparently they and the Americans are all in everything together. I am ashamed to be British. Please forgive them for their ignorance they know not what they do.

Respect to all of Jamaica and all who innocently abide in her.

I am etc.,


"Another wall against freedom"? Ladies & gentlemen! We're talking about a visa requirement! Not a ban, not a concentration camp, not a blatantly rigged election.

In a perfect world, we'd all have complete freedom of international movement; there'd be no need for passports or visas or immigration laws. But our world is manifestly imperfect; & any sovereign nation has the right to decide on what terms citizens of other nations may enter its territory. Over the last week I've read many indignant letters & columns about the new visa requirement for Jamaicans wishing to visit the U.K.; not one of them disputes the statistics cited by the British Home Office for illegal immigration from Jamaica.

Perhaps the Home Office was also concerned about Jamaican criminal elements (thanks to Matt Prescott for the link to this particular story); this is the possibility that has so riled up all those commentators in the Jamaican newspapers. I still maintain that on immigration grounds alone the visa decision is defensible.

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