Sunday, January 12, 2003

There's been lots of commentary in the letters pages of the Jamaican newspapers on the new visa requirement for Jamaican visitors to the U.K., most of it bitterly negative. For example, from today's Gleaner:


I just have a point to express with regards to Jamaicans needing visas to enter the United Kingdom. As a Jamaican I think it is unjust, seeing that the international repercussions on our economy are even worse. However, it has happened though it is disappointing.

If Jamaicans are considered so bad and criminal then I do think that Jamaica should start to have background checks on all possible paedophiles and other sex offenders that may enter the island from Britain. I would like to see this discussed through the newspapers and talk shows. This should take place, I strongly believe so.

I am, etc.,


Indeed. Two questions: how much illegal immigration is there into Jamaica from the U.K.? (The British home secretary says last year 150 Jamaicans per month absconded after being admitted to the U.K. as temporary visitors.) And which will have greater consequences for the Jamaican economy: the fact that travellers to the U.K. will now be more carefully screened (as travellers to the U.S. already are), or the fact that if Jamaica makes it harder for British nationals to visit their island, those tourist pounds will simply be diverted away from their north coast resorts towards the Bahamas, the Caymans, Antigua, Barbados, Tobago etc.? (And note how that old concept of "the English vice" lingers on.... As though Jamaica itself doesn't have its own share of "paedophiles and other sex offenders".)

No comments: