Gov’t assures due consideration is being given to Haitians who entered Jamaica illegally, last week

The government has sought to reassure that due consideration has been given to mobilizing the necessary resources to take care of the welfare needs of the group of Haitians which arrived in the country illegally, last week.


The assurance follows concerns raised about their well-being.


Yesterday, the People’s National Party (PNP) called on the government to ensure due process and fair treatment of the 37 Haitians who arrived in Portland.


In a statement last evening, National Security Minister, Dr. Horace Chang said the government remains sensitive to public concerns regarding the Haitians.


He said a multi-agency approach is in place to manage the operations and daily needs of the group, which includes stakeholders from the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA), the police, the Portland Municipal Corporation, the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, among others.


According to the statement, before a final determination is made on how the government will respond to the entry of the Haitian nationals, care is being taken to complete the necessary due diligence checks, to complete the necessary health screening and security vetting so that the most appropriate decision is taken in relation to their status.


While noting that Jamaica has made its position clear on the situation in Haiti and the need to restore public order in that country, Dr. Chang said such support is being balanced with the need to enforce the laws governing Jamaica’s borders, the duty to protect Jamaicans, and the island’s humanitarian obligations.


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