Barbados has stated that there are in excess of 30,000 illegal Guyanese immigrants in Barbados, and Prime Minister David Thompson's has proposed a six-month amnesty (June to December) for Caricom migrants who may be illegally in Barbados. Regularisation of their status must occur within this timeframe, and deportations will commence soon thereafter.
This number seems extraordinarily large, given that the official population of Barbados is only 300,000. No specific data has been given as to the accuracy of these numbers.
One must wonder if it is being pushed purely for domestical political gain given the economic issues facing the Caribbean countries. When economic issues arise, protectionism is the "easy" way out. However, this is a problem for CARICOM and the fledgling CSME.
"In the absence of data in support of official claims of huge numbers of illegal Caricom migrants in the country, and the extent of pressure their presence is causing for the social services, the amnesty, which went into force on June 2, has unleashed a witch-hunting atmosphere and is nurturing tensions never before known in Barbados" Trinidad Express.