by Linda Straker
- On Thursday, 28 May 2020 a US aircraft was permitted to land 2 deportees
- A 67-year-old male served 17 years for rape: The other served time for causing harm
- Grenada’s Deportation Registration Act requires police to have a registry of all deportees
Almost 8 weeks after United States President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order mandating that any country which delays or denies the acceptance of its citizens who violate the law of the US will face sanctions, Grenada on Thursday, 28 May 2020, allowed a US aircraft permission to land deportees.
“Countries that deny or unreasonably delay the acceptance of their citizens, subjects, nationals, or residents from the United States during the ongoing pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 create unacceptable public health risks for Americans. The United States must be able to effectuate the repatriation of foreign nationals who violate the laws of the United States,” said the 10 April Executive Order which is available on the White House website.
The order said that visa sanctions will be imposed if “the government of a foreign country denies or unreasonably delays the acceptance of aliens who are citizens, subjects, nationals, or residents of that country after being asked to accept those aliens, and if such denial or delay is impeding operations of the Department of Homeland Security necessary to respond to the ongoing pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2.
“Yes, we processed 2 deportees on Thursday. They served time in prison and did not have the status to be integrated into the American society so based on US laws they had to return to the country of origin,” said Assistant Commissioner of Police, Jessmon Prince. He confirmed that all the necessary steps were followed for the landing of a deportee. “We knew they were arriving, and the necessary protocols were put in place.”
It appears that the aircraft which landed at Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA) was island-hopping with deportees from the USA to the Caribbean region because it was the same plane which dropped off 40 deportees in Jamaica earlier in the day.
Sharing more information without revealing the names of the deportees nor the communities of residence on their immigration arrival forms, Prince said the 2 criminal deportees were imprisoned for different offences. “One was a sexual-related offence while the other was for causing harm.”
“One of the men is 67 and he served 17 years for rape, while the other is 32 and he served time for causing harm. As a returning national they were accepted to the island in accordance with the Covid-19 health protocol, which requires them to do a rapid Covid-19 test immediately upon arrival and be placed in state quarantine for 14 days before being allowed to mingle with society,” said Prince.
Health Minister, Nickolas Steele, said that the 2 men will go through the standard testing process before being released from quarantine. More than 45 returning nationals are presently in state quarantine. Before being released from quarantine, it is mandatory that each person is tested for Covid-19.
Grenada’s Deportation Registration Act which came into effect on 31 October 2003 requires the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) to have a registry of all deportees. Some can be designated as restricted persons once the Minister for National Security may, by order, upon application by the Commissioner and upon being satisfied that it is necessary to do so in the interest of public safety or public order.
13 Grenadians were deported from the USA in 2019 according to the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Fiscal Year 2019 Enforcement and Removal Operations Report.