PDM Has A Plan To Stop Illegal Migration - Astwood
The opposition Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) said it has arrived at a plan that would successfully tackle illegal migration, and which would benefit both the Turks and Caicos Islands and impoverished neighbors Haiti.
The age-old problem of Haitian migrants climbing into rickety boats to make their way to someplace else, to seek better economic periphery, including the Turk and Caicos Islands, has left government after government scratching their head as to what device to use to stem the problem.
At a news conference last week, Opposition Leader and Head of the PDM Hon. Edwin Astwood revealed that his party has come up with a workable plan to nip the practice.
The thing is, he is unwilling to show his hand at this time on the basis that those who are involved with the trafficking of those migrants would want to steal the playbook and try to work around it.
“I believe the PDM has a vision to fix this problem. I believe the PDM has a vision to stop the boats from reaching our shores. And I believe the PDM has a vision to work with the government of Haiti and other officials, to deal with the issue at hand,” Astwood revealed.
“Yes, we cannot say everything on the news…we cannot put everything out there, but we have a plan, a plan that will benefit both countries. We will release that shortly. It is a plan that the Turks and Caicos Islands will be proud of…it has been tried and tested,” he continued.
He told the news conference the plan by successive governments to stem the tide of illegal migration for the most part ended in failures, and so, a carefully study was done to come up with this new plan.
“We have seen the mistakes, we have seen the little successes, and we have seen the main failures. And we have come out with a unique and dynamic plan with dealing with the issue in a very humane way that nobody would be at a disadvantage…both countries would benefit, and both countries would be proud of what this PDM team has to offer,” Astwood crowed.
“We cannot talk about the intricacies of that plan, but rest assured, Turks and Caicos Islands, it is a wonderful plan that we strongly believe will work and will solve the issues,” he continued.
The opposition leader also pointed out that the plan also took into account those currently in the country illegally and how to address that issue.
“We have many individuals here without documents, and we have many issues that we have to take care of. And your PDM government from day one will be ready and able to fix those issues,” he said, noting that the plan would enable the next PDM government to hit the ground running rather than to begin to search for a solution after being elected to office.
“We are not going to wait until we reach in power and then go to cabinet to advance the process. We are going to start the process now,” he said.
In the meantime, the opposition leader lamented the sharp rise in serious crimes, which he said was a first for the country.
“We have seen the highest level of violent crimes…the highest level of deaths in our history. In my entire years from the 70s, I have never seen it like this. We did a little…we solved what could work, but it was not enhanced. What is happening? He asked, noting that the current administration headed by Hon. Washington Misick has become reactive to criminality rather than being proactive.
“This team, we truly believe that prevention is better than cure. Why did we come after to put in some measures when your son, your daughter, your father, your mother is already a victim of crime? Why do we come afterwards, giving our condolences and feel that that is enough? That is not enough! We have to stop it!
“Now, we are hearing that police officers are being targets of crime…imagine that, Turks and Caicos Islands. It was bad last year, but we thought that we have dodged the bullet. This year, we are seeing a change. And we are committed to stay one step ahead of the criminals.
“The government is trying…they are trying to do something with the National Security Council, but it seems they are not keeping ahead of the criminals. You have to keep one step ahead…that is what we want to do. We don’t want to come after and be giving our condolences and going to the funerals.
“We want to prevent those crimes from happening. We want to protect your loved ones. We want to ensure that they are not a victim. Right now, they (government) are focusing on catching the criminals after the crime has happened…we want to be proactive, prevent those crimes from happening, and protect our people. That is our vision, that is our promise, that is our mandate to the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands,” Aswood emphasized.