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Does T&T need an immigration policy?
Last week, in this space, some of the economic reasons behind the apparently sudden crackdown on Jamaicans looking for work in T&T were explored.Since Independence in 1962, thousands of T&T nationals have left the country to pursue educational and employment opportunities around the world. And in that period, thousands of non-T&T nationals have left their countries of birth to gain employment in T&T.
In a post-Independence, regional context, the reason most Caricom nationals choose to migrate from their countries of birth to other countries would be economic. In the 1960s, hundreds of T&T nationals left this country to work in the oil refineries of the Dutch Caribbean and Venezuela. In the ‘70s, during the period of the oil boom, thousands of construction workers left Grenada and St Vincent to seek their fortunes in T&T and to contribute to building the country.
Up to now, most of this country’s carpenters, masons and builders are either from those islands or are the descendants of the original migrants. And it is true to state that the oil boom of the ‘70s would not have been possible without the construction workers from Grenada and St Vincent.
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