CASTRIES, St Lucia, June 20, CMC – Incoming Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), St Lucia’s Prime Minister Kenny Anthony, has welcomed the new immigration policy announced by United States President Barack Obama last week, saying that it will benefit people from this region.
The US President said that the department Homeland Security will stop deportations and grant work permits for students who meet certain requirements. The policy change will apply to those who arrived in the US before turning 16, who have been in the country for at least five years and are under the age of 30.
Prime Minister Anthony said the announcement by the US President will benefit a number of young people of Caribbean origin, and will also allow “the humanity” of President Obama to emerge.
“He did say to us at a meeting in Columbia that this is a matter he had to deal with I am very happy that he has come up with a solution.
“It’s not a total solution by any means but a partial one, for while he is dealing with a special brand of illegal immigrants, there is the wider issue of illegal immigrants remaining to be resolved,” Anthony said.
However the Prime Minister described President Obama’s announcement as an important and major step, noting that not just Caribbean families but a large Hispanic population will also be affected.
“It is debatable of course, whether it is coming too late because of the looming elections, but I notice that President Obama is now becoming more of a politician and less of a President.
“For the last couple of years he invested in building his profile as a President so now that elections are looming, I think he is making some important steps, and they are the rights steps,” Dr. Anthony said.
“It is no wonder that the Republicans are crying foul, they are suggesting it is political but I accept the fact that it has been long in the making,” he said.
According to Dr. Anthony, policy formulation is a torturous affair because of having to deal with both the Senate and the House of Representatives, but he still feels that the new immigration policy represents a good move and a respite of sorts for the Caribbean.