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Turks and Caicos Islands: Undocumented Migrants

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 12th February 2020.

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Photo of Lloyd Russell-Moyle Lloyd Russell-Moyle Labour/Co-operative, Brighton, Kemptown

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment has his Department has made of recent trends in the level of irregular migration into Turks and Caicos from Haiti.

Photo of Christopher Pincher Christopher Pincher Minister of State

Recent years have seen a rise in the numbers of people making the dangerous journey by sea from Haiti to the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI). The overloaded vessels - carrying at times over 200 people - attempt to arrive into the Islands clandestinely, often under the cover of darkness and over dangerous reefs. The newly launched National Security Strategy for TCI aims to deter and ultimately reduce the number of migrants attempting the journey, including by increasing TCI's capability to intercept boats at sea. Improved coordination and higher rate of interception, means that fewer vessels are now reaching TCI. Those arrested at sea, and brought to land, are repatriated by air to Haiti.

The United Kingdom and TCI Government are reviewing our ability to intercept vessels far earlier in their journey, and are working with international partners including the US Coastguard to achieve this. The National Security Strategy also focuses on tackling the criminal networks that exploit migrants making the journey.

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