Letter: Weaponising immigration is a no-no

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana

Dear Editor,

The recent news from Europe and the UK, indicating a concern over immigration becoming weaponised by foreign actors, should be a red flag for our Government.

Countries are concerned over the lack of regulations pertaining to receiving illegal migrants and exercising control over their influx. As a result of this national security risk, countries are clamping down on illegal immigration and restricting the intake of refugees.

The Prime Minister of the UK recently said, “Our enemies will also see that we are unable to deal with this (illegal immigration), and then they will so increasingly use migration as a weapon, deliberately driving people to our shores trying to destabilize our societies”.

The current conflict with Venezuela should raise an alarm over the current influx of thousands of refugees from Venezuela. The Government and Opposition must work together in Parliament to ensure that we prevent the recent statement by the Prime Minister of the UK from becoming a reality in our own country.

Venezuela can disarm and remove troops from the border while still using the passive-aggressive strategy of weaponised migration to populate our Essequibo region, gain influence and intimate knowledge of the inner workings of our Government and the region; and, worst of all, may use migration to gain knowledge of our armed forces.

Russia has used this strategy over the years to gain dominance in the eastern section of Ukraine, where their culture and language became dominant, leading to an easier annexation of that region of Ukraine’s territory.

We must restrict migrants’ access to Government jobs and enlistment into the Armed Forces and GPF, until Venezuela has accepted the ruling of the ICJ and relinquished its claim to Essequibo. Returning those migrants without links to direct family in Guyana back to their homeland in Venezuela must remain a top priority, and be acted upon shortly.

The use of the area around the border, especially in the vicinity of Ankoko Island, for trade between our two countries would allow the refugees and migrants to establish themselves economically and socially with Guyanese in a safer environment. Such an opportunity, if provided, would help them develop their community in a part of the country that will also safeguard our nation against deceptive migration that can be weaponized by Venezuelan authorities seeking to conquer the Essequibo region. We must prudently act upon this promptly.

Best regards,Jamil Changlee