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Saturday 21 October 2017
Letters to the Editor

Can we really open our doors to Dominicans?

THE EDITOR: Hurricanes, storms and earthquakes are devastating certain countries and the weather seems to have taken on an extremely aggressive stance in recent times.

The Internet is abuzz with factual data mixed with countless conspiracy theories on the contentious topic of weather manipulation. People are left to judge from this influx of information about if the weather is a result of God’s wrath, pure scientific phenomena or the effects of mankind’s experimentation. Each one will judge according to his beliefs, as usual.

In connection with this, the citizens of this country are left to enquire whether we should open our environment, homes, schools and health facilities to Dominicans for a six-month period while they rebuild what was once their homes.

From a humanitarian point of view, we should be our brother’s keeper, since no one knows when he could be faced with a similar or even worse plight. They need all the help they can get.

However, from a resources point of view, goodwill may not auger well in these recessionary times. At the same time, we ourselves are feeling the strain financially and resourcefully at home so some may say the time is not right to ask us to bear more strain. It is tantamount to a man struggling to take care of his own biological children and going to adopt more children. How such a situation will pan out is anyone’s guess.

Many say we can send aid to Dominicans to help them recover their lives. Others say we already have to deal with an influx of Jamaican, Guyanese and Chinese nationals and adding anymore may not be wise. They say this sounds selfish but it is a natural instinct to seek to secure oneself first in the presence of declining resources.

The other concern is how do we keep track of these people and how we ensure that they return home after the six-month reprieve. The Ministry of National Security, which already appears to be swamped with homeland security issues that it cannot adequately address, such as crime, will now be given the added task of tracking the Dominicans.

With all of this in mind, are we even in a position to make a choice? That is the big the question.

LORREN MEDFORD-PRYCE via e-mail

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