Professor: Expect Caribbean deportations under Trump

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A report from the Stabroek News.

Expect deportations of undocumented Caribbean immigrants under United States president-elect Donald Trump.

Professor of International Relations at the University of Alberta, Canada, and former director of the Institute of International Relations, The University of the West Indies, St Augustine, Andy Knight says it can be expected that undocumented immigrants from the Caribbean currently living in the US will be “rounded up and deported back to their countries of origin”.

“You can also expect that agreements like the (Caribbean Basin Initiative) might be reopened and renegotiated. I would expect that the improvements of the relationship between Cuba and the US might be put on pause. But generally, the US relationship with the Caribbean under Trump will be a continuation of benign neglect.”

Asked if small island states should worry about policies from the Trump administration, Knight said: “Only in so far as the possibility that a Trump presidency will usher in what I would call a new world disorder, as the US disengages into an isolationist posture.”

He said there was a good chance that the US under Trump will follow the advice of groups like the Heritage Foundation and withdraw support from a number of UN specialised agencies that engage in assisting small states when they are in need.

“Certainly small island states should be concerned about the fact that the new US president is a climate change skeptic,” stated Knight. He said chances are Trump will not take seriously small states’ concerns with the impact of global warming on these small island states.

Trump will have a strained relationship with traditional allies of the US.

Knight noted that Trump has already questioned the United States’ role in NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) and accused NATO allies of not pulling their weight financially in the alliance.

“But it seems as though he will work hand in glove with President Putin of Russia. With respect to Canada and Mexico, the two closest neighbours and allies of the US, Trump has indicated that he will reopen the NAFTA (trade) agreement. God only knows what that will mean for the economies of Canada and Mexico,” stated Knight.

Knight admitted that Trump’s victory did not augur well with him personally.

“It was like getting a kick to my stomach. I just could not believe that Americans in such large numbers would choose probably the most unqualified person to ever run for the presidency of the United States. I immediately felt sorry for the 11 million undocumented migrants living in the US, for Muslims and people of colour, and for the cause of women who have been fighting for equality with men,” stated Knight.

Asked by the Sunday Express if he thought a Trump presidency would have been possible, Knight responded: “No, I did not think that Americans would choose a misogynistic racist as their president; someone who knows little about what the job entails; and someone who built his campaign on division and hate. I honestly, but mistakenly, thought most Americans were more progressive than that.”

Knight said the polling industry should be abolished for getting their projections so wrong.

“Just as pollsters in the UK got Brexit wrong, almost all of the major polling organisations got this Presidential race wrong,” stated Knight. “(People) are not telling pollsters what they truly intend to do. In addition, one has to seriously question the methodology used by some polling companies, plus one has to be critical of the ‘herding’ instinct of polling companies during the final stages of a campaign. If I were in a position to do something about it, I would completely ban polling. It is a discredited profession.”

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