Wednesday, 30 January 2013

GRENADA ACCEPTED – Nationals given the nod of approval to work on US farms

By Linda Straker

Government is hopeful that more than 1 000 persons will be able to benefit from the job opportunities that will present itself through a recent agreement with the United States.

The National Democratic Congress candidate to contest the St. John’s constituency has described the decision by the US Department of Homeland Security to include Grenada as one of the nations eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B non-immigrant workers programme as a “tremendous opportunity” for Grenadian workers.

“We are looking forward to seeing more than 1 000 persons participate in this programme during the first year,” Dr. George Vincent told the crowd that had braved the inclement weather and turned up at Sunday’s Election campaign rally at the Roy St. John’s Park.        
“This is big news for us,” he added.

Prime Minister Tillman Thomas, on sharing more information about the inclusion of Grenada as the only country to be added to the list for 2013, said that it’s a one-year agreement between both countries and “that notice must be renewed each year”. There are 58 other countries whose nationals are qualified to participate in the programme. The other Caribbean countries on the list are Jamaica, Barbados, Haiti and Belize.

Dr. Vincent said that the H-2A and H-2B will provide for Grenadians to work at US farms, particularly during the winter months. There is a similar agreement with Canada. Over the years, dozens of Grenadians have worked on Canadian farms during the winter season.

According to the press release from the US Department of Homeland Security under its regulations, designating countries to be incorporated on the list takes into account factors including, but not limited to:

(1) The country’s co-operation with respect to issuance of travel documents for citizens, subjects, nationals, and residents of that country who are subject to a final order of removal;

(2) The number of final and unexecuted orders of removal against citizens, subjects, nationals, and residents of that country;

(3) The number of orders of removal executed against citizens, subjects, nationals, and residents of that country; and

(4) Such other factors as may serve the US interest.

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