Woman claims she was asked to strip at Bajan airport
Front Page
April 8, 2011
Woman claims she was asked to strip at Bajan airport

A Fairbaine Pasture woman, who claims that she was deported from Barbados last weekend, is peeved over the manner in which she was treated by Immigration officials there.{{more}}

Twenty-six-year-old Shamiel Phillips was given her marching orders back to St.Vincent and the Grenadines on Sunday, April 3, less than 12 hours after she had arrived in Barbados.

The mother of two [a three-year-old son and a two-year-old daughter] born in Barbados said she had not seen her daughter who lives in Barbados with her grandmother for a while and was heading back there for the toddler’s birthday, celebrated on Tuesday, April 5.

The woman told SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday, this week, shortly after she had touched down in Barbados on Saturday, April 2, on LIAT’s last flight for that day, the issue of her previously overstaying in the country was brought up. Phillips admitted that she had overstayed in Barbados, living there from 2003 to 2009.

She said after several questions, including what residence she would be staying at, and the purpose for visiting Barbados, she stated that she was searched on three occasions. This, she claimed, was followed by a telephone call to the person with whom she had intended to stay.

“They searched me for drugs. They didn’t find me with no fault. I didn’t commit any crime nor murder, I just wanted to see my daughter,” said Phillips.

She said that she was asked to “strip” off her clothes for an examination to be carried out, but she refused.

Phillips claimed that after she was told that she would be deported to St.Vincent and the Grenadines the following morning, she asked an immigration officer to purchase some food with monies she had, but the officer refused.

“The officer pushed me into a holding cell and she locked the door.

“In there was so cold, my eyes and my face were swollen. Even the Immigration officer here [in St. Vincent], asked me what had

happened to my face. I was very cold and trembling. I had no feelings in my body. I was just cramping,” said Phillips.

She said the next day when she was being deported to St.Vincent and the Grenadines, the air hostess was given her passport and told not to return it to her until she arrived here.

“I feel really bad. I think as a mother who has two children that were born in Barbados, I should be able to see them. I bent on my knees and asked the immigration officer to have my daughter come at the airport to see me before I leave, but she refused.

“When Barbadians come to St.Vincent and the Grenadines and other Caribbean countries, we make them feel loved and treat them with love and respect. But when we go to their country they are treating us like animals,” said Phillips. (HN)