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Temporary Jamaican Residency – Another Jamaican Illusion?

Aircraft approaches runway at Sangster International Airport – Via Photos Of Jamaica

The Jamaican government recently proposed offering temporary residency to non-Jamaicans. 

Under normal circumstances there should be an immediate avalanche of requests for consideration following such an enticing proposal.  Based on the country’s alluring beauty, favourable year-round climate, infrastructure, proximity to the United States, and the amazing Jamaican cuisine, such an offer would not stay open for long, quickly closing due to over-subscription!

Murdered missionaries lived in Jamaica for 10 years

Jamaican’s living abroad, and eager to retire at home are in wonderment, confused as to why non-Jamaican’s need to be approached to enjoy the country’s multiple natural enticements. Many pre-retirement Jamaicans worldwide daily wrestle with whether to return home and live-in fear of a gruesome, untimely early death or remain abroad and ultimately die at an old age in relative safety.  


These Jamaicans adumbrate their concerns highlighting the absence of the most basic security, targeting of returning residents by criminals, a poor healthcare infrastructure, unreliable utility services, and grave concern regarding the perception of a pervading and ever-expanding cesspool of government corruption. 

Would not temporary non-Jamaican residents suffer the same fate?  Are policy makers risking further tarnishing of the Jamaican image internationally when the slaughter of these temporary non-Jamaican residents is featured in the media coverage of their originating countries?  

When missionaries and American citizens, Randy Hentzel and Harold Nichols, were murdered in St. Mary Jamaica in May 2016 the negative perception of Jamaica quickly reverberated around the world with damming negative effect. Which effect, unfortunately, is still persisting to this day.

Commitment to Jamaican family and contribution to the Jamaican Society

Returning Jamaicans would provide an immediate salutary impact on employment, remittances, investments, technical know-how and expertise, and the need for new housing stock.  Most of these returning resident-retirees would likely build new homes, employ household assistance, and offer their expertise to uplift development in their local communities. 

Their devotion to country already demonstrated by economically, faithfully, supporting family members should never be questioned. To fulfil those family commitments many of these Jamaicans worked two or three jobs under trying circumstances, ignoring their own needs, and never ever complaining.  Despite ingratitude, disrespect, being swindled, and otherwise mistreated, many of these courageous hard working, dedicated to family and country Jamaicans, never wavered or contemplated quitting.  Returning home to Jamaica to enjoy their twilight years in peace and calm does not seem to be too much of a demand, much less an expectation.

Some Areas Needing Attention to Improve Security


Not infrequently Jamaican news coverage revolves around recovery of guns being shipped into Jamaica through the established ports including those in Kingston and Montego Bay. Yet there appears to be no comprehensive review of the process necessary to ship barrels into Jamaica thus guaranteeing accountability and fool-proof tracking of shipments and shippers. 

To ship a barrel into Jamaica the sender is not currently required to provide any government issued, verifiable identification.  Nor is there a requirement from the shipper guaranteeing that the recipient’s address in Jamaica is real. 

When contraband is discovered the accountability of the shipping agent in this process remains opaque. The integrity of  the tracking process once these shipments arrive in the customs area in Jamaica also require review. 

Concerned Jamaicans wonder if customs employees are interwoven into the shipment network thus facilitating these illegal activities. Is there a daily accounting of all inventory and a process to immediately recognise variances or inconsistencies? Others loudly wonder if political influencers may be facilitating this sieve-like illegal import architecture. 

In today’s world of bar codes, computers, cameras, and modern and efficient management practices, the fix to this illegal importation should be extremely easy once those responsible are engaged and possess the will to see an end to the slaughter of our fellow Jamaicans. This fix may be difficult if not impossible however, unless we assume those in leadership are not part of and are distinctly different from many in the Jamaican society who see no harm in wrongdoing. And who do not care about the wanton murder of fellow Jamaicans.

The South Clarendon Hot Smuggling Zone

Just recently this hot smuggling zone was again in the news as an aircraft apparently engaged in surreptitious and possibly illegal activity crash landed on the beach.  It is mind boggling to believe that with drone technology, improved resources, and commitment the security forces in Jamaica cannot cauterise this free access to Jamaica by those intent on engaging in illegal activity.  To the uninformed this may seem to suggest complicity.

The million-dollar question though is complicity by whom? Jamaicans are unlikely to ever get an answer to this question as the facade of commitment to the safety of Jamaicans continues to be a hallow but hollow – like the National Prayer Breakfasts – and a meaningless charade.

Leon Wright, Guest Author.


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