The Nature and Pattern of Irregular Migration in the Caribbean

  • Elizabeth Thomas-Hope
Part of the Studies in Development Economics and Policy book series (SDEP)


Behind the anxiety relating to refugees and asylum seekers lies the issue of irregular migration. As with regular migration, irregular relocation in the Caribbean includes different types of movement. One is the illegal entry into the Caribbean of people from other regions. Currently, such immigrants are chiefly from China, entering the Caribbean countries with the intention of moving on to the United States. A second type of irregular migrant leaves the Caribbean countries to go directly to destinations outside the region, mainly the United States, Canada and countries in Europe. Finally, a third type of irregular migrant originates in the Caribbean and moves to other locations within the region. Thus irregular relocation affecting the Caribbean concerns both immigrant and emigrant, and is both intra- and extra-regional with regard to the source and destination of movement. In general, irregular migration parallels the patterns of regular migration flows, and could be considered to represent the ‘informal sector’ of the migration process.


Sugar Migration Europe Transportation Tuberculosis 


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© United Nations University — World Institute for Development Economics Research 2005

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  • Elizabeth Thomas-Hope

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