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Speaking out loud & clear

Dear Editor,

Please allow me some much needed space to address some issues. Some current and longstanding issues with our once upon a time great country. Recently there has been a rash of immigration raids and drop of a dime traffic stops. Yes, they are immigration and in part they, IND, has to do their part to control and protect their islands borders. But, it is being approached in the wrong way.

Again I've noticed that every time something serious happens in St. Maarten is when these entities are out and about in full force and out for blood. Why not go directly to these companies and employers that hire these people illegally? Why not look into so many of these and women labour that are taken advantage of because they are not here legally and get paid below minimum wage? Why not look into their basic human rights that are obviously being violated and trampled on a daily basis? Instead they are hunted down like animals on their way to and from work. All these problems start at the borders.

We let any and anybody into St. Maarten without any tough and thorough screenings. If I had plans of making a life for myself in St. Maarten I'd definitely go into the human rights and immigration/customs sector. But since life is being made to be difficult for me where I was born and raised I will migrate to a country where my talents would be deeply appreciated and utilised. But enough on this topic for now.

It's time that the Dutch and French sides start uniting because guess what? It's one island and one people. Together we can be a force; on our own sooner or later we will hit a brick wall. For too long we have been brainwashed into thinking we are not on the same island by the powers that be. It's time we unite and become one. And if we can't fully merge then some forms of understandings and agreements are long, long overdue. Dutch and French side can stand to learn a thing or two from each other if we just get over ourselves and look towards the future of this island together to help make this place even more great.

While I am on this topic I will touch on the issue of so many that were born on the French side but for no fault of theirs were taken to live and attend school on the Dutch side and are being completely shut out of the French system and are left to fend for themselves. And at some point run into so much difficulties and hardships on the Dutch side because they were born on the French side.

I remember sometime last year a young man took his life because he felt like he had nowhere to turn to for assistance on this very same issue. I personally think that some of these laws are just simply ridiculous and made to target a certain demographic mainly those born in St. Maarten/St. Martin to foreign parents. Which by law tells them they are not from St. Maarten/St. Martin they are from their parents’ place of origin.

A tough pill to swallow when all these children were born, raised and attended school in a place that they know. Just an issue I decided to shed light on. And let out of Pandora's box.

One more problem is seeing so many young men and women either turn to a life of crime and drugs because there is just not enough for them to do. Absolutely no job/employment prospects too consider. And not enough opportunities to further their education beyond that of a secondary education. And not to mention the majority are leaving their island in droves. I searched for better opportunities elsewhere.

It's a sad time in SXM when the youth isn't valued and left to fend for themselves. Politicians make all sorts of promises when election time is on. But once elected they form the fool and throw down government every other few months a year. Hardly the role models I'd look up too.

But, hey! I'm just a youngster made out to be foolish with limited intellect with a dim and dead-end future. So no one is gonna take me seriously because I am not a St. Maartener/St. Martiner by law. So my voice is lost in the shuffle and drowned out by the noise of so many.

M.C.F. (A deeply concerned youth)

Name withheld at author's request.

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