Like the ex-slaves the immigrants preferred to be peasant farmers or settle in towns and did so as soon as they could.
Planters complained that immigrants were disobedient, rude and disrespectful.
Many countries did not want to lose their labourers and passes laws opposing labourers from migrating e.g.. The British Virgin Islands passed a law banning all recruiting agents from Trinidad and Guyana who were trying to recruit their islanders.
After the abolition of the slave trade in 1807 British warships patrolled the sea looking for foreign boats carrying slaves.
After the ships were captured they took the slaves to two British colonies St. Helena in the Atlantic or Sierra Leone in Africa. These colonies were becoming overcrowded and the government was encouraging them to migrate to the Caribbean
In Madeira, workers were paid only one third of what they could earn in the islands per day, so they were attracted by the higher wages being offered in the Caribbean, especially British Guiana .
Many went to Trinidad and a few to the Windward Islands. They were brought in by government bounty. Most came during periods of famine in Madeira (1846-1847). Their numbers decreased after 1847 until the scheme ended in 1882.
The Madeirans died in large numbers. They suffered severely from yellow fever, malaria, overwork and inadequate food.
The scheme was very irregular and most of them went into trading as soon as their contracts ended. In addition, the Madeiran Government objected to the scheme, since so many of its citizens were leaving, and implemented measures making it difficult for their recruitment