Basseterre, St . Kitts, March 07, 2017 (SKNIS): Prime Minister and Minister of National Security of St . Kitts and Nevis, Dr . the particular Honourable Timothy Harris, has said that will his government is moving to review its immigration policy in light of “certain evolving realities” such as individual and narco trafficking, while at the same time conserving the “federation as a friendly plus welcoming country. ”
Speaking to the local press at the recently concluded 87 th Meeting of the Monetary Council from the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) on March 02, 2017, Doctor Harris said “we felt we all needed to do a revisiting of the immigration policy that addresses these brand new realities in a more comprehensive way yet at the same time we believe it is in the nationwide interest of every country to protect its borders in the matters of the porous nature of our borders that glare us in the eyes everyday as we discuss security issues, as we discuss the movement of contraband, even as we discuss issues related to the illicit movement of people and the international implications for human trafficking. ”
Prime Minister Harris declared that the federation had to take into consideration facts in relation to changes over time in relation to OECS (Organization of Eastern Caribbean States) Treaty and the CARICOM-based Treaty of Chaguaramas, which would have occurred subsequent to the original determination of its immigration laws and regulations, by providing “the legal framework through which entry and exit into the federation would happen. ”
“We have to be conscious about immigration policies. We want to hold something in the end that still preserves our federation as a helpful and welcoming country, one that is definitely responsible in that it provides a welcoming and supportive environment for people inside the CARICOM region, and that consolidates the particular OECS Treaty and special arrangements that exist within the sub-region, ” he or she said.
The minister of national security said that Member States of the OECS now have to deal with the large influx of immigrants from non-Member States of the OECS plus CARICOM such as nationals from the Dominican Republic, a country which is a portion of the broader forum of Caribbean Claims (CARIFORUM).
CARIFORUM describes the body comprising Caribbean ACP Claims, which are signatories of the Georgetown Agreement. The agreement was signed in 1975 and it created the Africa, Caribbean, and the Pacific Group of States (ACP). The grouping is composed of 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific States. The Caribbean Forum of the ACP comprises Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St . Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St . Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.
“We still need to address that fact when our own local constitutions provide for the grandfathering and perhaps great-grandfathering of citizens from other jurisdictions, and when they come, there are other things and other people, family and friends, that come with them and so therefore , how can you fashion an immigration policy that will deals with these realities, ” Dr . Harris questioned.
This individual said that his government has signaled its intention to work with the Government from the Dominican Republic to engage in consultations and discussions “because reciprocity needs to feature into what we will do. ”
He said that while this is a work in progress, the present migration laws of the country must be maintained and respected, and people must regularize their immigration status.