Deputy Premier and Minister of Immigration Hon Sean R Astwood sensitizes migrant

first_img Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#TurksandCaicos, August 25, 2017 – Providenciales – The Deputy Premier and Minister of Border Control and Employment, Hon. Sean R. Astwood last week spent time engaging with leaders of the larger migrant communities as a lead up to his Ministry’s crack down on the illegal population residing in the Turks and Caicos Islands.On Tuesday August 8th, Hon. Astwood met with Consul representatives of the Philippines, Jamaica and Haiti prior to his meeting of Thursday August 10th when he brought together pastors of the Haitian Community, to discuss the current Immigration and Border Control initiatives in the TCI that were recently announced on July 26th in the House of Assembly when it last convened.Since the Deputy Premier’s announcement of tighter controls and improved enforcement of the Immigration law, there has been much speculation and mischief-making and the purpose those meetings were to provide factual information that the representatives could disseminate to persons in their respective communities.During the meetings which were hosted at the Office of the Premier in Providenciales, Hon. Astwood, who was also Acting Premier and Minister of Finance, Investment and Trade at the time, briefed the attendees on the aims of his ministry to regularize immigration in the Turks and Caicos Islands and further assured them that the intention of this ongoing initiative is to ensure that everyone in the country is here legally and that all laws of the country are being upheld.The Deputy Premier noted that it is important for us as a Government and as a country to do all within our power, guided by our legal frameworks, to ensure the safety and security of all persons that live, work and visit here, and further provided information to the those present on what persons can expect after the deadline of August 14th, 2017.Hon. Astwood informed of his approach to Immigration from a border control standpoint, with the intent to ensure that all persons living in the country have valid statuses to do so.   Towards this end, the Immigration Task Force, in conjunction with the Royal Turks & Caicos Islands Police Force would perform stop and search operations, and persons found to not be in possession of a valid TCI status will be detained and processed.   While some deportation is anticipated, the Department will be keen to look at each case on an individual basis to ensure that persons falling outside of the intended target objective are not disadvantaged by the operations, and that all others are either repatriated or charged and deported in which case they too will be added to the Immigration Stop List.The Deputy Premier impressed upon his audience the need for persons to utilize the time given to either regularize themselves, or to leave the country voluntarily, as this would permit re-entry at a later date, through legal means once approved to do so.When asked for his views on the success of the meetings, Hon. Astwood stated:“I am confident that the meetings provided a platform to not only address the migrant communities concerns regarding my Ministry’s ongoing initiatives but it also gave opportunity to share this Government’s vision and expectations of the migrant population that remain amongst us with the hope that the Consuls and Pastors, as leaders within their own right, will provide clarity to persons in their communities and further encourage them to abide here following all of the laws of our country.”Hon. Astwood also, during the meetings, reiterated the need for all persons to work together to protect the borders and people of the Turks and Caicos Islands. He stated:“Illegal migration threatens the lives and livelihood of our people.   My Ministry and this Government will continue to work diligently to enforce the laws of this land for the protection of our people and the preservation of our Country.”“Make no mistake, we welcome persons from all nationalities to legally enter and reside in TCI and while your main concern is your people, please know that these measures are not just towards some, but they apply to all persons and nationalities that choose to visit, work or live amongst us.”This Immigration initiative is just the beginning of a long term goal to restore balance and order in the Turks & Caicos Islands. Many of our laws are not being adhered to and we intend to change that.”The meetings also revealed that new policies and frameworks are on the horizon and will be introduced to the public within coming months as it relates to work permits, border enforcement and improvements in processing and other operational policies and procedures.The deadline to regularize expired on August 15th, which was Tuesday of this week and joint law enforcement operations commenced as planned. As such, activities are deemed sensitive, reports on the outcomes will be given on a need-to-know basis, as will be determined by the participatory agencies in the exercises, and only in the interest of maintaining national security.Press Release: TCIGlast_img

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