Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 02, 2016 (SKNIS): The Government of National Unity is actively facilitating persons from the Dominican Republic in the process of regularizing their immigration status.
On the morning of Monday, October 31, 2016, the Honourable Ian Patches Liburd met with members of the Hispanic community at Independence Square with the aim of providing support and assistance in relation to immigration matters. He indicated that he feels a sense of obligation to all persons on the island and that that obligation extends to the Hispanic community.
“I am obligated to listen to them, hear them and assist them because I believe that while some may want to make the situation political, while some people have become emotional, the fact of the matter is that they have families,” said Minister Liburd, who is Acting Minister of National Security.
He asserted that many persons from the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis had traveled to the Dominican Republic during the last century and said that “It was from their hard labour and trek across the ocean that sent home remittances for my mother and many other mothers to help us to survive.”
Minister Liburd noted however that even though he is close to the matter, “we are a federation of laws and laws must be obeyed.” He said that he does not condone any transgression of the law, noting that “we have immigration laws. We have an Immigration Act, which speaks to the different classes of residents; most of these fall into the class of permitted entry and once you are permitted to enter, there are conditions that have to be met. Some of them were not met and that is why the people took the action.”
According to the minister, the Immigration Act provides for persons who have been detained to appeal and to become regularized. The minister could be seen on Monday morning taking the names of detainees and the names of their family members who are willing to sponsor them. He assured that the matter will soon be resolved.