The plight of workers who are forced to spend the entire day at the Immigration Department to complete the required authorization process is known to Premier and Minister for Finance, Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith who announced last week during a press conference that efforts are being made to have the Department procedure expedited.
“What we’ve been speaking about is streamlining the process so that we will be able to get workers in more quickly in order to get the work that is needed in the construction area,” the Premier said.
Hon. Smith also noted that the Immigration Department did not have a right to enter someone’s home without asking. “No, no nobody could even the police officers they have to knock and ask before they go in.”
“When we had discussions it was decided that it was not necessary because what we want to do is to streamline the process so people can come to work so that was discontinued — it was best to do that.”
It is still not clear whether public outcry or legislative intervention is responsible for the cancellation of the unpopular plan of searching the homes of residents that the Immigration Department proudly declared earlier this month.
The plan that Immigration officers were going to visit the homes of non-belongers to examine their living conditions before granting permission to remain in the Territory was disclosed by Chief Immigration Officer Geraldine Ritter-Freeman during a ZBVI interview.
However, when the plan was aired in the media the public responded in outrage at the decision by Immigration to visit various home. Some persons referred to the decision as cruel and unconscionable and blamed the government for allowing such a plan to move forward.
Hon. Smith told the media that the plan is not moving forward. In response to a question on the matter Dr. Smith said: “That’s been discontinued…couple of weeks now I think, because we didn’t find that it was necessary.”