By Monique Washington
An immigration compliance operation dubbed “Operation Legal Stay” was conducted in St. Kitts last weekend and yielded over 100 immigrants. Now people are wondering if Nevis will be the next target?
According to a Police Press Release issued on Tuesday “the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force is committed to upholding the laws of St. Kitts and Nevis and are supported by the Immigration Department and the Anti-Drug Unit.
The objective of the operation is to identify and engage known persons who have over-stayed their time upon arrival, as well as persons who may have entered the federation illegally. Both categories of persons would be in violation of the immigration laws of St. Kitts and Nevis.
Speaking with the Observer on Thursday, Inspector Jacqueline Brookes, Head of the Immigration Department, noted that she was not at liberty to say if or when illegal immigrants in Nevis will be targeted.
The Inspector said “enough is enough” and this year the department began getting stricter on illegal immigration.
“We have been doing this all the time but this year we are working harder on it. But enough is enough,” she said.
She informed on ways persons to avoid deportation and stay in the country legally.
“They need to go into National Security and regularize their status. If they are over staying, some of them have work permits if their work permits are expired they have to get them renewed. If they are over staying their time allotted they can go for an extension of time. Any type of visa that they have, whether school, there is a visitor’s extension or work permit it can extended,” she explained.
She also noted that children attending school who are not citizens should have the proper visa in their passport.
“Children in primary school cannot attend school unless the rigorist visa is in their passport and I am sure the schools are aware of that,” she said.
Since the operation over 60 persons were allowed to leave custody after being able to provide documents to prove their legal status in St. Kitts and Nevis.