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Hon Vanterpool breaks silence on ‘Fast track’ initiative

- throws support behind programme but cautions against haste
While telling the legislature that the views outside the House of Assembly (HoA) matters in taking up public feedback, Fourth District Representative Hon Mark H. Vanterpool, has finally broken his silence in relation to the controversial Virgin Islands Party (VIP) ‘Fast Track’ initiative seeking to regularise undocumented immigrants in the Territory. Photo: VINO/File
The 'Fast track' initiative is being led by Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie. Photo: Team of Reporters/File
The 'Fast track' initiative is being led by Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie. Photo: Team of Reporters/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – While telling the legislature that the views outside the House of Assembly (HoA) matter for formulating polices, Fourth District Representative, Hon Mark H. Vanterpool, has finally broken his silence in relation to the controversial Virgin Islands Party (VIP) ‘Fast Track’ initiative seeking to regularise qualified persons living in the territory for 20 years and more.

Hon Vanterpool, in throwing his full support behind the Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) led initiative, was at the time speaking at the Sixth Sitting of the First Session of the Fourth House of Assembly (HoA) on July 31, 2019, in Road Town, the capital city. 

Full Support

“I said this to the Premier privately, and I’ll say it publically, that I support his efforts to regularise persons who have been living amongst us for a very long time," he said in relation to the Government’s ‘Clear path to regularisation: Residency and Belonger Status Programme’.

Hon Vanterpool continued, “I will not be hypocritical about it because I believe that it's just right that should happen. How it will happen, is a different thing, when it happens is a different thing, but I support his efforts as urgently as possible to regularise persons who have lived amongst us for a very long time.” 

While noting that 20 years is a reasonable time for the regularisation initiative, Hon Vanterpool commended the Government for taking steps to make all immigrants who meet the requirements ‘ a part of the Virgin Islands’ Community.

He said during his term in office, past premier Dr. D Orlando Smith was frustrated with the lengthy time it was taking to regularise citizens and had taken steps to make it simple. However, he said the process remained lengthy but over the period, the regularisation initiative did happen.

Protecting VI lands

But while the Fourth District Representative has signaled his full support to the government’s new immigration programme, he warned that it must not be done in haste.

“I want to at the same time caution the Premier and Minister of Finance that sometimes when we move on this matter in such a fast pace, we have to be very cautious.” In the early implementation of the programme the government faced some public backlash over the rush to implement and pass amendments to the Immigration and Passport Act without much consultation. 

Hon Vanterpool said there are situations that can result in terms of persons becoming Belongers and voting as well as the economic side that can potentially become detrimental to locals.

He illustrated that when the ancestors fought for lands in places like Anegada and Virgin Gorda, it was made clear that the lands should never be given to non-belongers.

In warning the Premier, Hon Vanterpool said, “If you don’t vet and make sure you [are] overseeing the approval process properly, you can have a loss of control over land and property, especially when it comes to persons of great wealth who can be regularised as Belongers and can take advantage of that position.”

6 Responses to “Hon Vanterpool breaks silence on ‘Fast track’ initiative”

  • Dr cool (08/08/2019, 14:05) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    This is not politics I need a reply
    • Styler (08/08/2019, 15:24) Like (39) Dislike (1) Reply
      May I remind you District 4 rep you need to stop coming to Immigration and behaving in the manner in which you also behave trying to get your people them through. That’s all I have to say .
  • facts (08/08/2019, 15:38) Like (6) Dislike (5) Reply
    He is a island man so he should love it
    • @ facts (08/08/2019, 16:11) Like (24) Dislike (7) Reply
      And what is the BVI! A continent? Your pure ignorance is on display.
  • biker (08/08/2019, 16:41) Like (10) Dislike (26) Reply
    Nobody really cares what this politician says or does anymore.
  • foxy (08/08/2019, 18:17) Like (3) Dislike (20) Reply
    Mark should have not even been in the house the esteem and Andrew got soft


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