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Several persons found working illegally in VI

- none taken into custody, says Chief Immigration Officer Jennings
Chief Immigration Officer Mr Dennis Jennings disclosed that an exercise was carried out by Immigration Department on June 3, 2013 where a number of persons were found working in the Territory without the necessary documents. Photo: VINO/File
Virgin Islands News Online was reliably informed that sometime last week officers of Immigration Department swooped down on Scrub Island during one of their verification exercises. While it has not been confirmed by Scrub Island's Management, it was reported that since the visit a number of persons, especially from the construction area and some of whom were attached to a firm that provide workers to the Island, have since not returned to work. Photo: VINO/File
Virgin Islands News Online was reliably informed that sometime last week officers of Immigration Department swooped down on Scrub Island during one of their verification exercises. While it has not been confirmed by Scrub Island's Management, it was reported that since the visit a number of persons, especially from the construction area and some of whom were attached to a firm that provide workers to the Island, have since not returned to work. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Word reaching Virgin Islands News Online is that random checks by Immigration Department has resulted in a number of persons found to be working illegally in the Territory.

According to reliable sources, sometime last week officers of Immigration Department swooped down on Scrub Island during one of their verification exercises. While it has not been confirmed by Scrub Island's Management, it was reported that since the visit a number of persons, especially from the construction area and some of whom were attached to a firm that provide workers to the Island, have since not returned to work.

Efforts to contact Managing Director Mr Martin Smith last evening June 4, 2013 proved futile as we were told he was not available at the time.

Scrub Island Resort was in the news recently when many of its employees came forward to Virgin Islands News Online to complain about alleged poor treatment and discrimination on the job and unprofessional behaviour by some in management. However, the management of the Resort has since denied the claims by both the current and former workers who approached this news site with their complaints.

Additionally, it was reported and confirmed by Chief Immigration Officer Mr Dennis Jennings that an exercise was carried out on June 3, 2013 and that a number of persons were found working in the Territory without the necessary documents.

The most recent exercise occurred at Trellis Bay but, according to Mr Jennings, no one was taken into custody. He did explain that those persons were stopped from working and the Immigration Department is taking some steps of investigating and exploring some options.

"Under the law it is provided that their entry permits can be cancelled but Immigration has not moved to that stage nor did we taking anyone into custody," said Mr Jennings.

Asked about the number of persons found in default and where exactly they were working, the Chief Immigration Officer said he did not have this information at his disposal at the time.

He also said at the time he was not in a position to comment on the "next step" as the Immigration Department is still conducting some investigations.

33 Responses to “Several persons found working illegally in VI”

  • egg face (05/06/2013, 08:20) Like (19) Dislike (3) Reply
    Well nothing will happen scrub has friends in high palces
  • rome (05/06/2013, 08:37) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    So tell us who own the company that supplied scrub with the workers vino you half steeping yall
  • Opinion (05/06/2013, 08:48) Like (28) Dislike (3) Reply
    It really bothers me how Immigration only seem to target construction workers. There are lots of other areas where persons work illegally, from the offices down. I think that is blatant discrimination against construction people. Pick on someone else for a change!!!
    • @ Opinion (05/06/2013, 10:02) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
      the blogger makes an excellent point and I must agree with him/her
    • and.... (05/06/2013, 10:27) Like (2) Dislike (21) Reply
      I know of one Dominicano who is a belonger who has been held several times by immigration, even though they know he is legal to work. It is pure discrimination
    • Exactly (05/06/2013, 12:37) Like (8) Dislike (3) Reply
      These construction workers have family to take care of....if the company that they are working for that has their work permit jobs are finished and doesn't have any projects until the next 6 months how are they to care for their family during that 6 month waiting period. Some of them are granted permission from their employers to work for other persons during the time that they are waiting for the next project to begin......so if their employers and the person that hires them for the short time has sympathy for them why can't our government understand the situations.
      • VIslander (05/06/2013, 12:56) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
        There is a legal process for exexctly what you say is happening. If an employer does not have immediate work for an employee (which happens a lot in construction) then the primary employer gives written consent for that person to work for the other temporarily, however a work permit from the Labour Department and entry permit from Immigration must be applied for and subsequently granted which would allow the employee to legally maintain employment.
        If persons are ignorant to this provision, then they only need ask the relevant questions of these departments. What we don't want to see is persons continuing to break the law and the excuse given is they have families to feed. Let us encourage persons to respect and abide by the laws of the land.
        • mouth off (05/06/2013, 14:00) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
          I totally agree with VIslander. There are provision in place when construction work is limitted. You can not have persons all over the place like a loose cannon. It need to have some sort of control. Another factor to consider is that if the individual who is working illegally and they get damage who will be responsible. Social Security will not cover their expense because noting will be on the books to indiciate that individual had a valid permit. So we need to think before we talk. Just my piece.
        • Exactly (05/06/2013, 14:19) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
          @ VIslander.................i understand everything that you stated and I do know of the procedures as well especially as a VIslander myself..........but most times these construction workers who work for other persons only receive a week or two sometimes a month the most. As most contractors have their persons already and may only need a helping hand for a short period should that said construction worker seek and pay for a temp work permit for such a short period? When the permit will probably cost them most of the money they receive for the little job they receive. Shouldn't there at least be a little stipulation for matters at such?
  • ta ta (05/06/2013, 09:55) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    In every country, every grand leap forward or distress solved can be pointed to a great leader who had the vision and resolve to push his agenda whilst getting the collection of the masses to follow. Of course there is not such under this government, the two standards one for locals and one for other is just sick!!!
  • Hmmmm (05/06/2013, 10:14) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    So nobody was picked up (they can go to another worksite I assume), the company doing the illegal hiring hasnt been sanctioned and "the Immigration Department is taking some steps of investigating and exploring some options???"

    This is a joke right?? Dont they deal with this situation daily? Isnt this what they do? Isnt there in place a procedure that if we do a raid and find some one working illegally we do a then b then c? What is there to investigate? They are either illegal or not. If they arent let them go back to work, if they are follow the damn procedure already established.
  • billyb (05/06/2013, 10:32) Like (13) Dislike (81) Reply
    They should raid the hoa and find out whats really up with archie and myron. bam bam bam.
  • Baygyal (05/06/2013, 10:40) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply

    P$ @d@m$ husband know better!

  • Expat with status me (05/06/2013, 11:29) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply

    The head of immigration need to speak the truth. L Ady had most of the people employed illegally, but he wife is the PS in Sith Cubicle so no mention.

  • Third Eye (05/06/2013, 11:40) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    Another clear example of double standards…Big resort get can away with having workers with no work permit where as the little man gets in trouble or cannot even get a work permit….
  • Truth (05/06/2013, 14:54) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Ya'll need to stop making excuses. These guys know better and should know better they are the reason why the industry is going down the tubes. Bringing a set of illegal and cheap labour while the people here for decades, truly skilled cannot get a day work because they demand proper pay. meanwhile who wins? the owners reap the sweet while the country goes down the tube.
  • big bucks (05/06/2013, 15:23) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    so no body going to court for having workers without work permit?
  • Mr. Mention (05/06/2013, 16:12) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    No Big bucks, that
    's the way the government want to roll, gloss over everything in immigration and labour and show the world they are corrupt but ok. Only go to court when it gets personal.
  • my two cents (05/06/2013, 16:53) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    How come labour was not on the rade?
  • no justice no peace (05/06/2013, 17:14) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    boss the laws in the bvi only applies to some only VIP...i remember hearing some year or two ago a government senior man being sent on leave when dem say he had a man working without a work permit...now look nothing happening to the PS and her husband
    • St. John (05/06/2013, 22:25) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Don't tell me this powers that be is hushing this wrong doing to bed to sleep like other matters they have sleeping right now.
  • The Real Judge (05/06/2013, 21:10) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Immigration Department is crying out for leadership. This wasn't any raid, this was an exercise. This is to make people think that you doing something. If you can't take anyone into custody what was the reason for the operation in the first place?. Thank God he would gone by September 2013. This department is really hurting for leadership.


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