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Sexism? Women reportedly being targeted by Immigration Department

- Any illegals caught in any operations will be dealt with, says Acting Chief Immigration Officer Ian B. Penn
The Immigration Department is actively rounding up illegal workers in the Virgin Islands. Photo: VINO/File
Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Hon Vincent O. Wheatley (R9) has confirmed to Virgin Islands News Online that the Immigration Department was rounding up persons found to be in violation of the Territory's immigration and labour laws. Photo: VINO/File
Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Hon Vincent O. Wheatley (R9) has confirmed to Virgin Islands News Online that the Immigration Department was rounding up persons found to be in violation of the Territory's immigration and labour laws. Photo: VINO/File
Acting Chief Immigration Officer Mr Ian B. Penn says any illegals caught in any operation will face repatriation or deportation. Photo: VINO/File
Acting Chief Immigration Officer Mr Ian B. Penn says any illegals caught in any operation will face repatriation or deportation. Photo: VINO/File
Mostly on weekdays expat men could be seen grouped under trees and under buildings in Road Town. While it is our understanding the men are usually waiting for pickup from their employers or hoping to be employed for the day, it is unclear if all of them are properly documented. Photo: VINO/File
Mostly on weekdays expat men could be seen grouped under trees and under buildings in Road Town. While it is our understanding the men are usually waiting for pickup from their employers or hoping to be employed for the day, it is unclear if all of them are properly documented. Photo: VINO/File
According to Claude O. Skelton-Cline, the proliferation of immigrants was changing the culture of the Territory, particularly that of the capital city. Photo: Facebook/File
According to Claude O. Skelton-Cline, the proliferation of immigrants was changing the culture of the Territory, particularly that of the capital city. Photo: Facebook/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- The Immigration Department has embarked on an operation to round up undocumented or improperly documented expatriate workers in the Territory; however, the Department is being accused of discriminating against women.

Complaints reaching our newsroom are that while the Immigration Department has been raiding bars and nightclubs it has not been aggresively going after males who are in violation of labour and immigration laws in the Territory.

One of the latest roundups by authorities saw a number of Venezuelan women targeted.

The Immigration Department has; however, said the crackdown is widespread and non-discriminatory.

Background

When the Virgin Islands was devastated by the brutal hurricanes of 2017 there was immediate need for the further importation of labour to help with the rebuilding.

Many of the labour, the majority being males, were employed in the construction and marine industries.

Two years later the need for men in the construction industry dwindled significantly, putting many on the unemployed list. With no work available many employers failed to legally terminate the services of those men and even expatriate women who found themselves without a job.

Prior to the hurricanes, most women were employed in the hospitality sector and many, after losing their jobs, did not return to their homeland.

Some turned to working in bars and nightclubs, oftentimes without proper documentation.

In some cases men ended up working under other companies without going through the correct labour channels.

Immigration crackdown

With the advent of the new Virgin Islands Party Government (VIP) led by Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1), the Labour and Immigration departments have been responding to the cries of locals, especially those jobless, by cracking down on illegal workers.

"If these people are not working, they need to be deported out of the territory," an outspoken evangelist and radio show host, Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline said unapologetically on the Tuesday, October 15, 2019, edition of the Honestly Speaking radio show.

"You can't have a situation where you continue to grow the population with not some of the best talents, not some of the best gifts, not from people who are making a contribution who will advance this territory," he said in promising to increase pressure and 'pound the table' to bring the issue on the forefront.

According to Skelton-Cline, the proliferation of immigrants was changing the culture of the Territory, particularly that of the capital city, Road Town. 

"Everybody and their mama selling something... everybody all throughout the place setting up a stand. That is not Virgin Islanders, we ought not let people come and so drastically change the contour and character of our country," he said in frustration while juxtaposing that a myriad of social issues can arise from the situation.

‘You have to be right with our laws’ - Hon Wheatley

Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Hon Vincent O. Wheatley (R9) confirmed to Virgin Islands News Online that the Immigration Department was rounding up persons found to be in violation of the Territory's immigration and labour laws. 

"I would say it will be ongoing. If you are going to be in this country you have to be right with our laws. There is usually a court hearing and a ruling by the courts, not necessarily deportation though, but you will have to exit the country," he told VINO on invited comments.

And, according to Acting Chief Immigration Officer, Mr Ian B. Penn, "Any illegals caught in any operations will be dealt with according to the Immigration law. This involves repatriation and or deportation," told Virgin Islands News Online (VINO).

Sexism?

The Immigration Department; however, has been coming under fire with allegations that they seem to only be targeting women, especially those working at night clubs and bars illegally while casting a blind eye to the men working illegally in the construction industry.

“Women are more vulnerable. Most of the women who come here to work do so because it’s a major struggle for them to maintain their families because us men breed them and go leave them to fend for themselves and their children,” said the owner of a local bar.

Opting not to be named, the bar owner said he feels the system is discriminating against women.

“No lie, this is because of this 1000 jobs in 1000 days thing they doing.

“I applied for permits for these women who lost their jobs after the hurricane and I rescued them with jobs here at my business. They been doing amazingly well but labour keep blocking their work permit, telling me I have to take locals.

“Listen, I tried working with these locals and the trouble I get is well beyond your imagination. They want to come, go and do as they like, they are not being nice to the customers and is a lot of trouble,” said the local bar owner, who asked not to be named in our article.

'Santo' women breaking up homes?

On the other hand, others are saying, “Let them go” as several local women have complained that the “Santo” women or women from the Dominican Republic are causing troubles in their homes.

“They come here seducing our husbands, rubbing them down, Pappy, Pappy. Let them go, let us have our husbands and men back taking care of their wives and children and not running out with these women every night,” said one woman who chimed into the conversation while our reporter was interviewing the bar owner.

‘No target, just illegal workers in general’ - Hon Wheatley

Honourable Wheatley; however, said the crack-down is widespread and non-discriminatory.

“There was no target, just illegal workers in general, all illegals.”

Mr Penn, when asked whether out of work and undocumented construction workers were on the Department’s radar, said: "It would not be prudent of me to divulge any details of any operation that the Immigration Department is or will be conducting."

38 Responses to “Sexism? Women reportedly being targeted by Immigration Department”

  • k smith (09/01/2020, 11:45) Like (29) Dislike (5) Reply
    start with the strip clubs, rum bars and whore houses
  • son of the soil (09/01/2020, 11:46) Like (19) Dislike (2) Reply
    Well it's about time
  • Overdue (09/01/2020, 14:41) Like (21) Dislike (0) Reply
    Long overdue......
  • Tolan women (09/01/2020, 14:41) Like (12) Dislike (3) Reply
    Feed their men too much salt fish and too little sweat rice..
  • z6ne (09/01/2020, 14:45) Like (35) Dislike (11) Reply
    Take care of home and you won't have to worry about Spanish women.
  • facts (09/01/2020, 15:06) Like (34) Dislike (3) Reply

    There are quite a number of men living in the east end area that i was recently made aware of that are here illegally. Most from st Vincent. Some here for clise to fifteen years (15) illegally. I further investigate and found out that it is really true..i even found out that one man from st Vincent who run from here to Canada for a sexual offence and was deportef from Canada back to the bvi ,serve time in prison here was sent home is back here working but of course without work permit. I also understand that another vincie man was caught here with cocaine and was convicted by our court system was also deported and he icame back since ndp was in power because his step daughter is a former wife.something is terrible wrong.one guy said to me that he knows over ten vincentian living here for yrs illegally. Please investigate I'll help you guys with the information i got

    • Lily Ann (09/01/2020, 16:44) Like (28) Dislike (28) Reply
      u know alot... do u know whats going on in your house????
    • Just saying (10/01/2020, 06:20) Like (3) Dislike (8) Reply
      Seems like u have a problem with vincy men.... I never heard u mention about looking into the bunch of Spanish hanging around flemming st area, or the amount of women here using the body without proper documentation
  • jah (09/01/2020, 15:31) Like (7) Dislike (2) Reply
    Pls don’t go there ! Am a nurse by profession
  • Welll (09/01/2020, 16:00) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    What a ridiculous claim for this person mKing a living fom backs of females on their back while giving doses of disease more deadly thN mosquitos.
    His mother,I would assume,was/ is a woman.
  • Yes (09/01/2020, 16:04) Like (31) Dislike (0) Reply
    There are a lot of them here with no work permits and dont even really work at all , they here doing everything illegal to make money. We need to get serious about illegal aliens living in our country.
  • Really (09/01/2020, 16:18) Like (18) Dislike (15) Reply
    How many local you see working in Rum Bar. I you want to kill your rum bar business get a local to work in it the then see how many customers you have after a week.
    • Liza (10/01/2020, 10:58) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      I wonder what special service the expat ladies are providing in these bars.
  • Bay Area (09/01/2020, 16:23) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    One business they crack down on just before Christmas is now a dead yard. The owner could not make $1000 for the whole Christmas new year season and so can barely pay the one worker he has left.
  • street man (09/01/2020, 16:24) Like (9) Dislike (9) Reply
    Where we goin geh our lil wife from now?
  • True (09/01/2020, 16:58) Like (24) Dislike (0) Reply
    Good moves by the administration , everyone needs to be legal or leave, there is not another choice.
  • WHY? (09/01/2020, 19:18) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    They chasing all the ladies and leaving the men
  • Laissez (09/01/2020, 21:26) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Especially since one of the recent and well publicized proud accomplishment of the VI was to assist in facilitating the sex tourism industry of the DR ,with direct flights,it makes sense to go through the motions of appeasing human rights groups.Sex trafficking, predominantly of children and women in the DR is a global concern. The World is watching.
    Lets see how long this farce of finding and removing
    Illegal immigrants continue.
  • facts (09/01/2020, 21:42) Like (5) Dislike (4) Reply
    This is so true vino they picking up all the Spaninsh ladies and not touching them set of island men who came after the hurricane
  • Direct flights (09/01/2020, 22:47) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    With direct flights to DR - expect more to come!
  • @facts (09/01/2020, 23:21) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Urgency and the lesser of two evils is most likely the reason.
    Some of these women,in addition to illicit sexual and illegal sexual activities, are also purveyors of deadly viruses ,notably AIDS and also various STDs.
    Death,broken and brokenup families are the tragic results.
    NHI is in an almost and a just about collapsed state.
  • son of the soil (10/01/2020, 01:33) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    There are direct flights now so send them backside back
  • llol (10/01/2020, 05:36) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Bouncer close now..man..and it Friday...kissing teet
  • more rape (10/01/2020, 07:10) Like (2) Dislike (4) Reply
    Heaven Help Us, if the VIP close down the strip clubs and whoe houses
  • Tolian (10/01/2020, 09:37) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
    Why you all commenting about the Spanish Women. You don't see the Guyanese and Jamaicans women who breaking up homes as well? Leave the Spanish women. Not them alone and they are not worse than anyone else
    • @Tolian (10/01/2020, 11:00) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      Spanish women, those specifically from neighboring DR spells Death and Disease.
      UNICEF and WHO are but two of the organizations that are attempting to assist .
      HIV,AIDS,child kidnapping and prostitution...DR is the 3rd leading offenders worldwide. A large number of orphans . Sex tourism and child exploitation is a billion dollar industry in the DR. AIDS is #1 killer and highest in the Caribbean, followed by Haiti and Jamaica
      Shame to the VI for having and encouraging this demographic as a dominant immigrant population.
      while turning a blind eye to their openly practiced illicit and illegal activities
      Do your research...Google ,read and weep,if you care. But of course, if you are an offender or participant then of course,defend and pretend as they all do and May God have Mercy on your soul.
    • reality (10/01/2020, 13:07) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
      Genocide is another pastime in the DR.
      Those looking like us ,entering and attempting to end their starvation for a lil while,are routinely murdered and disposed like dogs.. Our Premier ,I would venture to say,would be lucky to get a janitorial position in the DR. We on the other hand,give them meals and a place to sleep and due process and a plane ride to their country, They have murdered more than one of us on our own soilbut living large up Hotel Balsum at our expense.
      Many of Black skin who have been born there, and live there donkey years are a generational non existent...no birth certificate or Gov records of their birth as they were not allowed that dignity or recognition.... Unable to travel or further their education they and ther descendants continue to exist and in place.
    • Two Cent (15/01/2020, 09:37) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Let me say this. Women are not breaking up homes regardless of where they are from. Husbands have a responsibility to their wives, children and vows. if there is a problem and yes there will be problems talk it out. Do not step out on your mate then have them blaming the woman you choose over them. sick of it. women why are you here beating down another for your dead beat abusive cheating husband? Rise up and take care of your business. In closing if it is illegal then the powers there be need to do what needs to be done to protect those doing what is right. Life already hard.
  • Hmm (10/01/2020, 10:21) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    how they gon get rid of their women. Both are involved and hang around these same clubs. so what!
  • NB (10/01/2020, 10:37) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Claude talking about character....BEST JOKE for the day
  • long overdue (10/01/2020, 14:53) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    FINALLY!! It's about time the Government of the Virgin Islands along with the Immigration Department start doing what should have been done a long time ago.
  • Hmm (11/01/2020, 16:50) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply

    The Spanish woman man know wat there doing at least there not hiding like the rest of u w**** .be fair and not a hypocrite. Like who allowed this for all this time ..politics again..but there frequent does environment both in doors an in public legal where house and club ..let the Spanish woman sell her sh** it hers the rest giving there for free ...while the fa*** enjoying each other a** ..no one troubling them hmmm. Set of hypocrite

  • Norris Turnbull (12/01/2020, 13:28) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    "I would say it will be ongoing. If you are going to be in this country you have to be right with our laws. There is usually a court hearing and a ruling by the courts, not necessarily deportation though, but you will have to exit the country," he told VINO.
    And, according to Acting Chief Immigration Officer, Mr Ian B. Penn, "Any illegals caught in any operations will be dealt with according to the Immigration law. This involves repatriation and or deportation," told Virgin Islands News Online (VINO).



    Both these men are wrong on the law as it relates to deportation and repatriation.

  • Sisco (16/01/2020, 14:04) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Wa I don’t understand is why them only look to talk bad bout Spanish ppl I see tola girl take man too Jamaican too!!....the should treat tola ppl the way when them go up there for vacation I don’t put my hand in the fire for all but not every Spanish woman bad.


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