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‘We need immigration reform’- Claude O. Skelton-Cline

Claude O. Skelton-Cline, in his commentary on Tuesday, June 25, 2018—on his show Honestly Speaking—has called for "Comprehensive Immigration Reform." Photo: Facebook
The debate heated up recently when the Dr D. Orlando Smith led Administration, lobbied for and got granted Chinese national visa free access to the Territory but has maintained the requirement for four Caribbean nations, Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic and Guyana. Photo: VINO/File
The debate heated up recently when the Dr D. Orlando Smith led Administration, lobbied for and got granted Chinese national visa free access to the Territory but has maintained the requirement for four Caribbean nations, Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic and Guyana. Photo: VINO/File
Dominican Republic nationals also require a visa to enter the Territory. Photo: Internet Source
Dominican Republic nationals also require a visa to enter the Territory. Photo: Internet Source
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Claude O. Skelton-Cline, in his commentary on Tuesday, June 25, 2018—on his show Honestly Speaking—has called for "Comprehensive Immigration Reform."

According to the former Managing Director of the BVI Ports Authority, “immigration is probably the singular most important challenge globally and the Virgin Islands (VI) is not exempt.”

The man of the cloth cautioned those, who he believes is stoking a fire that is destructive and not in the best interest of the VI.  

He recounted how his grandfather, on his mother’s side, and other Virgin Islanders traveled throughout the Caribbean region, including the Dominican Republic and Cuba, in search of work so as to support their families.

The immigration debate has seen many expressing the feeling, the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) do not treat either locals or persons from the Caribbean Islands, fairly.

The debate heated up recently, when the Dr D. Orlando Smith led Administration, lobbied for and got granted, visa free access to the Territory for Chinese but has maintained the requirement for four Caribbean nations, Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Guyana.

Treat Immigrants right

Mr Skelton-Cline noted during his show that, “we are and have been, for the last 30 years, at a place here in the VI  where we have become a destination for our regional neighbors and expatriates to work and support their respective families in their place of birth.”

The radio commentator said, “…we should therefore be sensitive and acknowledge the legitimate concerns and fears of those who have laboured and lived among us as well as those for whom their fore-parents called these VI, the land of their birth.”

The former Second District Candidate with the NDP added also that, “Comprehensive Immigration Reform must begin with affirming the dignity of each person…we are all apart of God’s human family, we share a common ancestral history as persons of the African diaspora….whether you are officially or unofficially classified as indigenous, resident, be-longer, expat, local or VIslander, we must live together as our sisters and brothers keeper.”

He said “...we must re-imagine an Immigration Policy that represents the ‘melting-pot’ that we have become.”

Each category of persons needs to know in Law what their status is, and the responsibility and rewards of each.

Each category of persons needs to have some semblance of security in Law and their status not be left, up to the whimsicality of some government of the day.

Each category of persons concerns and fears, need to be acknowledged and reconciled in Law, the Pastor stated on the show—his guest at the time, Police Commissioner, Michael B. Matthews.

NDP immigration record

The NDP has long been accused of running a divisive government, opening the red carpet for European and American visitors to live and work, while discriminating against locals and Caribbean nationals.

They have also made it harder for persons to become permanent resident, amending the residency requirements to 20 years, when under the Virgin Islands Party (VIP), it was 10 years. Caribbean residents are most affected.

The NDP is also accused of granting ‘Belonger’ status, to 'lots' of persons ahead of an election, in order to have more persons vote for the party.

There was in fact, a proposal from the Dr Smith Administration, for him to have the power to grant ‘Belonger’ status, without having to go through the Immigration Board, according to information obtained by our newsroom.

Under the NDP, they have doubled fees for Work Permits, visas and immigration services, mostly affecting persons from the Caribbean region.

19 Responses to “‘We need immigration reform’- Claude O. Skelton-Cline”

  • 123 (28/06/2018, 12:09) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    let my people go!
  • Agree (28/06/2018, 12:16) Like (20) Dislike (8) Reply
    It should be 10-15 years for applying for BVI status. Past 10 years people are unable to vote in the country of their birth so should be allowed to apply for the ability to vote here. They are paying taxes and helping the economy - should be able to have a say in how those tax dollars are spent
  • Comment (28/06/2018, 13:37) Like (14) Dislike (9) Reply
    Shaking my head...
    The BVIs is too small to have open borders that this man is calling for.
    Where in the world are countries relaxing immigration policies?
    Fix the broken system to better track those who are in the country illegally, without work permit,
    etc.. and educate immigration officers how to do t background research before allowing individuals into the territory.
    • So true (28/06/2018, 23:52) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
      These men of ‘whatever cloth they have stolen to be their own’, truly need the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to govern their personal lives, their minds, and their tongues. The Bible reads very clear on this subject...the only time that the Hebrew nation lost control of their nation’s borders to foreigners was when they were living in rebellion with God and was under God’s judgement.
  • guy hill (28/06/2018, 13:48) Like (17) Dislike (3) Reply
    All opinions considered, the future strength of immigration in therror Virgin Islands must rest on the integrity of its Administration, processes, services and the enforcement of the aforementioned mentioned. You cannot ignore the constitutional requirements and immigration laws that governs immigration in the Virgin Islands. We must guard against the compromise of the integrity of the very porous borders of the Virgin Islands and the Department of Immigration proper. Seize the time.
    • @Guy Hill (29/06/2018, 00:03) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
      Thank God for you and men and women like you in our community who do not compromise integrity and morals for the love of money and the attention of man. ‘They have their rewards on this earth’.
  • GameChanger (28/06/2018, 13:51) Like (16) Dislike (4) Reply
    Again very important debate. However I am not too sure if this is genuine or is Politically motivated. For too long, many children who were born here were denied the rights to citizenship, based on the fact that their parents were born somewhere else especially "down Island". Some were even disqualified for scholarships etc. The powers that be blamed the British Nationality Act for this discriminatory act. It is only around an election period, that we hear half hearted debates on immigration reform. The thing is many of these children have come to age and understands the game. And let me say this like it or not the Hon. Myron Walwyn ( I am not a fan) who is demonized because one or both of his parents (not sure) is a "down islander" has attracted many of these young people and their parents, who could now cast an X. He will become a light in the dark for these people while we continue to be the minority in our own land.
    • BRAD BOYNES (28/06/2018, 22:26) Like (7) Dislike (14) Reply
      " For too long, many children who were born here were denied the rights to citizenship, based on the fact that their parents were born somewhere else especially "down Island". "

      @game changer: that statement is a lie straight from hell, incorrect and you need to educate yourself on the law regarding those children and stop spreading dangerous unfounded information. I'm one of those children born here to expat parents and I have all documents to live here in the Virgin Islands without immigration control. Just stop now.
      • Bornhereforeigner (29/06/2018, 10:39) Like (10) Dislike (2) Reply
        He's right; you were fortunate. Many of us went through the process of exactly what GameChanger is saying.
      • @BRADBOYNES (29/06/2018, 10:45) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
        Lets just say you are one of the lucky ones. Ask the other hundreds.
        • BRAD BOYNES (29/06/2018, 12:13) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
          Not licky. My parents registered me with Civil Registry. I've liced here all my lifemails. At 18 years I received all my documentation upon application for same. I suggest you do the same.
  • Liddy (28/06/2018, 16:05) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    just more talk
  • Satan Advocate (28/06/2018, 17:58) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
    We don't want to hear your hypocrisy CSC...one time you peddling how Virgin Islanders with geology from other Caribbean countries has no rights to hold office now you talking about treating them with fairly. We have been listening to you keenly mssr. Some will say anything to sound good even if it contradict earlier comments.
  • Disgust (29/06/2018, 02:49) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    When people spend their best years away from these islands then return for what reason we do not know, they should not be shouting what is best for these islands, especially Imigration. Once they get here they get favors then start to talk. Remember each country s governed by laws. Only in the Virginislands you hear loud talk. Shure,y where you were you could not make the noise you are now making. This is not a one man show because one might be dissatisfied with some people. Turn your words over before you start to shout.
  • ReX FeRal (29/06/2018, 06:14) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    Guy Hill is correct.
  • ReX FeRal (30/06/2018, 05:43) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    He said “...we must re-imagine an Immigration Policy that represents the ‘melting-pot’ that we have become.”.CSC.
    REALLY!!??. I beg to differ..."re-imagine "or re-examine? There needs to be an immigration policy that protect the people and Territory of the Virgin Islands and enforce it.
    The whole darn world is a melting pot and a Ghetto.
    • @ReX FeRal (01/07/2018, 02:08) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      What a profound statement:
      The whole world is a melting pot and a Ghetto. Overpopulation of an area can make a place look like a dump.
  • BVIslander (02/07/2018, 08:47) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    None of these government wants to fix immigration


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