Immigration Boss Denies Dept. Targeting Latino Women
Chief Immigration Officer, Mr. Ian Penn has denied claims that the Immigration Department is targeting Latino women while being lenient on construction workers in the British Virgin Islands for deportation.
Responding to the issue on the Honestly Speaking Radio Programme with Claude Skelton on Tuesday, December 1, he said the claim is without merit.
“No, I don’t think that there is no merit to that because I would say that if the immigration officers put forward a plan to make certain raids in certain places, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we are looking at one demographic against another or trying to be discriminatory against one group of persons versus another,” he said.
“Whoever Immigration have on their radar we deal with it accordingly,” he added.
In the meantime, Penn said the Surveillance Unit within his department is responsible for the task.
He explained: “the Surveillance Unit ensures that persons within the territory adheres to the Immigration laws and rules and if persons don’t adhere that unit is normally dispatched to bring those persons to justice in terms of our laws.”
Penn then went on to inform on how sweeps are made.
“In terms of making sweeps, it is not as easy as one would think that you would just get up and you would make a sweep and or go out and do this,” Mr. Penn stated.
He said there must be a contingency plan and it must be approved by him before it is executed and it would also be done in collaboration with the Police and Customs.
Penn said, “My officers conduct a number of covert operations on a daily basis, and we try to maintain order in terms of the immigration laws. It is not to say that because you don’t see a raid taking place here and there every day or every other weekend or every month, that we do not know what is happening or what is going on."
He added, "We have a lot of intelligence, we know a lot of persons who are here and doing a lot of illegal matters, and it is only a matter of time that Immigration will catch up with these persons and deal with them.”