Speaking on Sunday, September 13, 2020, on a live Zoom meeting on Facebook, Hon Wheatley said despite the leniency; there are still a number of persons not up to par with their immigration status.
“There are a lot of persons who are here without the proper status, without proper time, their times have expired, or they are here as visitors, and they are working. We are asking persons not to do that.”
While pointing out that his ministry has been extremely lenient, Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Honourable Vincent O. Wheatley (R9) has said the time has come to rid the Virgin Islands of persons who are living and working illegally since the COVID-19 pandemic.
He continued: “Also there are persons who came in for Mary Jane who are working for John Doe and so forth, all those things are illegal, and we are asking persons to desist from those kinds of behaviour. In about a week time, we are going to have another task force that is going to be set up to flush these people out.”
The Minister then beseeched such persons to comply with the laws of the land.
“I don’t want to see anybody being affected by this, so I am asking persons, please abide by the current laws that we have. We have been very, very lenient but we cannot continue to be lenient, we are a country of laws. Because of COVID-19, we have been very, very lenient but we still cannot condone illegal activities in the country. If you know you are here illegally, make your way to Immigration so we can know when you plan to leave.”
Acting Chief Immigration Officer Mr Ian B. Penn has urged persons to avoid taking advantage of the situation brought on by COVID-19, such as not having flights to their home country.
Meanwhile, Acting Chief Immigration Officer, Mr Ian B. Penn urged persons to avoid taking advantage of the situation brought on by COVID-19, such as not having flights to their home country.
“If you are found out there working illegally, or you are here in the country overstaying, there is a penalty. We are putting things afoot to deal with this and stamp it out altogether. It is better that you come in and we deal with you than we have to come out and find you doing these things,” he said.