Govt. to establish covenant to tackle immigration loopholes | THE DAILY HERALD

A scene from Friday’s inter-ministerial meeting.


PHILIPSBURG–Civil servants from the Ministries of Justice; Public Health, Social Development and Labor VSA; and Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) met on Friday, March 26, to lay the foundation of a working agreement to tackle various immigration loopholes.

  During the meeting, representatives of the three ministries identified issues with the labour and immigration systems that “allow persons coming to the island to abuse the system and acquire residency,” said the Justice Ministry in a press release on Monday.

  “The meeting served to introduce certain talking points and discuss the way forward, with the intention of developing a joint covenant between all three ministries that will tackle many aspects, such as employment-related immigration matters from the Ministry of VSA and the abuse of business directors’ licences from the Ministry of TEATT,” it was stated in the release.

  Civil servants from the three ministries are to meet after the Easter holidays to continue working on the draft covenant.

  “Persons are paying for directors’ licences, but the physical businesses are non-existent. The individuals continue to pay for the renewal of these licences … at the Receiver’s Office and not at the Ministry of TEATT,” said the Justice Ministry.

  Joint controls were also discussed during Friday’s meeting. “Currently the Ministry of TEATT’s controllers are visiting businesses to ensure they are legally operating their business. Within short, the Mobile Unit of Immigration and Border Protection Services (IBPS) will be joining the TEATT controllers to ensure that businesses are employing Dutch nationals and persons with legal status,” it was stated in the release.

  The VSA and Justice Ministries already have a covenant on illegal employment, which has been in place since last year.

  “A task force was developed with representatives of both ministries to enhance the coordination and working relations, specifically between IBPS and the [Department – Ed.] of Labor Affairs … to address the ongoing issue whereby employers are employing persons who are not legally registered on the island,” said the Justice Ministry.

Source: The Daily Herald