Basseterre, St. Kitts, (October 24, 2016) After a long unprecedented period of amnesty granted by the new team Unity Government a number of illegal immigrants were picked up by the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force over the weekend . In pursuing their committment to upholding the laws of St. Kitts and Nevis, the Immigration Department supported by officers of the Special Services Unit (SSU) and the Anti-Drug Unit conducted a combined immigration compliance operation dubbed “Operation Legal Stay” on Saturday night (October 22) in the Newtown area.
The objective of the operation was to identify and engage known persons who have over-stayed their granted time upon arrival, and persons who may have entered the federation illegally. Both categories of persons would be in violation of the immigration laws of St. Kitts and Nevis.
Approximately one hundred (100) persons were interviewed during the operation, and over sixty (60) persons were allowed to leave after being able to provide documents to prove their legal status in St. Kitts and Nevis. The others including some who were unable to contact persons who could bring their documents to the Police were detained pending further investigation as to their residency status.
According to Inspector Jacqueline Browne, the Head of the Immigration Department, “this operation, “Operation Legal Stay” was one of the many ways the department ensures compliance.” She added, “visits to jobsites and other such engagements are routinely done,” and noted, “this operation was a more blanketed approach, and it yielded results.
Chief Immigration Officer and Commissioner of Police Mr. Ian M. Queeley said , “we hope that persons who visit will respect our laws, and if they would like to extend their visit, they do so legally.”
All NON-Nationals of the Federation were given an amnesty period that began soon after the election of the Dr. Timothy Harris led Team UNITY Administration. Most of the illegal migrants used the opportunity to regularize their status. However there were some who failed to take advantage of the amnesty and remained in the country illegally. The Operation was received with overwhelming support from the wider community including the very large community of legal non-national migrants