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Immigration Officer Deandra Dames Receives Star Award

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Providenciales, 04 Nar 2016 – Immigration Officer, Ms. Deandra Dames was the first ever winner of the newly created Star Awards category – Hospitality Hero. This award goes to a frontline employee in the Public Service who exemplifies our nation’s ongoing commitment to great service, who extends a “wow” factor to our visiting guests and who rise to unexpected occasions to a positive and memorable resolution. The selection process included observation of officers’ zeal and cordiality as they interacted with the travelling public, their punctuality, attendance, and passenger feedback.

Ms. Dames joined the Public Service on November 1, 2005 as an Assistant Immigration Officer. Prior to that she served as a teacher at the Doris Robinson Primary School in Middle Caicos and worked with two private sector organizations in the Turks and Caicos Islands. When questioned as to the reason why she wanted to become an Immigration Officer after working in the private sector she cheerfully responded; “I really wanted to work in an area that will help to protect my country’s borders and to welcome genuine visitors to enjoy true paradise.”

Head of the Civil Service, Deputy Governor Anya Williams added; “On behalf of the entire public service I would like to both recognize and congratulate Ms. Deandra Dames on her stellar service as an Immigration Officer at the Providenciales Airport which was recently recognized at the Star Awards.

“The quality of the immigration function at the Providenciales Airport has significantly improved during the last few years, with positive comments continuously being received from tourist that traverse through the airport. Ms. Dames has certainly played a key role in this as she continuously demonstrates a zeal for her job and is fully cognizant of the importance of her role. We are certainly grateful to her and her colleagues for their continued service and would like to encourage them to continue serving with pride and excellence.”

Given that Immigration Officers are the first to greet visitors to the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Minister of Border Control and Employment said; “I am elated that an Immigration Officer was selected as the first ever Hospitality Hero at the annual Star Awards event. No doubt this highlights the importance of the service that staff at the Immigration Department render to our country on a daily basis.

“I have had personal experience of the warm welcome home extended to me by Ms. Dames and I have no doubt she is deserving of such an award. For this, I extend my hearty congratulations to her. I also wish to commend other serving officers for the work that they do in welcoming guest to our beautiful shores and encourage them to give of their best at all times. ”

Ministry officials including the Minister of Border Control and Employment, Permanent Secretary Mrs. Clara Gardiner and Director of Immigration, Mr. Larry Mills attended this event to celebrate with Ms. Dames on this crowning moment in her public service career.

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

Caribbean News

Barbados bestows Humanitarian Award on PAHO director Dr. Carissa Etienne 

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

#Barbados, November 25, 2022 – The newest recipient of Barbados’ Humanitarian Award is outgoing Pan American Health Organization Director, Dr Carissa Etienne.  The government of Barbados grants this award to frontline workers who were instrumental during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Upon receiving the award, Dr. Etienne expressed her gratitude for the recognition, noting, however, that she was more grateful for the opportunity to have served on the island. She also praised Prime Minister, Mia Mottley for her diligence in leading the country and regional involvement during the pandemic.

Humanitarian medals were also given to Frontline workers who risked their own safety to ensure the needs of the public were met. Those who held supporting roles on the frontline received humanitarian lapel pins, and those who made generous donations were given humanitarian plaques.

Dr. Etienne highlighted one major lesson from the pandemic, “we are only safe when the weakest among us is also safe”.

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Bahamas News

Bahamas and Turks & Caicos Immigration Ministers make appearance on TCI Radio Talk Show

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, November 25, 2022 – “We have a humanitarian concern of course but we can only absorb so much” was how Fred Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Public Service in The Bahamas addressed the issue of the UN constantly nudging Caribbean countries about the deportation of migrants and recommending that it not be done.

He was speaking Thursday November 24 with Cheryl and Zhavargo on First Edition which airs on RTC FM.

While acknowledging that the UN offices likely ‘have to do what they do’ Minister Mitchell  explained that the current irregular migrants trying to get into the Bahamas did not fit the bill of ‘refugees’ as defined by the UN.

“We have a treaty obligation that says that if people have a fear of persecution in their home country that we have an obligation to take them in as asylum seekers. The people who come through on these boats from the south of us are not asylum seekers. They are afraid of poverty and that’s a difficult issue but in a legal sense we’re not obligated to embrace people on that basis.”

He cited a study that had found, on any given day there were around 7,000 illegal migrants in The Bahamas trying to get to the US maintaining that his chain of islands had to take a stand on the issue.  The Foreign Affairs minister acknowledged that  TCI was in an identical situation, citing also the the cultural effects of irregular migration.

“There is a cleavage which has developed in our own society over this; people are very concerned that we could lose our identity if we do not get on top of it.”

Earlier this year Arlington “new sheriff in town” Musgrove, Minister of Immigration and Border Services in the Turks and Caicos had described statements calling on surrounding countries to do more to assist persons fleeing Haiti as “reckless and misguided.”

“Haiti has a population of 11.6 million people. How could any small developing state like the Turks and Caicos Islands assist that number of people or even the smallest fraction of them? We have a population of some 47,000 persons, and our health care, education and other social systems remain fragile and could never withstand an influx of refugees. This would be a risk to our very own livelihood,” he had said.

He was interviewed in the same show on Thursday prior to Mitchell and expressed a similar determination to crack down on illegal migration.

“I want to stress this. If we catch anyone harbouring illegals, it could be my mommy, she’s going up. We cannot tolerate this. We’re catching the sloops so my Haitian brothers and sisters should stress to them don’t waste your money we’re sending you back.”

Turks and Caicos, this year passed a law, doubling fines and prison times for individuals harbouring illegal migrants.

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Bahamas News

Former Bahamian Cabinet minister defends record amid ongoing police investigation

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, November 25, 2022 – Former Youth, Sports and Culture Minister, Lanisha Rolle is reportedly currently under investigation due to several allegations that came up during her tenure; she however knows nothing of this alleged criminal investigation.

After the minister resigned – unceremoniously –  in February 2021 with little explanation, the ministry was locked down by the Prime Minister for an audit of the National Sports Authority, which fell under her ministry.

Auditor General Terrance Bastin revealed that unauthorised contracts had been issued, some of which were later forwarded to the NSA for payment. Three cheques to contractors were also found, which were paid to individuals and then collected by a senior ministry official.

Despite the allegations, Rolle said she upheld cabinet standards and good governance during her tenure. She added that a minister is not always aware of “everything in a ministry at any given time.”

Rolle said she has not yet been approached by the RBPF regarding the audit findings.  Having served as a member of the Police Force for 11 years herself, Rolle told a crush of media on Wednesday (November 23) that she continues to trust that they will follow the legal process and in due time, the truth of her innocence will be revealed.

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