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Passions flare over new Immigration rules, labelled a ‘deterrent’ to illegal hiring & harbouring

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, February 16, 2022 – “We have on a daily basis Turks and Caicos islanders who live in the United States being deported back home here, after spending their entire life in America. I have nothing against Haitians, Bahamians, Dominicans but I have to protect this country. And when the premier thinks I’m being too overprotective he can fire me. But until that day I will protect this country.”

That was Arlington ‘New Sheriff’ Musgrove’s  passionate address in the House of Assembly on Tuesday following pushback on his Ministry’s new Immigration ill.

The Immigration Bill has officially passed, but not without its share of controversy.  In an audacious move, one of the Governor’s Appointed Members, Harold Charles stood against the bill in the House of Assembly on Monday February 7.

Charles, who is originally from Haiti, said he was not against supporting a bill that prevented illegal migration, but could not support the bill in its present format.

That form was a doubling of penalties and fines under the Immigration Ordinance for anyone found hiring or harbouring illegal migrants from anywhere.

Hon Charles explained that he had made several efforts to meet with the Minister of Immigration, Arlington Musgrove, to discuss possibilities for amendments to the bill, but was unsuccessful.  Charles believes the bill is still laden with loopholes and changes seem to threaten only one, albeit common group of illegals: Haitians.

The candid thoughts expressed in the Turks and Caicos parliament ignited a firestorm of comments, most expressing outrage at Charles’ position and condemning the Governor for placing Mr. Charles, who is now a Turks and Caicos Islander to the appointed post.

Governor Nigel Dakin agreed that Charles “generated a conversation in the House that was a good debate to have.” and said he “respected the courage of a man or woman to speak against the consensus when their conscience tells them to.” But Dakin maintained that he firmly disagreed with Charles as the new bill was necessary as part of the border security strategy.

Premier, Washington Misick assured Harold Charles that the bill aimed for breaches of immigration laws at all levels is not meant to target any nationality.

“This bill does not deal with persons who’ve been living here for a long time, particularly those who are here legally. There is nothing in this legislation that speaks to Haitians,” defended the Premier when he ended the first leg of the session last week.

Despite those differences of opinion the bill received enthusiastic support from the Leader of Opposition, Edwin Astwood, who also recommended that expat workers or business owners who harbor these workers should also be treated as illegal migrants and deported. Their business licenses, he said, should be revoked, he said.

The amendments to the Immigration Ordinance – which included fines up to $20,0000 and prison terms up to 14 years – were accepted by Members of the House.  It was said there was no dissension when the vote was put to the floor; only “ayes” or agreement was expressed.

Crime

Shooting Incident

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***MEDIA RELEASE***

 

July 23rd, 2024.

 

Around 10:59 am, the Police Control Room received a call of gunshots at a location along the Millennium Highway, Providenciales.

Officers of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force were dispatched and, based on preliminary investigations, were told that the occupant (s) of a red Suzuki Swift was at a business place when another car pulled alongside it, and the occupants started shooting.

The driver of the Swift drove off while the other unidentified vehicle sped off in a separate direction. 

Officers found the Swift abandoned near Miracle Close, Blue Hills, shortly after.

Based on investigations, no injuries were reported.

This remains an active investigation.

The RT&CIPF is asking anyone with information or CCTV footage of the shooting that may assist the police with enquiries to contact 911, the closest police station, the Serious Crime Unit at 231-1842, or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-8477 and anonymously give any information.

Additionally, persons are being asked to download the Crime Stoppers P3 app.

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News

Twelve Officers Sworn In

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July 23rd, 2024.

 

 

There are twelve new officers within the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force.

The officers—Ronn James, Ernie Henry, Aron Charlery, Andrew Ottley, Emmanuel Dabreo, Damion Clarke, Jeffrey Kaye, Roan Waugh, Shan Livermore, Kemar Chambers, Michael Campbell, and Ajay Budhai—took an oath to protect and serve the citizens of the Turks and Caicos Islands yesterday (July 22nd) afternoon at Police Headquarters, Providenciales.

Commissioner of Police Edvin Martin, who administered the officers’ oath, said, “Thank you for choosing the TCI. It will not be a bed of roses. Policing requires hard work, and you ensure our communities are safe. Your arrival was anticipated and highly overdue.

“You are now officers of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force, and you are committed to the safety of the people of these archipelagoes. We must lead by example and not let our guard down. Stand firm on the foundation of our motto- Service With Pride and Integrity. Integrity is doing the right thing in the absence of anyone watching.”

The President of the Christian Council, Pastor Wilbert Jennings, delivered the opening prayer and told officers to always call on God in their time of need.

Deputy Commissioner Rodney Adams, Assistant Commissioner Kendall Grant, acting Assistant Commissioner Mat Newton, Chairman of the Police Welfare Association Sgt. Jepson Victor and Human Resources Manager Rex Swann also attended the ceremony.

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Crime

Male Charged with Theft and Handling Stolen Goods 

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July 23rd,2024.

 

A 23-year-old male from the Bight, Providenciales, has been charged with the theft of a boat.

CHANDELER JOSEPH is expected to appear before a Magistrate next week to answer the following charges:

  • Two Counts of Theft
  • Two Counts of Handling Stolen Goods

The charges against Mr. Joseph followed a report of a stolen boat in the Turtle Cove district on July 19th,2024.

Inquiries were conducted shortly after Mr Joseph was arrested and subsequently charged.

The RTCIPF is asking anyone with information on illegal activities that may assist the police with enquiries to contact 911, the closest police station, the Serious Crime Unit at 231-1842, or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-8477 and anonymously give any information.

Additionally, persons are being asked to download the CrimeStoppers P3 app.

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