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PLP MP is keeping tabs on Immigration investigations

Shadow Home Affairs Minister Walter Roban has pledged to monitor how many Department of Immigration investigations are conducted this year in light of the new Government’s “get-tough” approach to work permit violations.The Royal Gazette he’d be seeking the same information at the end of 2013 so the data could speak for itself.

The Department’s compliance section conducted 1,341 inquiries from January 1 to December 17, 2012 — a figure revealed by Home Affairs Minister Michael Fahy in answer to parliamentary questions from Mr Roban.

The Opposition MP told

“My goal is just to be able, over time, to track what has been the progress of the new Government’s policy in this area,” he said.

“I got a snapshot of the previous year and, ultimately, I will be able to look at whether there has been an impact [due to] the Government’s change of policy.

“It has said its change of policy has strengthened the immigration framework. The only way to know that is to compare to previous years. That’s the only way to do a true, clear picture.”

Since coming to power on December 17, the One Bermuda Alliance has terminated term limits and changed government work permit policies.

Senator Fahy said last month: “The public can expect a new get-tough approach towards work permit violators and employers who knowingly contravene the [Immigration and Protection] Act.”

Mr Roban asked the Minister for the number and category of investigations conducted and concluded by the compliance section of Immigration between January 1 and December 17.

The Minister provided a table of figures (see graphic) in response, listing the various types of investigations.

It shows that of the 1,341 investigations, 13 resulted in deportation, 63 led to individuals having to settle their affairs and leave Bermuda and 41 involved reports of a non-Bermudian being separated from their Bermudian spouse.

According to the table of figures, there were 113 ‘purges’ — where an individual’s work permit had expired and there was no record of them leaving the Island — and 45 additions or removals from the US ‘stop list’.

Progressive Labour Party MP Mr Roban said he was satisfied with the response provided, adding that it contained “no surprises”.

He said of his question: “It was nothing consequential. I just wanted to get a picture as to what had been the activity in these areas.”

Useful website: www.immigration.gov.bm.

Keeping track: This table shows Department of Immigration investigations, broken down by type, conducted during 2012.

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Published May 21, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated May 21, 2013 at 12:15 am)

PLP MP is keeping tabs on Immigration investigations

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