British Virgin Islands

Saturday, Sep 18, 2021

Expat exiting VI forced to leave her infant child @ airport- Skelton-Cline claims

Expat exiting VI forced to leave her infant child @ airport- Skelton-Cline claims

Host of the Honestly Speaking Radio Programme, Mr Claude O. Skelton Cline has called on locals to treat expatriates better, following reports of a woman who had to leave her infant behind while she exited the country to allow for her work permit to be processed for new employment.

“Just about a week and a half ago, I was called to lend some assistance, a lady who was told that she had to leave the country to come back in to get her permit transferred. Here’s this woman she is leaving the country, she has a six-month-old baby, gets to the airport and then they tell her the baby can’t leave, but she has to go. I mean, can you imagine that? A six-month-old baby!” he said during his show on Thursday, June 10, 2021, on 780 ZBVI Radio.

According to the commentator, the woman had to call her intended employer to collect the baby at the airport.

"You mean to tell me there is no discretion? There is no occasion for us to extend some kindness, some courtesy, and assist people? The woman then had to leave the baby, go out the country and then having a heck of a time getting back in because things aren’t being done,” he stated.

Suspend the policy!

Skelton-Cline then reiterated earlier calls for the policy of work permit holders having to leave the territory when changing jobs to be suspended and called on Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration Hon Vincent O. Wheatley (R9) to intervene.

“This whole matter of having persons leaving the country needs to be suspended. That is a policy it is not the law; it’s a policy, and I’m calling on Minister Hon. Wheatley and the head of Immigration … some direction needs to be given. We as indigenous Virgin Islanders, those of us who are deemed to belong, I want to warn us, I want to caution us about the way we are treating people amongst us.”

He added: “As the Bible warns, be careful how you treat the stranger or the neighbour amongst you. There’s going to come a time when our sons, our daughters, is going to be in somebody else’s place. Every dog has its day; every country has their season where you are going to need somebody else somewhere to assist your child, to assist your mother, to assist your grandfather!”

Skelton-Cline had said on May 25, 2021, that the tedious process of having people leave the territory for work permit processing and return only to be faced with COVID-19 entry policies or having to find overseas accommodations is something that should not be in the current pandemic.


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