Every BVI citizen has the full right to return to his country at any time, and not only in good times. Every BVI citizen has the right - if not the obligation - to arrest any official who tries to stop them from doing so. Every official has the obligation to refuse to enforce an illegal governmental order, as the civil servants' loyalty must be to the Constitution, not to the Government (as established internationally by the The Nuremberg trials).
Fraser gave that indication at an Opposition media briefing on Tuesday, following months of the Government denying its citizens access to their homeland.
“You can’t tell a citizen he can’t come home, so we need to be responsible. The government is responsible for this, and the government needs to act, the government needs to make sure that this is corrected,” Fraser said.
According to Section 18(1) of the Virgin Islands Constitution, a person who belongs to the Virgin Islands - or on whom residence status has been legally conferred - shall not be deprived of his or her freedom of movement, including the right to enter and leave the Virgin Islands.
On the other hand, its also states in subsection 3(a) that: “The imposition of restrictions on the movement or residence within the Virgin Islands or on the right to leave the Virgin Islands of persons generally or any class of persons that are reasonably justifiable in a democratic society in the interests of defence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health”.
Fraser, however, argued that Government ought not “indefinitely impose these restrictions on individuals who have constitutional rights”.
And from that meeting, he said discussions were had about entry into the BVI, which included quarantining and heightened measures at ports of entry.
Fraser therefore argued that it is inexcusable to prevent the entry of citizens as the Government has had ample time to put measures in place to accommodate residents stranded in other countries.
“Here I am on May 19, telling you that our citizens who live here should be allowed to come home, and don’t tell me that it is irresponsible because we should have the quarantine facilities for these people … Leaving them out there hanging is not conscionable. It’s wrong, they should be back home.” Fraser argued.
He said he believes these people should have been allowed back into the territory long ago.
“This is something that you can endure for two days, three days, four days, but two or three months? It is unbelievable … A citizen of a country has nowhere else to go but home, and it is high time that they come home,” Fraser argued.
“Can you imagine leaving home and going overseas and can’t come back home, not to mention the many things that you left here that require your attention. No government should be allowed to get away with this, definitely not for this long,” he further said.
He said he believes this also should have been the case for the BVI.
“They talk about borders being closed, the borders are not closed. Airbus a380s are flying from China to the United States daily and what are they doing, repatriating their citizens,” Fraser argued.
He continued: “The Germans are sending Lufthansa (largest German airline) to Africa regularly to bring back its citizens. The UK is sending aircraft all around the world to bring back its citizens and we got our citizens right there in the United States Virgin Islands and they can’t come home.”
He said the projected date for the partial reopening of the BVI’s borders is June 2.
Mr. Andrew Fahie did not explain why he refuse to divert just a little money from his government’s generous corruption-budget and allocate it to a quarantine facility so as to ensure the health and safety of the returnees and of the rest of the territory.
Foolish and violent men indulging in excesses. A woman of a contentious spirit and vicious habits. A servant who has obtained undue influence. Let those whom Providence has advanced from low beginnings, carefully watch against that sin which most easily besets them”.
The government was set to protect man from criminals, and the Constitution was written to protect man from the government.