SHTA on BTA rejected applications

The SHTA was disappointed to learn that several thousand BTA applications have been denied with no further efforts planned to ensure that these individuals are legalized.


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While we all agree that the BTA process may not have run as smoothly as it could have, the strenuous circumstances which these undocumented residents chose to undergo in order to become part of the formal economy, pay taxes and contribute to the development of this Country should not be overlooked. The BTA process was finally a solution for them to become legal in an island that they’ve called home for years and more importantly to minimize the large illegal sector on the island and stem the abuse with regard to labor and taxation. If several thousand people are going to be rejected, then clearly the primary goal of legalizing long term residents was not achieved.

The SHTA is also concerned about the fees collected by the Island territory. As we understood, persons were not supposed to have to pay those fees unless there was acceptance and validity by the immigration department. Will those fees be refunded now that there is no validity?

The SHTA believes a structural solution needs to be found for these several thousand applicants. SHTA would recommend that this issue be picked up in a tripartite setting.