Top Law Enforcement Officials Discuss Combatting Illegal Immigration,Human Smuggling and Information

From Left, Minister of Justice, Hon. R. Duncan, Chief of Police P. de Witte, Inspector General VSA E. Best, Head Labor policy department R. Boasman, Coordinator Policy IND G. Mossel, Senior Civil Servant Census Office I. Beentjes, Consulair Affair Cabinet of the Governor S. Shepherd, Head of Customs A. Doran, Director IND U. Aron, Staff officer IND F. De Polo, Senior Staff Officer IND E. Emanuel, acting commander Royal Marechaussee E. de Ruijter, Chief Border Control G. Julliet, Head of Admittance and Residence IND R. Barbij, Prosecutor Human Smuggling & Human Trade M. Ridderbeks, Head Judicial division Police Force, D. Jacobs. Not on the picture Head of the Coastguard E. Kirindongo and Head of the Labor department P. Drost.


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Law enforcement officials from the various departments and bodies of country Sint Maarten under the leadership of Minister of Justice Hon. Roland Duncan, on Wednesday met at the Philipsburg Police Station to discuss the combatting of illegal immigration, human smuggling and information sharing within the Kingdom.

In the final declaration of the November 2, 2006, the Netherlands, Curacao and Sint Maarten decided that there will be a Regulation where partners of the Kingdom will make agreements regarding the immigration sector with respect to Information Communication Technology (ICT), quality of procedures regarding the processing of permits, professionalism of the immigration sector and integrity.

The main reason for this Regulation of cooperation between the countries in the Kingdom is to guarantee a good working immigration sector within the countries in order to safeguard: an effective combatting of illegal immigration; an effective combatting of human smuggling and human trade; and information sharing between the countries.

On 8th of March 2010 the Netherlands, Curacao and Sint Maarten signed this Regulation for cooperation between the countries in the Kingdom as it relates to the immigration sector.

With the signing of this Regulation the countries within the Kingdom remain responsible and have the authority regarding the development and execution of their immigration policy.

The immigration sector consist of organizations that deals with the coast and border control, the admittance of persons, control, deportation and expulsion.

In order to live up to the agreement it is essential that the countries appoint an immigration authority in their respective countries. Sint Maarten has appointed the Director of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND), Udo Aron as the Immigration Authority.

Udo Aron chairs the meetings of the immigration sector. The Immigration Authority will hold meetings twice a year with the immigration sector in their respective countries. At these meetings they will discuss the execution of the immigration policy, the systems including registration systems in order to effectively exchange information between the organizations in the immigration sector.

The Immigration authorities within the Kingdom exchange information and assist each other in the fields of education, technical assistance and personnel. The Ministers responsible for Immigration in the Kingdom will meet twice a year to discuss cooperation between the Kingdom partners.

During the top level meeting on Wednesday the Minister of Justice mentioned the continuous discussions that he has with his Kingdom partners regarding ICT as it relates to the justice chain.

The Regulation for cooperation between the countries in the Kingdom as it relates to the Immigration sector, clearly states that countries need to have similar ICT systems or an ICT system that makes it possible to exchange information.

The Minister of Justice came to the conclusion that the systems of the justice chain needs to be improved drastically in order to be effective for country Sint Maarten and to be developed specifically for Sint Maarten and, also operating from the country.

Another point of discussion the Minister of Justice brought forward is the public discourse regarding immigration as it pertains to human smuggling or the influx of immigrants. In this discourse too much emphasis is being placed on the repressive note and not enough focus is being placed on the human rights.

Within the Caribbean people are moving from island to island and the smugglers that risk these people’s lives needs to be incarcerated. It was agreed that the safety of these people have to be looked at.

The detention of these people, who are victims of human smuggling, must have the option to be repatriated to their countries of origin and not punish them because they entered the country illegally.

Another aspect is the prevention of people from entering the country illegally. The United States is struggling with an immigration situation and spends millions of dollars on border control. Still the situation of illegal immigration exists over there.

Sint Maarten cannot afford spending that amount of money into controls, but will strive to manage immigration. The Minister of Justice expects from these immigration sector meetings, that information will be brought forward to develop policies in ways that the country can manage its immigration affairs.