PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – “Let me publicly congratulate you (The Minister of Justice) for getting the process of the IBPS (Immigration and Border Protection Service) in its final stages.”
is how MP Buncamper started his speech on the floor of parliament in Wednesday’s meeting with the Minister of Justice, Anna Richardson.
“I know that some people may be disappointed with the change but we must execute the law based on the LIOL (National Order of Government’s structure)” Buncamper stated.
The MP went on to say that “This department has its work cut out for it as the immigration issue is a serious one and we must deal with it humanly, but yet firmly.
The UNICEF report, that addresses the abuse of persons bringing their families to St. Maarten while we are facing serious financial challenges due to the COVID-19, needs to be addressed”. Buncamper said. The MP enquired if the border control extension mentioned in the country packages is a done deal and what exactly it entails.
He questioned the added value of the Dutch border control over the past 3 years, seeing the large stream of illegals persons, weapons and drugs constantly coming into the country.
What will be the actions of the IBPS when residence permits expire? The MP when on to question how the illegal behavior of business owners who hire undocumented persons will be handled?
“There was a law passed which states that such practices can carry a maximum fine of 100.000 guilders. Do we make use of this law? Is it being enforced?”, the MP enquired.
The MP went on to question the tolerance with undocumented persons seeing the serious social issues this brings about in our country in a number of aspects, such as education, health and others?
It is a fact that we currently can use some immigrant workers, but without proper control, this can deteriorate the quality of life of the legal residents. What steps are taken to ensure that foreign workers leave the island when their work and residence permits expire and are not renewed? MP Buncamper noted that St. Maarten is listed as a tier 2 country in the US department of State, and questioned how this compares with the region and the rest of the Dutch Caribbean. “How are we going to deal with the issue of children born in St. Maarten from foreign parents?”
Why was IBP Services placed under the auspices of the St. Maarten Police Force KPSM in 2016 only to see us having to turn it over to the Dutch as a condition for liquidity support in 2017?
MP Buncamper went on to question the costs associated with the border control using KMAR versus training and employing our own people. ”How much is spent yearly from the trust funds monies on KMAR and do their employees pay their taxes to the St. Maarten government or to the Dutch government?” How many persons will the IBPS employ to get the compliance department properly operational and ensure we have good data to make proper decisions? The MP enquired. The MP also question the duration of the recently signed border control protocol.