CCL concerned over Anguilla immigration policy Guyana Chronicle
June 11, 2002

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THE Caribbean Congress of Labour (CCL) has expressed concern over a recent immigration policy decision taken by the government of Anguilla involving Guyanese and Jamaican nationals, and is calling on that state to revisit its decision.

The decision calls for nationals of the two countries to be in possession of visas to enter the state of Anguilla.

But, General Secretary of the CCL, Mr George De Peana, in a letter to Chief Minister Osborne Flemming, said the new law runs counter to the repeated efforts being made by governments of the Region to foster the growth of a true Caribbean Community (CARICOM), something which highly desirable at this time.

De Peana said the decision also smacks of discrimination against nationals of sister CARICOM countries. He reminded the Anguilla administration that an important Caribbean organisation, the Caribbean Public Services Association (CPSA) has scheduled its annual conference to be held in Anguilla in July.

That conference is expected to bring together some 250 delegates and observers from throughout the Region including Guyana and Jamaica.

De Peana asked, “What will be the position of these Caribbean nationals, and where are they expected to obtain visas.”

The request by De Peana for the government of Anguilla to review its decision was on behalf of the CCL as the umbrella body of trade unions in the English and Dutch-speaking Caribbean.

De Peana recalled the Congress had recently extended congratulations to countries of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) for their progressive decisions to relax Freedom of Movement of Nationals of OECS States, and to allow “hassle-free” entry by such nationals to any OECS States without passports (but with other forms of identification).

He contended that if Anguilla had been experiencing problems, the issues could have been raised with the governments of Guyana and Jamaica, the CARICOM Secretariat and with the OECS Secretariat, before taking such drastic steps.

Urging, that efforts be made to have the issue discussed as early as possible, the CCL said it would welcome the opportunity to meet with the Chief Minister.

The letter was also copied to the Presidents of Guyana and Suriname; the Prime Minister of Jamaica and Prime Ministers of Member States of CARICOM; Secretary General of CARICOM, Secretary General of the OECS, the President and Affiliates, General Secretary of the CPSA and Trade Unions of Anguilla.