People’s Action Movement leader Lindsay Grant announced an amnesty for illegal persons from CARICOM and CARIFORUM countries living in St. Kitts and Nevis, starting January 26, 2010. The amnesty will last for 90 days while the party will seek to regularize the current immigration issues regarding non-nationals, especially from Haiti, Guyana, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic.
Grant also announced that, under his administration, foreign policy will no longer be divorced from national development policy, in an effort to develop a stronger relationship with CARICOM and the wider CARIFORUM. He said that his administration will ensure that the International Labor Organization’s Convention of the Treatment of Migrant Workers will be given urgent attention, stressing that migrant workers must be treated fairly and must be paid decent wages, adding that “the varying views on migration and the knee jerk reactions to the issue that have led to the paralysis of the integration process.” Grant pointed out that they will also be reviewing the length of time required to obtain citizenship and residency in St. Kitts & Nevis with a view to shorten the process.
He noted that the people of the Caribbean region have been integrating for many years, in search of new opportunities and a better life for their families, driven in part by the harsh economic realities. “In these difficult times the people who come here from Haiti, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, and Guyana, amongst other nations, are simply looking for a new start and his party, the Peoples Action Movement, is of the firm conviction that the time has come to show action by helping those illegal residents to become full legal citizens of St. Kitts & Nevis.” Grant said that the time has come for a change, and that change must benefit everyone, including those who are propelled to risk everything in search of some prosperity for their children.
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