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Boyce says border scrutiny remains vital

Health Minister John Boyce has thrown his full backing behind the Immigration (Amendment) Act, saying that border security is extremely important in light of wanton acts of violence and deadly diseases.

In his contribution to the debate, the parliamentary representative for Christ Church South said Barbados was not exempt from scrutiny given constant threats both inside and outside of regions such as Europe.

Minister of Health John Boyce

Minister of Health John Boyce

“Certainly, in the Ministry of Health our experience only recently, over the last six months or so, has been one in which we have enjoyed the international relationship that we have in being able to identify, in good time, persons who may have been travelling or may have been exposed to countries in Central Africa which were, and still are suffering from the high incidence of Ebola virus. Only last week, the Chief Medical Officer made the announcement that we had two persons under some careful surveillance,” he noted.

The Minister of Health acknowledged that the current scrutiny, which has been introduced by countries around the world, has led some people to believe they were not welcomed.

“Members have spoken to the fact that when you enter international countries like the USA, Britain and Canada, the questions are there and the Immigration officers are carrying out their job. Indeed, you sometimes wonder why they are not looking you straight in the face, but they do not need to look you in the face because all of your information is there in front of them on their screens. What they are doing most of the times is checking to see what you say and the answers you give. They are trying to see if those answers are in keeping with the information or the record which they have of you,” Boyce explained.

The Member of Parliament said that Caribbean territories also have to ensure that they properly monitor the people who move between their borders.

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