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Thumbs down!

Marshall: Why subject your own nationals to fingerprinting?

To make entry by Barbadians conditional on fingerprinting is not only”nonsense”, but also an infringement of their constitutional right, warns former Attorney General Dale Marshall.

Reacting to plans by Government to fingerprint all arriving and departing passengers at its ports of entry– with the exception of children and diplomats – come April 1, Marshall accused the Freundel Stuart administration of engaging in “mindless adherence to international dictates”.

The St Joseph MP also warned that Barbadians were “entitled” to return to their homeland unencumbered.

“If an Englishman shows up in Barbados and refuses to give his fingerprint for whatever good reason, the immigration officer can say he is not going to accept him as a visitor and put him on the next flight departing for Britain. On the other hand, a Barbadian citizen has the right to enter his homeland and is not subject to deportation from his homeland,” Marshall pointed out.

“His/her entry into Barbados must of necessity be unconditional. If a Barbadian citizen turns up at a port of entry in Barbados with a Barbados passport, he/she must be allowed to enter, plain and simple. So to make his/her entry into Barbados conditional in anyway upon giving up any biometric data is an infringement of that person’s constitutional rights,” he added, also describing the latest move by Government as “illegal and a technical absurdity.

“Such action achieves no purpose,” Marshall insisted.

The United States is among international countries that currently have a biometric system, which allows for fingerprinting and facial scans of visitors upon entry.

While acknowledging the threat to security presented by organized crime and Islamic fundamentalists, such as ISIS who seek to undermine western civilization,Marshall contended that policymakers must act “proportionate to the risk”.

“There is no doubt that we need to know who is coming and going, but let us begin by saying that a Barbadian citizen must be exempt from that stipulation,” he suggested to the authorities.

“In relation to visitors coming to your country we already have advance passenger information dating back to World Cup 2007 where the list is scrubbed and that system works,” the St Joseph MP further pointed out.

Marshall, who served as Attorney General in the former Barbados Labour Party administration, maintained that if the current Government wanted to add another layer of security it was free to do so, but said it must be acknowledge that there were questions that still had to addressed.

For example, he asked: “What is the impact fingerprinting would have on our tourism industry? What is the impact it would have in terms of being able to use the airport expeditiously when you are arriving? Will fingerprinting place Barbados at a competitive disadvantage in terms of other jurisdictions that do not implement the measure?”

The move by immigration authorities has been welcomed by the Royal Barbados Police Force, whose primary mandate it is to arrest crime.

However, Marshall warned that “you do not capture the fingerprints of an entire nation in order to be able to investigate or to interdict a particular individual. That invades the privacy of an entire nation.”

The former Attorney General said it was one thing to say that these things were being done internationally, but argued that policymakers must act logically at all times.

He maintained that Barbadians could not be subjected to a fingerprint in order to allowed entry into their own home.

30 Responses to Thumbs down!

  1. Ruby Red
    Ruby Red February 17, 2016 at 3:03 am

    Somebody ask he sain?

  2. Michelle Stephens
    Michelle Stephens February 17, 2016 at 3:13 am

    its done in usa. wat is his problem?!!!!!!!!

    • Robert Holloway
      Robert Holloway February 17, 2016 at 3:59 am

      his observation seems to be your right as a Barbadian to arrive back in your own country with a valid passport can be denied if your finger prints caused an issue also that current passports already provide travel shared information prior to you entering the country

    • Andrew Foster February 17, 2016 at 7:01 am

      USA does not fingerprint its citizens only visitors. if you read you would see he stated that also.

    • Richard Johnston February 18, 2016 at 1:50 pm

      It’s not necessary in Barbados. It gives yet another illusion of security.

  3. Natassja February 17, 2016 at 4:17 am

    So because its done in the US makes it right. As an American the only time I’m fingerprinted is when I arrive back in the US. I don’t understand this coming and going? Lastly, if this is implemented diplomats should be subject to the same procedures.

  4. Natassja February 17, 2016 at 4:18 am

    So because its done in the US makes it right? As an American and Barbafian the only time I’m fingerprinted is when I arrive back in the US. I don’t understand this coming and going thing? Lastly, if this is implemented diplomats should be subject to the same procedures.

  5. Dale Marshall February 17, 2016 at 7:26 am

    I think that Michelle Stephens should get her facts right. Firstly, only “visitors” to the United States are finger printed. American citizens and residents are NOT fingerprinted.

    Secondly, no one is fingerprinted when leaving the USA.

    With due respect to your position in the matter, if you are going to rely on what the US does as a reason for us to do the same, at least be accurate.

  6. R C February 17, 2016 at 7:37 am

    If the C.E.O. of the B.H.T.A. approves the plan that is good enoght for me. I have no confidence in the Architect of the U.S. dollar jail.

  7. corbs February 17, 2016 at 9:15 am

    Why are Barbadians so willing to follow the USA. One of the most corrupt, out of order confused places in the world. What they do is their business, we have ACTUAL problems right here at home that need addressing first. Like what are we going to do stop all of this foolish money spending that the government seems so keen on always doing.
    If i am coming HOME from a vacation why do i need to be subjected to finger printing. You know who I am already!

  8. Sense February 17, 2016 at 9:44 am

    I smell more delays cause we all know there will be many days when ‘de machine ent gine be working at dis officer station so yuh got to go down to de other one”. We can not just adopt things hook line and sinker just because another nation does it. We must tailor to meet our circumstances. Will they keep Bajans at the airport in a cell if we refuse to be fingerprinted cause they certainly can’t deport us. Is this information going to be shared with Police? Does this then mean that if I visit a place that is later burglarized the police will knock on my door since they would have my fingerprint data? #notathief

  9. dave February 17, 2016 at 10:40 am

    Politicians are putting people in place that amounts to putting square pegs in round holes. These square pegs in round are robotic with no sensitivity . We need help in this country to save us from these Square Pegs in round holes

  10. Alex Alleyne February 17, 2016 at 10:47 am

    This is the problem with these POLITICIANS who sit on the “other side” whether in office or not. Finger printing is being done across the GLOBE in order to weed out and track trouble makers. I do hope that YOUR “PM” and MINE will bring up this IDEA at the present CARICOM meeting and urge his “colleagues” to follow suite.( keep on knocking but you can’t come in.)
    I am looking forward to the “debate” in the HOUSE when ever the Paying for HEALTH CARE idea about to take place.

    • TechBB February 17, 2016 at 1:35 pm

      Across which globe? I don’t know if you look at a different globe to me but Europe is part of the “globe” and not an insignificant part either.

      Within the European Economic area, citizens are not fingerprinted; only visitors and residents who do not have permanent residence, indefinite leave to remain or something similar are fingerprinted.

      Therefore, if your argument is that the Barbados government should do it because territories across the “globe” are doing it, they should then follow the practices of the majority wholly.

      I don’t have a problem with fingerprinting per se but Dale Marshall’s argument is very logical and practical: what happens if a Barbadian citizen refuses to provide his/her fingerprints? To which country will he/she be deported? Will he/she be arrested? Both options will be unlawful.

      Another question I have is, “How thoroughly has the Barbados Immigration considered the security measures they need to put in place to protect that data?” Information gathering has knock on effects: there need to be policies governing how that information can be accessed, used and how long it can be stored for. There need to be controls over how easily that information can be accessed and under what circumstances. Gathering data such as this is not a trivial matter. I wonder whether they have employed qualified information security professionals to assist with the governance of this information.

  11. Richard Johnston February 17, 2016 at 10:59 am

    The difference is that lots of evil people seek to enter the United States and do serious damage. You’d have to show me a single instance where a visitor entered Barbados intending an act of terrorism. I have visited Barbados from New York 2 or 3 dozen times in the last 30 years but I will not go again if I am fingerprinted like a common criminal. I have a “Trusted Traveler” card issued by the United States CIS and if that is not sufficient for Barbados authorities, tough luck.

  12. trina February 17, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    If this does happen imagine all of those who are deported from our shore will find it near to impossible to get back in before the allotted time. Barbadians have such short memories remember the lady from Guyana who was deported in November and was back in Barbados for Agrofest the next year on a different passport. It is much harder to fake fingerprints. Just think how accessible our borders are any terrorist group come here find a way to USA or UK and do anything to take lives when their track are trace and see that here was a starting point and see how weak our borders are and blame start getting sharing Barbados going be in the cross hair and we depend on them for our survival for food,financial aide almost everything. Some Mr Marshall take your campaigning out of this cause this should help weed out criminals that find it easy to bring the drugs gun and all the night workers that ruining the Bajan night workers trade

  13. R C February 17, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    Great contribution, Alex. There has been a lot of hot air blowing around about a little piece of paper in a school yard…if I was the student concerned there would have been no unnecessary publicity because I would have picked it up without even being asked. But then I am strange…I do not drink alcohol, have never smoked tobacco or use illegal drugs, tidy up behind me, do not curse or swear and am not yet sure if I will be eating Monkey Nutts.

  14. Alex 3 February 17, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    In 2009 the government tried this scam on for size and it backfired.
    Tourists who came up against it balked at it and did not return.
    Tourists who were contemplating coming to Barbados stayed away.
    Who wants to visit a police state?
    It is true the US requires non-nationals to provide biometrics when applying for a visa and entering the US as does Canada. Nationals of some countries are exempt.
    I have been coming to Barbados since 1980 and will be arriving in two weeks.
    It is clear that on exit this year I best leave more time to get through the exit process and next year the wait to enter will be longer than it already is but I love the island so much I guess I will have to endure it but many will not.
    They will go elsewhere.
    The irony in this is that, not unlike Canada and the US, the guns, ammo and drugs are not coming in through the ports with travelers.
    We always here the boats of the RBPF patroling and hear of drug and gun busts over the beaches.
    In a country dependent on tourism for its well being one has to wonder just what this is supposed to accomplish other than a “me too” optic for political purposes.

  15. JayTee February 17, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    I am still waiting to be finger printed when going across to the USA.. This is an invasion of your human right as a National of Barbados, unless you’ve committed some crime. I hope that the masses will ‘get up and stand up for your rights’ as Bob said.

  16. Nichelle Roberts February 17, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    As far as I am aware US citizens are not finger printed on return to the US, only visitors. So why would a Barbadian returning home have to be finger printed is way beyond me.

    Secondly, certain security arrangements were put in place for Cricket World Cup and they remain in place to this day, so what is the rationale for fingerprinting Barbadians again?

    We know who is entering Barbados before they land so…….the point is?

  17. Tony Waterman February 17, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    @Michelle Stephens!!!! “”Its done in usa. wat is his problem?!!!!!!!!”” YOU ARE TOTALLY WRONG Michelle, the USA does NOT Fingerprint it’s Citizens, only VISITORS to the USA, and for Obvious Reasons, they also Have a NO FLY LIST, against which they Match the Biometrics of VISITORS. we have no such thing YET.

    “For more than five years, Department of State consular officers and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
    officers have been collecting biometrics—two digital fingerprints
    and a photograph—from “”all non-U.S. citizens””between the ages of 14 and 79, with some exceptions, when they apply for visas or arrive at U.S.ports of entry.” (Includes Naturalized Citizens)

    Go to these URLS:-

    They cannot Fingerprint US Citizens (Including Naturalized Citizens) because there is protection against such in the US Constitution, if they Have a Criminal Record, they would automatically be on AFIS anyway.

  18. Alvin Morris February 17, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    He is right, any Barbadian returning home should be exempt for fingerprinting. You cannot refuse a citizen from entering their own country. A citizen has the right to refuse giving fingerprints.

  19. Tony Waterman February 17, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    @JayTee!!!!!I concur with you on your comment, i have NEVER been finger printed entering or leaving the US across the Border, and yes there is CONSTITUTIONAL protectionS in both Canada and the USA, against this happening, except in the case of KNOWN Criminals who would be in the AFDIS adtabase anyway, and this is SHARED by The USA, Canada, The UK, and some other Countries, Barbados does NOT Share AFIS (Ask Miss Yolande Forde)
    As for the MASSES getting up and standing up for ANYTHING in Barbados, well!!!! Sheep going to the Slaughter will be keeping more noise than their Human Bajan Counterparts. even thhough the ARE Protected in The Barbados Constitution against such things.
    follow this URL:-

  20. Alex Alleyne February 17, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    I will argue for my “rights” if arrested wrongfully or put in Jail and refuse a Lawyer. But in such time like this where every Country is on “knife’s edge” over high tech criminals and suicide bombers, etc , I agree with every precaution given to protect the innocent.
    I am quite sure you won’t want to be in a crowed area and something go off and …… know the deal.
    All over 18 years of age MUSY HAVE A PASSPORT and or DRIVERS LICINCE so to have their prints and photos in the database.

  21. Cecil P February 17, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    I don’t see the big deal about this fingerprinting thing get over it this is the way I see tourist who OF love BIM WOULD ALWAYS COME BACK

  22. Roger Gibbons February 18, 2016 at 1:03 am

    Fingerprinting both leaving and entering the island is utter nonsense. By the way Tony Waterman how come you were not fingerprinted on entering the US?

  23. Darcy Lord February 18, 2016 at 7:50 am

    I am always amazed at the dumb ideas that emanate from
    people in power in Barbados. Tourism is the one area of the
    economy that is thriving and some jackass or a bunch of them
    want to upset the tourists.
    US citizens are not subject to fingerprinting on entering their country and neither are many non-US citizens including me.
    Years after the US and many other countries ceased the random
    search of passengers just before boarding the aircraft I was
    subjected to a random search in Barbados.
    The Barbadian mentality seems to demand that we show that
    we can go above and beyond what is required of any given

    • Richard Johnston February 18, 2016 at 1:54 pm

      Mr. Lord, you understand that this is a solution waiting for a problem. Lots of people dislike the US for various reasons, so the US has high-level security like requiring biometric passports. Nobody dislikes Barbados.

  24. QC February 19, 2016 at 7:08 am

    I wish those that talk so hard about things they do not know would stop talking. FULL STOP. and for those who do get fingerprint and are US Citizens, i urge you to read the law and then ask why it is not being followed.
    The US fingerprints Visitors, Green Card Holders. US Citizens including Naturalized Citizens are not included. Certain countries Canada for one are also exempt.
    So NO the USA does not do it. Do your homework before you talk. Is not me, Trump, Obama no one so that states this. Is American Law that governs the people in said country.

  25. Michael Goddard February 22, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    Marshall makes some good points. The US does not fingerprint US citizens returning home and so Barbados should not do the same to its own citizens. We may claim that doing so for other citizens is in line with international standards but then the concept of proportional risk is indeed important. We must be mindful of a potential negative impact on the tourism lifeblood of the economy. Many Bajans that support fingerprinting of all do so out of a tit-for-tat reaction that may feel good. Man tek dat! Bajans rightly do not like it when they get fingerprinted in other nations. But does that make it right for us to do it to others? I suggest not. I am of the opinion we can maintain high security and avoid the bad perception of fingerprinting. Instead we should rely on face recognition and other passive biometrics that are user friendly and transparent to the visitor experience. These technologies exist and are as robust if not more so than fingerprinting. We can leapfrog the old ways and keep our reputation as a high end destination, visitor friendly yet secure. That is what we should strive for.


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