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De Peiza for fingerprinting Bajans

Contending that Barbados could become “a transshipment point for terrorism” in a few years, Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Senator and attorney-at-law Verla De Peiza today declared her support for Government’s plans to fingerprint Barbadians at the island’s ports of entry.

De Peiza’s stance puts her in direct conflict with the Barbados Bar Association which has charged that the proposed measure was unconstitutional, and has promised to support anyone who challenges it before the court.

“I boldly state that I support the initiative. I know it sets me apart from some of my colleagues professionally,” De Peiza said in the Senate this morning.

The DLP candidate for Christ Church West insisted that this island faced security risks and argued that Barbadians could be among those entering the country with prohibited items, using fake travel documents.

“If it is that we are guaranteeing our ports and safeguarding entry, what is the fear of law-abiding citizens to having a fingerprint taken?”

The Immigration Department last month notified Barbadians that effective April 1 it would fingerprint everyone, both citizens and visitors, who enter and leave the island.

The only exemptions would be children under the age of 16 and holders of diplomatic passports.

However, following a wave of objections and legal threats, Acting Chief Immigration Officer Wayne Marshall announced last Friday that the measure had been deferred.

Marshall was quoted in a Barbados Government Information Service release as saying that the deferment was to allow the department more time to re-examine some of the issues, especially the legal issues, raised by the public, and to increase awareness about the initiative.

During her contribution to the debate on the Appropriation Bill 2016, De Peiza said it was not enough for a person to be given unchecked passage through the island’s port because the individual may be a bearer of a Barbados passport, which can be tampered; or a Barbados national identification card, which she described as a simple “cut-and-paste” document.

“How at the point of immigration do we identify a Barbadian, is it by passport?” she asked.

“The carriage of a Barbadian passport is not a failsafe in the identification of a Barbadian,” the specialist in criminology and criminal justice added. (GA)

7 Responses to De Peiza for fingerprinting Bajans

  1. Alex Alleyne March 23, 2016 at 11:07 am

    Pressure from “outside” will make sure that Bajans get fingerprinted like it or not . Sooner rather later the whole WORLD will follow suit.

    • Sunshine Sunny Shine March 24, 2016 at 2:25 am

      It makes sense to be fingerprinted. What does not make sense is that each time you go and come they want you to be fingerprinted. That is not happening in any other country I know about but Barbados. In light of the fact that this government is not into the good habit of practicing transparency, it would make for better understanding if more details surrounding this latest, ”throw on ya’ decision had more details coming forth. It makes no sense introducing something when you know you are not completely ready. Sorry to say, but this seems to be the preferred management practice of the Freundel Stuart administration.

    • Carson C Cadogan March 27, 2016 at 10:42 pm

      Well, we ought to be the last to sign on.

  2. bernard walker March 23, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    Yess .USA does . Please please it helps Homeland security . The Obamas best friend .

  3. AnonBajan March 23, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    Why would Barbados in particular become “a transshipment point for terrorism,” rather than any one of the vast majority of countries around the world which DO NOT take travellers’ biometric information?

  4. Depablo March 23, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    The USA does not fingerprint their citizens. I am totally against Barbadians getting fingerprinted. The flimsy reasons do not cut it. So all of a sudden the Barbados ID card is a simple “cut and paste’ document? Simple woman…

  5. Carson C Cadogan March 27, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    This whole finger printing thing was a stupid idea. Lets hope that it does not see the light of day ever again.

    The immigration Dept. should pay more attention to the illegal guns coming through the ports of entry instead.


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