Fingerprinting is a must, argues Inniss

Minister of Industry and Commerce Donville Inniss yesterday heaped scorn on critics of Government’s plan to fingerprint persons leaving and entering the country, as he warned that the move was still on the cards.

During debate on the Immigration (Amendment) Bill 2016,  Inniss said, “It is very unfortunate that what should have been appreciated as a national security matter was allowed to be delved into the realm of pure partisan politics.

“That troubled me a bit,” the Member of Parliament for St James South said, while warning, “We cannot take these things lightly.

“We sit here in Barbados and I see lawyers . . . taking the Government to court,” said Inniss, who charged that there were “a few lawyers that would take any and everybody to court, even if they are on four legs, as long as they can get their 15 minutes of fame and pick up a few clients along the way to help them pay their bills”.

His comments came against the backdrop of a lawsuit filed by attorney-at-law and social activist David Comissiong against the move, which was announced by the Immigration Department back in February and was initially scheduled to be introduced on April 1 at the island’s main ports of entry.

However, in the face of strong public objection, the plan was delayed.

Today, Inniss dismissed criticisms of the proposal as nothing more than “unenlightened noise”, while arguing strongly that Barbadians had to face the reality that fingerprinting was the new norm.

Insisting that the measure was in the country’s best interest, the Government spokesman took further issue with opponents who he said had allowed themselves to be fingerprinted abroad without raising an eyebrow, but were now seeking to undermine efforts aimed at securing the country’s borders.

“The reality about it is that we certainly cannot take these matters lightly. Ensuring that those who come into our space, including citizens of Barbados, are fingerprinted is an act that will be done in the best interest of this country, and I think we must all get on board, There really is no harm. The information is not going to any nefarious purpose, but it must all be tied up into enhancing in our security system,” he stressed.

His position was endorsed by Minister of Health John Boyce and Minister of Housing Denis Kellman in their contributions during the pre-lunch session.

Boyce argued that Barbados must be ready for any eventuality and therefore could not hold back from modernizing its legislation and processes.

“Security at borders is absolutely important and it has to be maintained at the highest level,” he warned.

“We have to come face to face with that reality sooner rather than later. It is this type of realization that has to be part of the modern thinking in Barbados, it has to be part of our development programme in Barbados and we have to make sure that our citizens are properly briefed about the objectives we are trying to achieve and that they can work with us to achieve these objectives and, certainly across the aisle [Parliament], we should be of one voice in this regard,” Boyce added.

Kellman was equally adamant that the introduction of fingerprinting was one of the best ways to secure the island’s borders.

“When one considers what is happening in the world, I cannot see how any reasonable person that subjects him or herself to fingerprinting anywhere else in the world can object to it when it comes to the security of one’s country. Everybody knows that when you have open bays and open coastlines that one has to be very careful not to allow itself to be abused by people,” the St Lucy representative said. 

7 Responses to Fingerprinting is a must, argues Inniss

  1. Alex Alleyne May 18, 2016 at 6:51 am


  2. mark walker May 18, 2016 at 7:44 am

    what ever it takes to keep barbados safe but do it lawfully

  3. Ras Small
    Ras Small May 18, 2016 at 10:57 am

    Don’t just stop at de finger printing, include DNA profiles of the blood, hair, semen and vaginal fluids.
    Yah know wha else yah can do, RFID implants too. Stupse!!!!,

    • Donild Trimp May 18, 2016 at 9:02 pm

      Ras Small, what is wrong with fingerprinting people entering and leaving Barbados?

      If you are a Barbadian with a criminal record having your fingerprints on file WILL NOT prevent you from entering Barbados. However, if you are not Barbadian and you attempt to enter and your fingerprints shows up, the authorities can deny you entry.

      I do not see anything wrong with that at all.

  4. Eddy Murray
    Eddy Murray May 18, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    Please put the 666 on all of us heads. and then the chip, since that what every country is doing. Do the whole works

  5. Tony Waterman May 19, 2016 at 12:13 am

    @Alex Alleyne, mark walker,I don’t disagree with either of you, but why Fingerprint your own Citizenswho have NO Criminal Record anywhere ??

    We have approximately 280.000 people, the USA has Approximately 323,847,777(2016) and has been actively attacked. and they do NOT fingerprint their Citizens, or their Documented what do we know that they don’t ??

    @Donild Trimp!!!!So what happens if you are Barbadian, and does NOT have a criminal Record.

    I Have Visited the USA Multiple Times, as a matter of fact i am going there this weekend for the Long Weekend, and all i need to have is a Valid Canadian Passport, it used to be that you did not need a Passport,(Just Govt.Issued ID)but that was changed after 9/11.
    i went to the UK on a Barbados Passport, no Problem, No Fingerprints, I went to Holland on a Barbados Passport, No Problem, No Fingerprint, so i dont really understand what’s up with these Guys.
    There is something more in this Mortar than the Pestle

  6. Carson C Cadogan May 21, 2016 at 9:24 am

    That is a joke , Inniss.


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