Marshall: Why is Govt so hell bent on this?

Opposition Member of Parliament and former Attorney General Dale Marshall yesterday slammed as “illogical”, Government’s continued defence of its proposal to introduce fingerprinting for Barbadians entering and leaving the country.

Reiterating that the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) would not support the move, Marshall questioned why the Freundel Stuart administration appeared “ hell bent” on pursuing the system in the face of strong rejection from Barbadians.

“It now appears that even though the Immigration Department announced that the measure was going to be deferred for further consideration and action, . . . based on the mouthing of the Minister of Commerce and the Minister of Health, that this administration, despite the very vocal criticism of the public of Barbados, is once more hell bent on taking us down this road.”

Making his contribution to the Immigration (Amendment) Bill 2016, Marshall accused Government of putting “arrangements in place in an almost whimsical manner”, while citing its recent pull back from the Cahill waste-to-energy project.

“The Minister of the Environment was hell bent on taking us down a particular road too, and only in the last week came to this Parliament sheepishly hoping to disavow any intention of taking us to Cahill. Perhaps we are seeing a similar modality being employed here,” argued the St Joseph representative, who charged that the move would make the island nothing more than a “trail blazer in foolishness”.

He was adamant that no other country subjects its citizens to fingerprinting.

“It is inconsistent with international practice,” he said, rubbishing suggestions that the move was in keeping with the island’s international obligations.

“How is it that they ignore the other obligation, the international obligation that our country signed on to which guarantees Barbadian citizens the right of entry into their home without let, hindrance or any precondition. It remains fundamentally wrong and it is also illogical.”

Marshall said while there were certain aspects of the island’s passport and identification arrangements that could be improved, it was wrong to subject Barbadians to fingerprinting.

“What would you do if one of your constituents came into Barbados and refused to give a fingerprint? What is the immigration officer going to do? Deport him or her to where they come from? They are Barbadians so you can’t deport a Barbadian from Barbados,” he warned.

“On the other hand, can the immigration officer charge them with an offence for refusing to give them a fingerprint?,” he asked, adding that such would be “equally objectionable and idiotic”.

The St Joseph MP also said there was a practical matter that had to be grappled with:

“Are we going to have sufficient immigration officers available so that the reasonable course of entering Barbados for a holiday is facilitated?”

Marshall said there was ample precedent for the fingerprinting of visitors and if the Government wished to do that, it was entirely at liberty to do so.

“If the Government wants to fingerprint international visitors so be it. We have never raised any objections to fingerprinting international visitors. Our fundamental objection is that the Government for some bizarre reason wants to fingerprint Barbadians.”

9 Responses to Marshall: Why is Govt so hell bent on this?

  1. Sheron Inniss May 18, 2016 at 6:50 am

    I am not a criminal and no one will be fingerprinting me if I have to leave and re-enter Barbados. This administration makes me realise that the old people’s saying, ” the higher the monkey climbs the more you see his tail. An expletive that I can’t use comes to mind right now.

  2. Alwin Ellis
    Alwin Ellis May 18, 2016 at 10:03 am

    Mr Marshall the DLP got to have some kind of loan attach to this,so they got to push this in order to get it.Remember Captain Sawyer,somethihg for something

  3. Henderson Cheltenham
    Henderson Cheltenham May 18, 2016 at 10:20 am

    Wanna got to be got something to hide

  4. Randolph May 18, 2016 at 10:45 am

    The DLP has some real jokers parading as ministers.How is it that the great USA does not require finger printing of its citizen,but a little island like Barbados wants to subject its citizens to such?Sounds like something sinister is behind this.Can’t wait for the next election.

  5. Sharon Taylor
    Sharon Taylor May 18, 2016 at 10:48 am

    Seems all d criminals against being finger printed… Let us poor ppl look at the argument against being finger printed from d rich ppl point of view… Cause we the poor have to be fingerprinted in order to get a certificate of character in order to get a job and also we have to repeat it every yr in order to keep some of our jobs! So basically, very few of d big ups have finger prints on file, if any! The only way the Gov/RBPF will have access to their prints is if they introduce finger printing at d airport n seaport, cause d big ups always flying out…. But we d poor ppl like too much jumping on bandwagons once it seems that we r slaying d dlp party… Well all we doing is helping d big ups in this country to keep sliding by d law…. If I could get fingerprinted, anybody else could… I would like to know what all d ones that against fingerprinting and stirring up d country have to hide….

  6. Eddy Murray
    Eddy Murray May 18, 2016 at 10:56 am

    Sharon and Alwin I agree with both of you. My problem is that these things are not discuss with public first, but rather coming from GIS, which I feel was a wrong move. But what the government is saying that the other party had it for the 2007 world cup, which mean that if they had it, it is right and good to go.

  7. J. Payne May 18, 2016 at 11:23 am

    Because you all signed on CARICOM. So to protect the country from drug mules you can’t just slap VISA restrictions on problem areas and call it a day. Barbadians have to get fingerprinted too because you cannot treat CARICOM different from between nationals of Barbados and non national CARICOM persons.

  8. Wayne R. Pilgrim-Cadogan
    Wayne R. Pilgrim-Cadogan May 18, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    I have to back the ruling government on this issue of finger printing everybody that comes into this country. However, I am against finger printing going out of the country, it just makes no common sense. Every country needs to know and monitor who is coming into their country. The Trinidadians that went and joined ISIS, they pass through Barbados, doesn’t one think that Barbados or any other country needs to know that type information? It is all about safe guarding your country from terrorism and all the others scourges that are likely to be detrimental to the island.

  9. Sunshine Sunny Shine May 21, 2016 at 10:41 am

    What the Demoncratic Labour Party needs to do is put the same level of intent into legislation that protects the government purse from them. So finger printing is important but not anticorruption laws. Wicked is as wicked does.


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