Antigua and Barbuda: ABLP provides indisputable facts on immigrants, human rights policy

Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party provided the facts on immigrants and human rights policy in the country.

Antigua and Barbuda: ABLP provides indisputable facts on immigrants, human rights policy
Antigua and Barbuda: ABLP provides indisputable facts on immigrants, human rights policy

Antigua and Barbuda: Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party provided the facts on immigrants and human rights policy in the country. It stated that under the administration of ABLP, the country had witnessed significant growth in different sectors. 

Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party compared their policies with the opposition UPP and cited: 

FOUR INDISPUTABLE FACTS: UPP ABUSE OF CARIBBEAN NATIONALS

Lest it is forgotten, we should all recall the following facts:

  • FACT ONE: Under the UPP, between 2004 and 2014, migrants were picked up (sometimes in the dead of night and their nightdresses) and carted off to the Airport to be unlawfully deported without a hearing and without a Court Order.
  • FACT TWO: UPP spokespersons publicly abused migrant communities without cause.
  • FACT THREE: Completely deceiving the migrant community, on 28th June 2004, the UPP passed the so-called “Millennium Naturalisation Act 2004”, which granted Citizenship only to migrants who continuously resident from 1st January 2000. It did not grant Citizenship to their spouses and children who were subject to deportation, leaving husbands, wives, mothers, and fathers bereft of their families and helpless and hopeless unable to do anything about it. Such was the deception and abuse by the divisive UPP. They separated families.
  • FACT FOUR: It was in response to the UPP record of these human rights abuses that the ABLP government in 2014 introduced a mechanism, by law (see the Immigration and Passports Act 2014) allowing for migrants to appeal any disputes to an Immigration Appeals Tribunal. The ABLP will mobilize the Tribunal and will remind the UPP of their “elections promise” to support it.

Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party GAVE THREE AMNESTIES IN 7 YEARS; THE UPP GAVE NO AMNESTY AT ANY TIME

  • It is the ABLP that gave amnesty in 2015 and again in 2018 to keep open the pathway to residency and Citizenship that the UPP denied migrants. The UPP never gave a single amnesty at any time, so draconian, harsh, and unthinking were their attitudes. 
  • It is the ABLP that introduced another amnesty in 2022 to waive arrears on work permits, paying only a processing fee of EC$200. This decision eased the burden on migrants, but the ABLP recognizes that there have been difficulties in the smooth implementation of the process. Therefore, it has already put in place plans to overcome the obstacles.

THE Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party POLICY PLANS FOR MIGRANTS IN NEXT LEVEL PROGRAMME

In summary, the ABLP will:

• Reduce the waiting time for the processing of applications for Citizenship to 60 days. More personnel will be employed to accelerate the process.

• Mobilize the Immigrations Appeals Tribunal that the ABLP introduced in response to UPP abuse of migrants between 2004 and 2014.

• Nationals of the Dominican Republic will be accorded the same right of entry of 6 months as accorded to CARICOM nationals with the opportunity of extension, provided they do not become a charge upon the state.

• Amend the constitution to allow eligibility for Citizenship by great-grandchildren of Antiguan and Barbudan citizens, including persons who became Citizens by Investment.