Immigration making it harder for CARICOM kids to attend school

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Visitor reads to Villa Primary school students (file photo)

Children from Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Guyana and other parts of the CARICOM are about have a harder time accessing education in Antigua and Barbuda.

The Immigration Department has announced that it is enforcing a combination of existing and new guidelines for students other than those from OECS countries.

Nigel Emmanuel made the disclosure that a recent meeting with school principals and other education officials.

He said every student attending Antigua & Barbuda, must have a student permit before gaining entry into any school in the country.

“They must get authorisation from the Chief Immigration Officer to attend any school in Antigua and we are going to push towards that,” Emanuel told officials.

Excerpts from his discourse with educators was aired on the prime minister’s Radio Station Pointe FM.

The official said the department will go even further to request that parents already residing in Antigua, “make representation before that person (student) comes here.”

“If you are going to come and then attend school; it’s a no,” he said.

“That is disrespecting the chief immigration officer,” Emanuel added.

The immigration department says it will now be conducting background checks on potential students and their sponsors. The checks are to see if the students are of good character and if the sponsor or parent can afford to pay for their education.

The information in the letters presented by the schools to allow existing students to extend their stay here on a student permit is now being described as inadequate.

Emmanuel says the department wants additional information added to the letters.

“We are asking for the character of that individual because we don’t have to renew a student permit even though that student is in school from first or second form.

“If they are not following our laws which is that they must be of good character, not necessarily in the courts…They must have respect for the students they are with and the teachers, so it is more of a report card that the law is asking for,” he said.

The department is warning schools that breaking the law and allowing entry without a permit could see a heavy fine of up to $50 thousand dollars imposed upon them.

“I know it might sound a little harsh but at the end of it all, we have to look at protecting our school environment in terms of giving our nationals an opportunity to learn without being pushed out or pushed in a corner,” he said.

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35 COMMENTS

  1. Wow!!!! Foreigners VOTED for This????? Chet Greene are you responsible for this draconian picy sir??

  2. Where is the E BOOKS MAN that got a heart burn and thought he was going to die and had to be flown to 4 different hospitals to see if he really ok….when you know that your deeds coming to get u…….let all the kids come please

  3. And people say that Donald Trump is racist. Do the Chinese, Syrians and Europeans get a pass because they have money? Last time I checked, many children from at least two of those countries top grades and schools and country. Food for thought.

  4. Draconian?? Are you kidding me??? It’s about damn time Antigua stops being so relaxed with EVERYTHING and start protecting it’s border and people. Things are out of control and the reigns need to be pulled back now ASAP. Who Bex just BEX. We cannot afford to be this free for all anymore and I HOPE this isn’t just all barking.

    • You’re sing sweet music to my ears…so true. It is draining our education system and it is time to put a stop to it. Because our government education system is free in the primary and secondary schools, they keep sending their children here to be educated.

      • In Guyana Our education system is free from age 3 yrs old until secondary so Guyanese don’t need to send their children to Antigua to be educated free when its already free in Guyana also. (Just for your information and guidance😷😤😷)
        That’s why the black generation will never rise

  5. Let’s politicize this like we do everything!!! Its about time we start to regulate things in Antigua and stop with the anything goes lawlessness… on the other hand we need to be fair with everyone and not make things draconian!!!

  6. This is straight up bull shit and disrespect to the children check all the student who slap the teacher where they from right ya foriegners yall will learn about these people.

  7. I agree 100% with Antigua’s government being much more strict on immigration and school admissions. Honestly, I don’t see any advantage of Antigua being a member of CARICOM – what does Antigua gain by it? All it does is invite much poorer people from poor Caribbean countries into Antigua and they cause problems with crime, drugs, and strain social services like schools.

    Antigua is a richer, safer and more stable country than most in the Caribbean, we don’t need to be a member of CARICOM, it’s weakening our country.

    • Poorer it’s called your money that’s all it is… Obviously you have not been to Jamaica…take avisit

  8. This will happen when red pigs fly.

    Mr Emanuel your days are numbered as an Immigration Officer. A transfer is eminent….

    Logically all that was said is in good order. However it is contrary to the never ending AMNESTY policy that you Mr Emanuel managed.
    International conventions and local law – IGNORANCE TO LAW IS NOT A VALID EXCUSE.
    1 A CHILD SHOULD BE WHERE THE PARENT IS. So all the persons who were given amnesty has the right to have their children with them, Immigration cannot disallow that.

    2 EVERY CHILD BELOW THE AGE OF 16 IN ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA MUST BE IN SCHOOL. You cannot LEGALLY deny a child the right to attend school in ANTIGUA and BARBUDA.

    LAWYERS MUST BE LINING UP TO MAKE SOME MONEY FROM THIS ILL ADVISED RIDICULOUS POLICY.
    Mr Emanuel please contact LEGAL AFFAIRS to see how best they can assist you in achieving or curbing whatever the situation is because you are not on legal grounds with this one.

    PS Next time let the MINISTER or PRIME MINISTER face the public as they normally do with policy decisions.

  9. Antigua News room OF ALL THE QUALIFIED TEACHERS IN ANTIGUA that is the best photograph you could use?

    IMAGERY IS LIFE….

    PLEASE I BEG REPLACE THAT PHOTO WITH A TEACHER THAT OUR CHILDREN CAN IDENTIFY WITH AND ASPIRE TO BE……

  10. I agree with Mr Emanuel on this matter, does not matter who you vote for or not at the end of the day we have a right to protect our shores. far to often antigua has been made the scapegoat for everything as soon as we put our foot down on an immigration issue there is an outside cry about antigua not doing this and that … why do you think the schools are over crowded in antigua and we have to use our own resources to school illegal immigrants hence watered down the education systems with the overcrowded-nest which will affect our own antiguan nationals.. imagine 30-40 persons in a class just give me an aspirin…This is something that should have been done a long time ago… wa antigua name so , flood gates to Noah ark or something. chuupppsss … i would go even further as to say if your plans are to find a job here please indicate so and the necesary checks should be done here to see if that skill set can be filled by a national and if so wheel and come again.

  11. Well well; oh wow
    could you believe after Irma missing Antigua and destroying Barbuda, along with other countries, who had to seek shelter in Antigua.
    This is what policies are being implemented, hurricane season is annually and none of us can determine the future, or what is in store for this country.
    Remember if anything happens in the caribbean, these same countries assist in the reconstruction of Antigua too. Also, this is stigma and discrimination to foreign children, who will be monitored because they are not nationals.
    What happen when antiguan children migrate to the US/Can/UK and attend schools, are they monitored on behaviour compared to the nationals there?

    The bible say’ don’t do unto to others, that you wouldn’t want for yourself.

    • Thank you! Well said! A hurricane like Irma or Maria could tear this place up in seconds. Where will Antiguans go? What will you do? Who will help Antigua? I just don’t understand you people. Why are you all so prejudice yet speak about unity. We should all come together as one Caribbean. God sees all and hears all. Up today, down tomorrow. U never know what next hurricane season may bring. I will be sure to have a talk with my PM the next time I visit to ensure that if anything happens here that we should not assist. And I am going to spread the word.

      • Next time you visit tap home. because you intelligent.. don’t let people dog you in they country.they rules is they rules.They do the same thing in Barbados.why leave from your big country and go squeeze in a 108 sq ml.you all don’t like to follow rules. in America it is different and it is not easy people have to lie and do all sought of things to get into American School system.that’s why Donald is cracking down on on all these foolishness. Why you all didn’t come to America? you know why you all got stuck in Antigua and realize they accept you all with open arms. and are you think them stupid.and take advantage now they start putting down they foot you get annoyed well go home,or better yet go to America because Donald Trump na fraid.gohome all like you encourage them for come da because you sound like a citizen… things change r u milk the cow enough.its time bye Felicia!

  12. when ever any non antiguan applies for residence we must first check to see how many children/dependents they have.
    If they cannot afford to school the children privately and subject to availability then the residence must be denied.
    free movement of people means free movement of children , healthcare, social security , crime and lowlife culture
    we cant take anymore refugees from dem big islands who done mash up dem economy and can only export poverty and prostitution

  13. Is it right for an individual living here and working as a cleaner, bring her 4 children from her country of birth to visit and enroll them in school without following proper protocol? How is she able to maintain herself and 4 children on a ckewner’s wage? Who do you think food the bill when she falls short? We Antiguans. Too many illegals are here and if you want to live, at least make a meaningful contribution.

    • I agree with you 100%. Antigua is a special country and we have too many illegals and also too many poor people from other Caribbean nations immigrating here. I really do not understand what Antigua gains by being a member of CARICOM.

      By the way, all CARICOM does is sit around and pretend to be important, but in reality they do nothing to stand up for Carribean rights and they never fight back against organizations like the OECD. The people at CARICOM are a bunch of lazy bureaucrats earning high pay.

  14. You all a bunch of hypocrites who loves to run to America and Canada you name it to have kids and to boast oh my child is An American. I too love what Trump is doing by not letting ppl who just come to have children so that they can have a green card.

  15. This is not about stopping any from going school, if you’re coming on vacation what is the purpose of putting your child in school? If you live here and you send for your kids after a year or more the system is you apply for a school permit before you can put that child into the school system. What is wrong with doing background checks on anyone who wants to utilize the system? This system will create checks and balances

  16. Antigua raise your standards and raise it boldly according to our anthem. As soon as non national na get them way them lash out . Den na even want pay them time want live like here is them birthplace. The laws are there and we have to be govern by them. The authorities have to see things that we don’t see and they have to find the money fu run de country so let them do them job. Some a u go on like here mek Fu are u one all the jobs are u want over nationals. I begging u all know u place and be humble do your thing right by following the law and things will be ok. Na try Tek over from who birthstring bury ya. Know are u place good. We can go Jamaica Dominica and Guyana and Tek over lawlessly. We would get hard time or even death so I I plz beg are u comply with my government and do the right things

  17. And for Dem non nationals who a talk that antiguans go way go have babies. All are u do um too are u use here as the gateway. soon as are u get passport are u gone America Canada england. Just use here Fu get passport na even stay and be sincere to national building only a few do it. So hush are u mouth and tap wash are u mouth pan are we name cuz most a are u na lub are we just lub use ya and wish the worst for us. But we are bless so u all words a go turn to confusion and u still nar go get it that are we bless. Are u go have to stop cus are u na get are u way as are u like here. It’s our place repect that.

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