Letter To The PM, Chief Immigration Officer & Minister E.P Hon. Chet Green

5
Immigration Minister Greene and Chief Immigration Officer Yearwood

Dear Editor,

 

I work at the Immigration Department of Antigua and Barbuda and there are….practices that are happening there. Here are the issues I think the Prime Minister, The Government, and the public needs to know about.

 

  1. As you and the public have seen on videos being circulated, there have been long lines at the airport especially when the big airlines lands with passengers, that is in part due to the Immigration being understaffed.

The Chief Immigration officer neither Minister Greene can deny this fact, and I can clearly remember on ABS, the Chief Immigration Officer acknowledging that we are understaff. This problem has been happening way before covid and needs to be addressed urgently, because soon you might hear of officers calling in sick in masses especially those who work at the airport.

 

  1. There are Immigration Officers who currently works at the Immigration Department who are placed there to work by politicians in government and they cannot handle or do their jobs properly, and we the ones who is working there for years are blamed if something goes wrong simply because we were not placed there directly from a politician which is angering and outrageous and that behaviour needs to change because if a newcomer is doing the job wrong they should be called out on their actions not us who worked our ass off for years who knows the job top to bottom.

 

  1. Our counterparts at the Customs division are placed under the Establishment Division, when the new chief came in, we were promised that all efforts would be made to have our Division also placed under the Establishment Division. Up to this day no one has given us any update whether it be the Chief of Immigration nor the Minister responsible if this is still on the table and a timeline as to when will it happen. It is such a shame.

 

  1. To get your vacation, is like you have to beg the Human Resources Department and curry favour with them must get a vacation that any worker deserves. They basically have us like workaholic dogs there. Shameful.

 

  1. I want the public to see for themselves that every time they release a vaccination policy, they almost always target us first the Immigration Officers in the government sector simply because we are not Established, and the ruling government must feel they can push us around as they feel. Let’s see about that, because without us there are no borders. There are Officers who works us here with underlying health conditions like any other workplace, that their condition does not allow for them to take the vaccine. I took the vaccine; however, I think persons have the right whether or not they should take the vaccine.

 

  1. Imagine there are foreigners (in small numbers) who live here that work at the Immigration Department while born Antiguans and Barbudans who out of a job can’t get one because there are foreigners who work there under the guise that they have an Antiguan passport, so they considered a born Antiguan and Barbudan. This is clearly a conflict of interest and would never happen in any other country in the world.

 

  1. The disrespect we the Immigration Officers face from some foreign who lives here is shocking too say the least. Some of them come up here to renew their time, and they will tell you things like, “we come to tek wey aru man/woman”, “are come fu breed down the place”, “me can get you shot up”, “if you don’t do such and such I go call such and such Minister and get you fired”, “me go spit in a you face”, and I could go on and on. No one is there to stand up for us including the Chief of Immigration, The Minister who said a few weeks ago to give the foreigners respect, like he never heard the saying “show respect to get respect”. We go through a lot daily and get slapped up but still do our job to the best of our abilities.

 

  1. An Immigration Officer only seems to get promotion if you are close to the Minister or The Chief of Immigration. How can that be right, and you have people working hard, carry their duties out to the best of their ability and be overlooked simply because you don’t kiss ass to the Minister and The Chief of Immigration. It’s like to get anywhere you have to show loyalty to the party in power which should not be. It should strictly be on performance and professionalism.

 

  1. People seem to think that because you are an Immigration Officer you are well paid, that is not the case. We are underpaid for all the nonsense we put up with daily and up to now eve before Covid-19 we were promised a pay rise and our now more than overdue overtime monies which no effort have been paid to pay. Shameful.

 

We the Immigration Officers fell the government has treated us like dirt for too long and we demand better from them. Have a good weekend everyone.

 

Senior Immigration Officer

Born Antiguan and Barbudan

 

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5 COMMENTS

  1. This letter IS A TRUE REFECTION OF THE STATE IF AFFAIRS OF THE AFOREMENTIONED DEPARTMENT…THE ONE MAIN OMISSION THAT THE WRITER MADE IS ” the society of backstabbings and the likes character assassinations which must be carried out in order to curry favour…they/we are indeed the MOST FRAGMENTED GOVERNMENT INSTITUTION…..

  2. This is true in most government departments, sex for promotion is a huge problem especially where there are ministers and managers that thinks like adolescents.

    No resolution as to how staff are compensated for working over time and on holidays

    Senior personnel that speak down to staff members and they themselves do jot have a grasp of their duties.

    Communication is a huge problem when opportunities arise for overseas training same circle of persons gets the opportunity.

    The isolation of Senior personnel because they do jot say yes to everything.

    Poor HR skills hence the reason they are unsuccessful in disciplinary matters.

    Based on credible information the department is actually over staffed. Poor planning, lack of proper delegation and utilizing the available human resource according to their strengths creates the perceived issue of short staff.

  3. THIS IS THE SAME THING HAPPENING IN THE POLICE FORCE ESPECIALLY IN THE FIRE DEPARTMENT WHERE MOST FEMALE FIREFIGHTER GIVE UP THEIR FRONT FOR PROMOTION SHAME ON THEM. SOME OF THEM EVEN HAVE THEIR HUSBAND.

  4. First of all, can ABS run an English Language programme for “speakers of English” with a special episode on subject-verb agreement?
    It’s annoying that the persons who have the most say can’t write English properly. It’s a big turn off. I can’t even take this post seriously with all the grammatical errors. In addition, I think that the person who wrote it is fake. If you are so bold to write, sign your name! I am tired of you cowards!
    Secondly, the foreigner story is getting really stale! Especially when I consider how Antiguans and “dem picknie” love to go “ah foreign” and live down in people country. Get a life!

  5. Always attacking foreigners smh can’t we all get along? Y’all complain for everything under the son as long as it’s a foreigner involved.
    I mean Caribbean brother or sister, not Chinese or Syrian or white ppl, just Caribbean black ppl. Antiguans find a joy in tearing down Caribbean ppl but yet y’all go overseas go lib and mek picknie
    Hypocritical

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