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PM Douglas to discuss implications of the Shanique Myrie ruling

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BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, 16th October 2013 – St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas will meet shortly with Attorney General, Sen. the Hon. Jason Hamilton pertaining to immigration matters within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) following the recent immigration ruling by the Caribbean Court (CCJ) in the Shanique Myrie judgement.

“CARICOM people, including Guyanese and Jamaicans in particular who are here with us, they by virtue of that particular judgement by the Caribbean Court of Justice, have certain rights. And my government therefore has already taken the decision,” said Prime Minister Douglas during his weekly radio call-in programme “Ask the Prime Minister”.

Dr. Douglas noted that following a recent meeting with the Guyanese community in St. Kitts, his governing St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Administration will establish an appropriate desk in the appropriate Department to make sure that their matters are being addressed.

“I want to again give public notice that this is being pursued and all those therefore who have concerns, especially after the amendment to the legislation that we have had and who have concerns as to what their rights are under the new legislation and now with the new ruling that came out of the Caribbean: Court of Justice two weeks ago, we will have in the relevant department, a desk and an officer assigned to deal with these matters specifically,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

“We as a government are sensitive to these matters. We are concerned about our brothers and sisters from around the Caribbean who are here with us and who by virtue of not understanding what their rights are, may not be pursuing their rights; we want to assist and the government will assist,” Dr. Douglas said.

He added: “This is not to marginalize our own citizens who are born here; it is nothing like that at all.”

Prime Minister Douglas also gave an assurance to the Dominican Republic community

“Again making sure that we do what is right for those in our communities who were not born here, those who are born in Santo Domingo, but who have rights to be here by way of their parents and grandparents, they will be incorporated fully into the St. Kitts and Nevis Community,” said Dr. Douglas.

“They have citizenship by right and they will be processed. Of course those who cannot prove that they have that right cannot obtain that right; but those who have that right, I say to them that they all would be processed properly and they will become citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis, because they by our Constitution are citizens and so it is just that they are going to be properly processed to become citizens,” Dr. Douglas said.