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Barbados defers introducing biometric entry/exit screening program


Barbados has deferred its plan to introduce new immigration policies that would see Barbadians fingerprinted when leaving and entering the island, according to a report in The Daily Observer.

The Barbados Immigration Department said that “until further notice, no passengers, whether Barbadian or non-national, will be required to be fingerprinted”.

Just last month it was announced that, in an effort to bring Barbados in line with other international ports of entry, the country’s immigration department would be fingerprinting anyone entering or exiting Barbados starting in April.

The acting Chief Immigration Officer said the decision to defer the start of the biometrics entry/exit screening program was to allow the department more time to re-examine some of the legal and privacy issues raised and to increase public awareness about the initiative.

Earlier this month, attorney and social activist David Comissiong wrote to Prime Minister Freundel Stuart calling on him to outline the reasons for introducing the new immigration policies.

The Barbados Bar Association also said it was not convinced that the policy was constitutionally sound and it has pledged to join, and support, any action started by Comissiong or anyone else challenging the constitutionality of the regulations.

The Acting Chief Immigration Officer said a review of all legal procedures previously undertaken in adopting Immigration (Biometric) Regulations 2015 is taking place in collaboration with the Solicitor General’s Chambers and the Office of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel and that any irregularities found will be corrected.

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