The Deputy Premier and Minister of Border Control and Employment to Host Summit on Illegal Migration

The Office of the Deputy Premier and Ministry of Border Control and Employment, under the leadership of the Deputy Premier and Minister, the Honourable Sean Astwood will be hosting a one-day Summit on Illegal Immigration, on Thursday 9th August 2018 at the Shore Club in Providenciales.


The ministry recognizes the problems that exist with illegal migration in the Turks and Caicos Islands, with the increase of illegal sloops and overstays, which has become a national concern and has the potential to negatively impact the lives and businesses of all our citizens and those living among us. In a bi-partisan approach towards cooperation on this critical matter at the highest level, the Deputy Premier will convene a meeting with past Chief Ministers and Premiers, as well as former Ministers of Immigration and Border Control to formulate an eventual agreement for strategic approaches to effectively address and combat this challenge, and agree the pathway to the eventual stemming of illegal migration in the country.


Honourable Astwood indicated that “My ministry holds the main responsibility for migration and immigration, and continues to do its utmost to fight illegal migration, and in recent months have had numerous successes”.  He further stated that “However, as a country we remain cognizant that while we continue to affect our operational mandate, there is a need for a strategic direction and sustainable program in order to curb this issue for the long term.”


The Department of Immigration, in recent months has led on numerous operations and through its Task Force Unit, continues to mount joint operations with the Police Department and other enforcement agencies, which resulted in a number of apprehensions of persons who are illegally residing and working within the country.


This high-level meeting is another in a series of engagements with public stakeholders that the Deputy Premier has undertaken since coming to office, as a collaborative approach to addressing major immigration and migration issues in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Thirteen (13) Immigration Officers Appointed

A total of 13 officers were promoted and appointed within the Immigration Department through a series of recruitment exercises throughout the 2017/2018 financial year.


Deputy Governor, Hon. Anya Williams in meeting with the new officers on Monday July 23rd, 2018 to congratulate them on their recent promotions and appointments to the civil service and to discuss with them their new roles, had this to say; “It was a pleasure to meet with the new Immigration Department team to congratulate them on their recent success and to discuss with them the responsibilities of their new roles. The addition of these 13 new appointments through a combination of internal promotions and new appointments is a part our efforts to strengthen the manpower capacity within the department in order to improve customer service delivery and to strengthen our law enforcement capabilities.”


“As we seek to restructure and to refocus the department, the post of Assistant Immigration Officer is gradually being phased out so that staff can be recruited at a much higher level and of a much higher caliber. Through this mechanism, a number of officers in the department underwent a testing program on the roles and responsibilities of Immigration Officers and the laws, policies and procedures guiding them, in order to be considered for promotion. While the new officers underwent an open recruitment process which included a testing and interview process.”


“The officers recently appointed have been assigned across a range of functions within the department including the  Airport; Intelligence Unit and Task Force and will continue to be rotated on as needed basis to enhance their training and full understanding of the wide range of responsibilities within the Immigration Department.”


“Theirs is a task which is not easy as Immigration continues to be an area of heavy demand at the airport where there has been the addition of new flights and additional arrivals in the last year, coupled with improved mandatory procedures for passenger processing; the Intelligence Unit where we continue to focus on the detection of fraudulent and other documents; and on the Task Force where there has been a significant increase in activity due to the increase of sloop landings in the last year and the efforts of Operation Guardian.”


“As a result of this we will aim to provide continuous training to staff to provide them with the skills and tools that are necessary to carry out their duties, while at the same time ensuring that there are continuous reviews in their terms and conditions and in ensuring their safety.”


“Congratulations to all on your recent success and I encourage you to take full advantage of the opportunities provided to you in the civil service, including those that will assist in your upward mobility.”


Listing of recent appointments:


Promotion from Assistant Immigration Officer to Immigration Officer:


  1. Bridgette Adams
  2. Veleika Brooks
  3. Donovan Francis
  4. Jeno Gardiner
  5. Alva K Lawrence
  6. Lakito Williams
  7. Teresa Samuels


New appointments – Immigration Officer


  1. Curtis Lightbourne
  2. Crystal Gardiner
  3. Doniesha Capron
  4. Reinaldo Forbes
  5. Valdez Thomas
  6. Arzsa Fulford

Minister for Home Affairs Attends CANTO 2018

Minister of Home Affairs, Transportation and Communication Hon. Vaden Williams attended the 34th CANTO Annual Conference and Trade Exhibition at the Hard Rock Megapolis in Panama City, Panama from 22nd – 24th July, under the theme “Guiding Digital Adoption to Lead the Global Market”.


CANTO is recognized as the leading Trade Association of the ICT Sector for shaping Information and Communication in the Caribbean. Founded in 1985 as a non-profit association of 8 telephone operating companies, CANTO has now grown to over 125 members in more than 35 countries.


The opening ceremony took place on Sunday with a number of speakers including Mr. Julian Wilkin, CANTO’s Chairman who welcomed all the delegates to the event.


Day One of the Conference featured a Ministerial Breakfast and Roundtable sponsored by Cable and Wireless. The theme for the Roundtable was “Winning the Future – Preparing for the Digital Economy and Assessing the Caribbean Readiness Today”. Is the Region doing enough to catch up? Both Minister Williams and Acting Director General Kenva Williams participated as panelists along with Hon. Andrew Wheatley, Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Jamaica. Hon. Melford Nicholas, Minister of State and Information Antigua and Barbuda. Hon. Vincent Byron, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Legal Affairs and Communications St Kitts and Nevis, Hon. Marlon Penn, Junior Minister for Trade and Investment Promotion BVI.

Ministers expressed the view that Governments were well on the way via their unique development paths aided in some instances by CARICOM initiatives but continued dialogue was necessary.


Disaster Recovery following last year’s hurricane season and the fact that it provided an opportunity to improve on ICT infrastructure was also discussed.


There was also a focus on Disaster Mitigation and Recovery – Exploring the Risk and Vulnerabilities of Operations in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Impact of Internet platforms on the Caribbean ICT Eco Systems, Federal Communications Commission Trends and its Impact on the Region, Key Spectrum Requirements for WRC 19, Key Spectrum Requirements for WRC 19 – Action Plan for the Caribbean, A Regulatory Reset for the Digital Economy, Data Protection/Cybersecurity Trends and Prediction and Technology – The Disruptor and Enabler by Mr. Jay Saunders of TCI. Other member states participating in the Conference were Bahamas, Barbados, Montserrat and Suriname.


Hon. Williams was accompanied by Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Clara Gardiner and Executive Administrator, Ms. Karen Higgs, Acting Director General of the Telecommunications Commission Mr. Kenva Williams, Mrs. Rochelle Emily Gardiner and Chairman of the Commission, Mr. Pedro Ariza.