Member of Parliament for the People’s Progressive Party and former Minister of Home Affairs, Clement Rohee on Thursday blasted the Government over its decision to tighten up on the country’s immigration policy.
Over the past few weeks, Guyana has refused entry to a number of foreign nationals who arrived in the country without a valid visa and could not indicate the reasons for their visit.
Rohee said the move is a backward step which comes at a time when Guyana ought to be opening up rather than shutting people out.
He said when he left office, the government at the time, was making moves to remove visa requirements for a number of countries and to also introduce a tourist card which would have been issued at the ports of entry.
The former Minister said the new government should have continued along that line rather than making it difficult for foreign nationals to gain entry. He said he was embarrassed recently when he saw a number of indian nationals refused entry and sitting on the tarmac of the airport. He warned that the situation resembles the problem faced by Guyanese in Barbados when they would be forced to sit on the “Guyana bench”.
Mr. Rohee said while the rest of the world appears to be moving forward with immigration practices, Guyana “is now moving back” with its immigration policy.
He also warned the government against its reporting of the number of persons it has deported and said he cannot understand the motive behind a plan to have some persons write an exam before they are allowed entry.
On the crime situation, Rohee said Ramjattan has inherited the situation at the Ministry the way he left it and he is surprised that the government has no proper response to tackle the crime problem other than a “dog and pony” show.
Mr. Rohee defended his tenure as Minister of Home Affairs and the many decisions he made. He said while the new government wants respect from the Opposition, it must understand that such respect would have to be earned.