The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not represent the opinions or editorial position of I-Witness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].
Last year, an Iranian national was caught entering Canada holding a diplomatic passport from a Caribbean country. Subsequently, Canada slapped that Caribbean country with additional barriers making it harder for their nationals to enter Canada.
St. Clair Leacock recently said that the NDP continues to support selling our passport to foreign nationals. This policy raises a number of concerns for any Vincentian concerned about their job, their land, their business prospects and their ability to travel around the world.
Thousands of new Vincentians would have full rights of citizenship in our country. They could take jobs. They could buy land. They could start competing businesses. And, they could vote. They would have full rights of citizenship. This means that your job, your land, your business and your government would be at risk.
It gets worse. Think about the kinds of people that may not want to have their passports in today’s dangerous world. Criminals. Terrorists. And other unsavory characters. These people could all gain access to our national identity and it could result in disastrous consequences for St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Imagine if the next 9/11 terrorist that attacks the United States or United Kingdom was holding a Vincentian passport. That could happen under a dangerous passport-selling scheme. Then, not only would our country be an international pariah, but, kiss your ability to travel around the world goodbye because there would be harsh visa restrictions that would limit the ability of our people to travel overseas.
If you’re a small business owner, you better watch out as well. The sale of our national identity could mean that businesses owned by new Vincentians could come in and compete against yours. They could undercut you on prices and put you out of business. Further, if you hope to own a piece of land in this country, large agro businesspeople could buy our passports and have full rights to buy up hundreds of acres of land in our country.
There are just too many open questions when it comes to the sale of passports. On 9 December, vote against selling our passports to criminals and terrorists. Vote against the NDP.
Victor Kelly Mcmillan
The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].
Many countries, rich and poor alike, have had economic citizenship programmes for years without all the potential problems you mention. Rather, they have seen significant economic growth based on the investments of wealthy immigrants from all over the world.
Why have they succeeded where you say we are bound to fail? Because they have well designed and properly implemented economic citizenship programmes which carefully screen applicants and their ability to enhance the social and economic well being of their new countries.
There is no reason to believe that allowing rich people to come to St. Vincent to live, visit for periods of time, and invest their wealth will have anything less than a tremendous boast for our country and people. This is the track record of existing economic citizenship programmes.
Your baseless fear mongered is politically rooted in your mindless support for the ULP, not in a love of your country and its potential for economic growth based on a well designed and carefully managed economic citizenship programme.
Victor Kelly McMillan, great name unfortunately no one of that name lives in Saint Vincent, and no such person on the voters list, this is another silly person attempting to play with Vincentians minds.
The Iranian caught last year had been sold a passport by a dodgy politician. That was not the fault of the policy it was the fault of greed by a politician with a criminal mind.
Worse than that SVG issued a whole lot of dodgy passports with no provision to record a change of name. Then the Canadians found out people who were deported from Canada for breach of immigration laws and/or criminal activity were simply going back to SVG and changing their names and returning to Canada with a new passport. The Canadians stopped all entry to Canada by Vincentians without a Visa.
Then the ULP government brought a Bill to parliament so as none of their people could get prosecuted for any passport crimes. Was that a dirty act or what?
Then last year an Iranian with a Caribbean passport was found to be money laundering for the Iranian government, the CIA /State Department discovered the man had Vincentian Citizenship. So my friend with enough money on the table anyone can already get a Vincentian citizenship and with that a Vincentian passport.
The ULP government have allowed people like Dave Ames and his family to have Vincentian citizenship along with Vincentian passports, look at the disgrace Buccament has brought to us with hundreds of pensioners losing all their savings in the Buccament project. That was letting people have our passport without any due diligence whatsoever, just the control and agreement of the Comrade
Anyone buying citizenship in the islands must be a millionaire. On 7 October 2015 in Monaco amidst a roaring applause from international business persons and immigration specialists, the Prime Minister of St Lucia, the Honourable Dr Kenny D. Anthony, officially launched the St Lucia Citizenship by Investment Programme. See more at: http://www.stlucianewsonline.com/pm-anthony-announces-cbi-programme-in-key-event-in-monaco/#sthash.53CofaSt.dpuf
The Saint Lucia governing Act provides that any person over the age of 18 who meets the qualifying criteria, together with his/her dependents, may apply to be registered as a citizen of Saint Lucia. With no guarantee that they will be accepted after due investigation of them their family and all their past activities. The application, which is to be completed by the applicant and submitted via an authorized agent, must include, among other things, the following:
1/ non-refundable processing fees;
2/ a health certificate by a medical practitioner with respect to each applicant and qualifying dependant;
3/ a police certificate from the applicants country of birth and from any other country in which the applicant resided for more than one year during the 10 years preceding the date of the application;
4/ a bankers reference;
5/ details and evidence of the proposed qualifying investment;
6/ applicants sworn affidavit and supporting documents declaring financial resources of at least US$3,000,000.00, US Dollars three million [EC$8 million] ; and
4/ sworn affidavit of support of each qualifying dependant (if applicable).
The program, includes but not limited to the threshold requirements for qualifying investment, that is, cash or an investment in bonds, land or enterprise. It also prescribes all such fees as are due to be paid during the application and approval process.
Mr Gohst McMillan your silly scare mongering is futile. The Lucians it is said have already got EC$540 million dollars from 200 applicants for citizenship by investment. Which has created a thousand new jobs and enabled Lucians who have been unable to sell their up market properties to some of these investors, no affect whatsoever on ordinary people.
These investors create jobs, they bring their own businesss with them they in general are not interested in traditional island businesss. Local people get trained in new skills.
Thousands of people will not flock to SVG with $8 million to invest, that is panic crap on your part, they will not take jobs they will create jobs, they will not take houses and homes they will want big properties that employ gardeners, cooks and maids. No ones job will be at risk instead it will boost employment.
Terrorists, criminals, and unsavory characters will not get in because a strict due diligence regime will be enforced.
The next 9/11 attacker could already have a Vincentian passport because under the ULP government hundreds of dodgy passports already exist.
As for your attempt to frighten small business owners by telling them these people would come in and steal or undercut the prices and put them out of business is quite simply a lie on your part as almost everything else in your letter is.
No international agriculturist would be interested in farming SVG, its too difficult and there are lots of places with better flatter farm land. That once more is quite simply an out and out lie.
No one from the NDP past or present has ever suggested selling passports, only the ULP have done that.
On 9 December, to vote against selling our passports to criminals and terrorists, vote against the ULP, Vote them out by voting NDP the party that doesnt tell you lies.
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