The Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, designate, Sheka Tarawally, while responding to questions from members of the Parliamentary Committee on Appointments for Public Service has said in no uncertain terms that their ministry is going to put in place robust immigration policies when once they would have become fully effective.
Sheka Tarawally who is yet to be approved by the plenary of the House further stated that as opposed to other countries where immigration laws are stringent, there are lots of lapses in the immigration system which has given cause to the mass influx of foreigners who have no genuine reasons why they are here.
He tried to convince the sixteen man panel that one of the major factors for the increase in unemployment rate in the country is because foreigners, who have unlimited access to the country, would sneak in and steal jobs from indigenous Sierra Leoneans on the pretext that they are more qualified.
Shekito, (as he is popularly called) said that if there is need to over-haul the system they will not relent in doing that as long as it is geared towards ensuring that the system is put on the right track.
Claiming the presence of political will for such venture, Shekito said that they would have to look at the old immigration laws and possibly improve on them to achieve the general aspiration.
He observed that one of the major reasons why the country has been experiencing an influx of foreigners without any good intention is because of the fact that the Immigration Office has only limited its function to the issuing of passports and border checks, without paying similar attention on checking the status of people who move in and out of the country; streets and parks, “this could even strengthen the security of the country and help create employment for native Sierra Leoneans” he emphasized.
Sheka Tarawally revealed that his experience in other countries with regards immigration policies is very bitter. He said Immigration Officers are sent everywhere in towns and cities to check the status of people every now and then in a bid to know their in- and-outs.
He said that with the cooperation of the Sierra Leone Police, they are sure to bring laudable reforms that will change the life of the people through robust security measures that are development focused.
By Poindexter Sama