Bar Association welcomes Duncan’s new guidelines

POSTED: 07/13/12 11:48 AM

GREAT BAY – The St. Maarten Bar Association has called the proposed new guidelines on admittance and expulsion “more realistic and in accordance with international law” than what exists now. Justice Minister Roland Duncan hopes to implement the new rules by August 1.

“The Bar still has to receive the details on the proposed policy and laws but welcomes the suggested changes,” the Dean of the Bar Association Remco Stomp states in a release.

The Bar Association believes it makes perfect sense to offer people permanent residence at the moment they can prove five years of legal residency. Under the current rules people have to wait 10 years for permanent residence even though they can apply for Dutch citizenship after five years.

The Bar Association also welcomes the planned changes when it comes to family unification. They point that many unmarried women are currently unable to get residence permits for their children who are born in St. Maarten because they don’t make enough money.

“They need to make at least 36, 000 guilders yearly to qualify for legalizing their often locally born babies. These mothers do not have the time for a full time job for they have to take care of their young ones, reason why many jurisdictions make an exception on that income requirement for at least the first (often three) years. The income of their partners does not count for many mothers are not married, resulting in significant numbers of undocumented children – a highly undesired situation,” Stomp states.

The Bar Association has welcomed the fact that training personnel has become a priority.

“Proper knowledge of the rules and regulations will make the various civil servants more confident about their tasks, which will likely have a positive effect on the handling of cases and service to the public. A combination of transparent and humane immigration rules with proper training will make enforcement of these same rules more understandable and legitimate,” Stomp concluded.

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