Deported Dominicano awaits court ruling on June 27POSTED: 05/31/11 11:41 AM
Attorney Brison contests Minister’s right to remove his client from the island
St. Maarten – Judge Mr. R.W.J. van Veen will rule on June 27 on the case of Pascal Beltran a 21-year-old Dominicano who was deported from the island after he was caught in a burglary. But Beltran claims that he had filed a request for a temporary residence permit under the Brooks Tower Accord and that he had the right to stay on the island until a decision was taken.
During an earlier court hearing on April 19, Judge van Veen ruled that the investigation into Beltran’s situation had to be reopened. In the context of this new investigation, Justice Minister Roland Duncan supplied the court with answers to three questions.
The first question concerned a statement made by the Minister in the Parliament in January that first requests for a temporary Brooks Tower residence permit could be submitted after December 15, 2009.
“No,” Duncan answered. “*I have answered a parliamentary question about the number of a report I received on November 14, 2010, mentioned new applicants. I have explained with regard to new applicants in the Parliament that based on article 24 of the state regulation everyone is entitled to submit a petition to the government and to receive an answer to that petition. A similar regulation is to be found in the Dutch constitution. I have also said that this does not mean that these people will receive a residence permit.”
The Minister also pointed out that he told the Parliament that the Brooks Tower Accord ended on December 30 of last year. “After that date no applications for extensions of BTA-permits would be accepted.”
Minister Duncan stated that possibly the confusion about the issue originates from the fact that he corrected himself twice in the following quote from his statements in the Parliament: “Brooks Towers ends December 30th (…) but no applications, no new applications, for extensions were – are – accepted (will be dealt with) now.”
The Minister said in answer to the second question that he is unable to submit the minutes of the Parliament meeting, because they have to be supplied by the Parliament.
“Does submitting an application mean that, as long as the application is under consideration, the applicant will not be removed from the Netherlands Antilles?” That was the third question Beltran’s attorney Mr. Denicio Brison wanted answered. Minister Duncan was brief in his response: No. Only the applications that have been submitted on time and that have been taken under consideration.”
Brison said yesterday in court that the actual answer to the first question Minister Duncan answered is not no but yes. “
Everybody could submit an application and it that is so, based on article 24 of the state regulation, then everyone has the right to petition. However, for foreigner-legislation we have the LTU (the ordinance on admission and expulsion – ed.). Does this legislation work next to the right to petition, or are these laws thwarting each other?” he asked.
Brison added that the petition had been submitted before December 30 of last year. “This means that my client was entitled to wait for a decision on the island.”
mr. Antoine Kraaijeveld, who acted on behalf of the Justice Minister, pointed out that Beltran’s application for a temporary residence permit under the Brooks
Tower Accord had been submitted to late. “It is therefore apparently not admissible, because the term for submitting first requests for a BTA-permit ended on December 15, 2009.
Kraaijeveld said that the deadline of December 30 of last year applies only to extensions of already granted BTA-permits.
The attorney also put to the court that Minister Duncan was fully authorized to deport Beltran, because he had been identified as an unwanted foreigner and that he had never had a valid residence permit.
The policy of not deporting people who have submitted an application applies only to people who submitted their request on time, and whose request has been taken under consideration. “The request was submitted too late and it has not been taken under consideration,” Kraaijeveld said.
He added that Beltran’s application did not meet the requirements to be considered for a BTA-permit. “It has been established that Beltran’s resided in St. Maarten while he is suspected of several punishable acts, that there were grounds to deport him, and to keep him in immigration detention until his deportation.”
Kraaijeveld asked the court to declare Beltran’s request inadmissible, or unfounded.
In April, Beltran’s attorney Mr. Brison pointed out that his client had been born on the French side and that he had been living on the island all his life, though he kept the nationality of the
Outside the courtroom, Brison said yesterday that he had been made aware that several category 3 BTA-ers (people who arrived after 2005 and who should leave the island) had been issued work permits, even though they still do not have a residence permit. “It is a mess,” he said.