French immigration: “Too much corruption on the Dutch side” President Haitian community stopped with “invalid papers”

POSTED: 04/16/13 1:30 PM

St. Maarten – “Too much corruption on the Dutch Side, therefore your papers will no longer be valid anymore,” is what President of the Haitian Community on the Dutch side, Jeston Guerrier, heard yesterday when he travelled from the French side back to Phillipsburg.

Guerrier who is on the island for 27 years and got his permanent residency papers in 1999, was shocked when the immigration officers told him that he could no longer travel with these papers to the other side of the island. “I could not believe that they told me that my papers were invalid on the French side,” Guerrier told this newspaper. “They said that my papers are only valid on the Dutch side and that I had to go with them to the immigration office.”

Coming from a meeting to discuss the upcoming Flag Day in May, Guerrier took a bus back to attend a second meeting, when the bus was stopped by the French immigration at Bellevue for a control on residency papers and legal documents.

When Guerrier and the other passengers handed over their documents, they received the news and were forced to get out of the bus. “I was insulted by the officers like I was a criminal. I did not do anything wrong,” he said. “I and six others had to go out and they made us wait for over 30 minutes.”

As President of the Haitian Community on the Dutch side, Guerrier said that he had heard many stories of other Haitian residents who were denied to cross the border or had difficulties with their papers. He learned from yesterday’s experience that it is not that easy to travel anymore. “They gave me a hard time explaining that this paper is valid. First they told me that they couldn’t read it, because it’s in Dutch, then they wanted to take off my photograph which is attached to the paper with my stamp and they told me that it was not a residency paper but a Brooks Tower paper,” Guerrier continued.

Guerrier wants to step up with this issue ‘to whom it may concern’, and is willing to fight for their rights to travel without any problems from the Dutch to the French side, like they used to do. “If Dutch residents can’t cross the border any more than this is a serious matter,” he said, “This is supposed to be one island with all residents, whether they are having the French or Dutch nationality, can travel free to wherever they want. We all work, contribute to St. Maarten/St. Martin and we pay tax, why is this happening and why does nobody do anything about it.”

Although Guerrier stepped up for himself against the officers, six other persons with the same papers were brought into the immigration office where they were questioned and were still being held at the time this interview took place. The officers said that in order to cross the border now, people need to have a French passport, a visa or French residency papers.

Guerrier wants to bring this matter to the attention of the government and is hoping that this will be addressed in parliament.

 

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Comments (2)

 

  1. hidy says:

    Unfortunately it is true that they are way too many corruption the the dutch,and the problem is our so-called leaders.Everyone making they own rules.
    Can someone tell me Why some of us where told and given certain paper when we moved into belverder house over 14 years ago that every year they keep saying they are going to start selling the houses and then the prices are higher than the houses would of been 14 years ago.Is it fair that after we have put soo much money into these house s that the government keeps yanking our chains.Is it fair that they put our citizens on retirement at an early ages and now they have them walking back and forth trying to get 2 hundred guilders a month that most get so fed-up because they have keep applying that some go without?But yet our members of government gets raises(waw).Is it fair that our children cant get a decent job when they come back from Holland after we so proudly send them off to school?Is it fair that the cost of living is rising and yet some of our working citizens send they children to sleep hungry because they have to make that 1000 guilders untill same time next year? When you came looking for my vote you all promise to better than those before you so now,FULFILL YOUR DAMN PROMISES

  2. watcher says:

    Well so much for the concordia treaty which is supposed to guarantee open border between dutch and french. I suppose the french are now treating it just as it is done in Europe – border control.

    Now if the chap has a Hatian passport, but has dutchside permanent residence, I suppose the French are in full rights to question the authenticity of those residency papers and ask for some authoritive proof to be provided. They should be able to confirm this with the relevant dutch sxm govt dept..Ohh but wait, thats where the corruption thing throws it off the rails.

    I suppose if this chap had dutch citizenship (afterall he has been there 29 years and citizenship only requires 10). Then he would have a European passport and it would NOT be a problem at all..

    Make a stink about it for sure, but I bet the frenchies will have their legal issues all in a proper row…..and the dutch side, well, therein lies the problem…this is how government serves upstanding citizens and residents.