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From The Archives: Citizenship coming for all nationals’ foreign spouses

From The Archives

From The Archives: Citizenship coming for all nationals’ foreign spouses

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GOVERNMENT’S LEGAL DRAFTSMEN are working on legislation to grant citizenship to all non-Barbadians who marry Barbadians.

Attorney General David Simmons told the House of Assembly yesterday the matter had been referred to the Chief Parliamentary Counsel.

The AG’s announcement addressed the issue of the foreign husbands of Barbadian women not being granted automatic right to citizenship, a courtesy extended to foreign wives of Barbadian husbands.

“We must have that situation removed,” said Simmons.

Former AG Henry Forde said suggestions in some quarters that a policy not granting citizenship to non-Barbadian husbands guarded against marriages of convenience was not necessarily accurate.

Forde said mechanisms must be found within the law to stop any practice of marriages of convenience while at the same time safeguarding fundamental human rights.

He suggested that perhaps Barbados needs to look at the experience of other Commonwealth countries where marriages of convenience had been struck down.

He insisted that there should be equal status of Barbadian women, especially as it pertains to immigration matters. He said there was a need for officials to be humane with Barbados’ immigration laws.

However, Forde added that even so it must be kept in mind that the country has a serious unemployment problem and that people who come here to live should be able to contribute to the country.

“We must balance the human approach against those who would flout the law,” said Forde. “Barbadians must be a people of vision and humanity and understand that fundamental human rights must be appreciated.”