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Senator backs new Barbados ID card

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Senator backs new Barbados ID card
Senator Rudolph Greenidge (FILE)

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Non-nationals will go to lengths to get a Barbados National Identification card or a Barbados Passport.

So said Senator Rudolph Greenidge during debate in the Senate on the Barbados Identity Management Bill 2021 where the focus was on the issuance of a new national identification card yesterday.

“. . . Barbadians who live here may never have to be so desperate to get an ID card. Our status is assured and we don’t have to go to lengths to get one. There are some non-Barbadians who want to live . . . in Barbados even more than some of us do. And they have their reasons.

“There is one gentleman – and I have every right to believe him – where he works. He told me that he was offered $20 000 to obtain a Barbados ID card for a non-national. They are willing to pay money to get [it]. Sir, the Barbados Passport and the ID card have always been in high demand in this region. It is common knowledge, Mr President, that persons belonging to other Caribbean jurisdictions have come into Barbados and have tried to forge an ID card,” said Greenidge.

He said “it was easier for them to get a United States Visa if they have a Barbados ID card than with their own. So they are desperate”.

The former Member of Parliament for St Philip North also noted the need for a local ID card has “to do with someone who is living here and wants to get surgery at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and they know that if they have a Barbados ID card, they may not have to pay. They are desperate . . .”.

He said one of “the main reasons why we do not get thousands on top of thousands of ID card fraud in Barbados is because in most cases that you need an ID card, you have to as a stepping stone get a birth certificate”.

Greenidge, therefore, supported the idea of the makeover of the current Barbados ID as he said it has outlived its usefulness.

“All you need is a good printer and a good scanner and that gives … a reproduction of our ID card . . . . I understand this new card is going to have more security features including the chip . . . described as an electronic security feature,” he said.

Greenidge also endorsed the $40 000 or six months imprisonment penalties in the Bill for impersonation, forging or assisting a person in trying falsely to get a Barbados ID.

“There should be no slap on the wrist when it comes to forgery of an ID card. (JS)