Immigration Expert Review Team led by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labor and Immigration, MCILI, has successfully conducted the Immigration Act 2012 consultation review in Lata, Temotu Province from 28th – 29th June 2023.
The Immigration Act 2012 review held for Temotu Province aimed to capture Provincial inputs related to national border security in the proposed Immigration Bill.
Temotu Provincial Deputy Premier Mickson Lanoli, warmly welcomed the team to Temotu Province and officially opened the consultation review workshop.
During his welcome remarks, Hon Lanoli highlighted Temotu Province’s challenges of emerging border security threats influenced by illegal unlicensed and unregulated fishing, transnational organized crimes transiting and smuggling of drugs with into Solomon Islands territories without detection.
“The contributing factors of the emerging security risks is the porousness of Temotu Provincial international borders.
“Temotu Provincial borders becoming vulnerable to criminal network to operate in our space to smuggle drugs, transnational organized crime and illegal, unlicensed and unregulated fishing operations that the Immigration bill believed addressing them,” said Lanoli.
Hon Lanoli confirmed Temotu Provincial encouraged the national government improving infrastructures for Temotu Province to facilitate border trading, and tourism between Torres and Banks and Temotu Province, the critical infrastructures for Temotu Province.
“I want to see Lata airport and wharf upgraded and improved to meet the maritime and air services to complement the government national security plan for the eastern border,” he said.
“Temotu Provincial government supported the National government redirection policy and Immigration reform under the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labor and Immigration. Temotu Provincial Government pleased to see the government redirection through reforming the Immigration laws and other national laws supporting national border security and economic developments,” said Lanoli.
Lanoli also confirmed the Temotu Provincial Government’s commitment for the proposed Tervau Basic border agreement with Torres and Banks Province and Temotu Province for border trading, and deepening bilateral relationship.
MCILI Deputy Secretary, Eric George acknowledged the Temotu Provincial Government for supporting the Immigration consultation review for Temotu Province.
George thanked the Pacific Immigration Development Community support for reforming the Immigration Act 2012 expanding the proposed new Immigration bill to decentralize Immigration services and operations safeguarding our sovereignty, adapt to government changing policies and national borders.
George also clarified the importance of Immigration review is to for the new Immigration bill to work harmoniously with Foreign Investment and Labor allowing laws creating operating environment for socio-economic developments.
George assured Temotu Provincial Government that their contributions and inputs are important to the new Immigration Bill.
“The Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labor and Immigration fully committed to supporting Temotu Provincial Government and its people.
“The Ministry is pleased to see strong ambitions in engaging with Torres and Banks Province of Vanuatu for the proposed Tervau Basic Border Arrangement proposed for border trading and traditional movement,” he said.
Immigration Expert Review Team consisted of multi-agency stakeholders consisted of Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs, Ministry of Police, National Security, and Correctional Services, Office of the Prime and Cabinet, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Ministry of Women, Youths, Children and Family Affairs, Customs, Royal Solomon Police Force and the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labor and Immigration.
The consultation workshop participants included the Temotu Provincial Government Executive, Provincial Heads of Division, women, community leaders, Principal Magistrate, Royal Solomon Islands Police Force, Correctional Service, Customs, Provincial Health and Immigration.