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Immigration not involved in racial profiling! – Hamilton

Immigration not involved in racial profiling! – Hamilton

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Stanford Hamilton, head of the Immigration Department, has denied allegations that two African nationals, Benjamin Fife Danquah and Emmanuel Johnson Chijioke were detained on the basis of racial profiling.{{more}}

“I deny categorically that the Immigration Department is involved in racial profiling,” Hamilton told SEARCHLIGHT.

“The Immigration Department is a border security agency and we uphold the law. I wouldn’t even attempt to justify the issue of pigmentation – this really does not have anything to do with that,” he continued.

Hamilton was responding to comments made by Jomo Thomas, lawyer for the two men.

Thomas said that he was “absolutely certain if these two gentlemen were of European extraction there is no way they would have spent this amount of time in jail.”

The two Africans were freed from Her Majesty’s Prisons on September 1, 2010, by the High Court, as a result of a Habeus Corpus Motion filed by Thomas.

Chijioke had been imprisoned since February 2006, while Danquah had been in custody since December 2005.

“The Immigration department stands committed to securing the borders and to upholding aspects of national security,” Hamilton explained.

“We continue to work with all the other border control agencies, Customs, Coast Guard and the Police. We all have our different functions, but it is through our collaborative efforts that we have been able to keep a tight security on our borders,” he said.

Hamilton further explained that although the majority of persons caught in the country who are illegal come from the region, the Department has never had a bias, and in every case, took the necessary legal actions against the individuals.

He further added that his department needed to maintain a policy of being strict when it came to securing the country’s borders, or they would be deemed a “soft target” by outsiders.

“It is for the benefit of the nationals, because the people need to know that they are alright and feel safe,” he said. (DD)

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