During the Christmas holidays, an American national residing on the island was reportedly arrested for immigration offenses. The male individual is well- known on the island but apparently had been in the country illegally for some time. Thus, island residents and even local authorities were stunned when the Director of Immigration released him without charges.

Immigration officials on the island stated that they were instructed by the Director of Immigration to further interview the detainee. They indicated that he had failed to extend his stay in the country for the past several months due to improper guidance towards a residency application and that he was unaware of how to deal with the situation. After being interviewed and based on his activities on the island and in good standing with the local authorities, his case was found justifiable. According to the Immigration Department, its Director then ordered any charges to be removed after payment was made for his arrears, which were confirmed to be mere months and not the rumored years. “He had been illegal for a couple of months, and not years,” the immigration officer said. “He had a justifiable reason, he had a passport and paid his past dues,” the immigration officer stated. It was also indicated that even though the person is now legally in the country, he cannot engage in any working activity until he gets a work permit.

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