President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Wednesday, September 8, 2015, submitted a bill titled: “the Liberia Immigration Service Act 2015” to the House of Representatives for enactment into law during its extraordinary session.
In a letter addressed to House Speaker J. Alex Tyler and read in session yesterday, President Sirleaf indicated that the Act shall enforce all laws and regulations relating to immigration, citizenship, naturalization and related matters.
According to her, the Liberia Immigration Service Act addresses policy issues needed to be in traditional values with international standards. “As Liberia commits to transition its system with that of its international partners, and its membership in the United Nations’ standard pattern of governance within the security apparatus, the Ministry of Justice has embarked on reforming the Liberia Immigration Service, known as the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization, in consultation and collaboration with all of the relevant stakeholders and security sectors in Liberia,” the letter is quoted as saying.
The President further named some of the cardinal points considered in the Act as providing a clear hierarchical structure, decentralization of the Liberia Immigration Service, respect of law, discipline of immigration officers, as well as immigration officers or civilian personnel being subjected to civilian authority of a Civilian Complaints Review Commission, among others.
She also requested the House of Representatives’ timely enactment of the Act into law in order to fulfill the government’s national and international commitment of being capable to maintain the peace and security in the absence of UNMIL, according to the letter.
“Mr. Speaker, in fulfillment of Liberia’s commitment to maintaining a secure and stable country in the absence of UNMIL, and considering the improved governance and hierarchical structure outlined in the Act, the Liberia Immigration Service will integrate and transition into international security standard in performance of its required immigration duties,” President Sirleaf’s letter re-emphasized.
After the reading of the communication, the House’s Plenary passed on the Act to the joint committees on Judiciary, National Security and Foreign Affairs for review with a recommendation to report within two weeks.
The BIN was established within the Ministry of Justice, under Section 22.11, Sub Chapter A, Chapter 22 of the Executive Law, Title 12 of the Liberia Code of Laws Revised and Section 2.2 of Title 4 of the Alien and Nationality Law of Liberia.
By Ben P. Wesee – Edited by George Barpeen