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Immigration chief warns foreigners

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The Commissioner General at the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS) Col. Robert Budy, Sr. has issued a warning to aliens and foreigners living in Liberia to legalize their stay in the country by obtaining Liberian documents the rightful way.

“To authenticate your stay in this country as an alien or foreigners, I encourage you to obtain any of Liberian documents the rightful way to avoid you getting in problem,” Col. Budy said recently at a one – day awareness forum on aliens and foreigners.

The forum was organized by the LIS aimed at providing consciousness on the rules and regulations that govern an alien and foreigners in Liberia. It was held at the Young Women Christian Association’s (YWCA) conference hall in Congo Town, bringing together members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and non-members.

At the forum, Commissioner General Budy says aliens should operate under the law of Liberia by getting into the country through the official border points in order to get the right documents that would qualify them to become legitimate aliens in Liberia.

The LIS boss says an alien or a foreigner is not to illegally enter any country and acquire the country’s documents through unauthorized persons or medium.

According to him, an attempt for any alien to get involved in such act it automatically poses a security threat to the country, something he says, would lead authorities of the country to suspicion as it relates to the person’s true identity.

“Instead of seeking illegal means of living in Liberia as an alien, follow the rules and regulations that require an alien to obtain a valid alien documents from the LIS and its partners in order to guarantee your stay as an alien in this country,” Col. Budy cautions.

However, he discloses that the bulk of the aliens’ illegal entry and stay problems in Liberia are from member states (ECOWAS), and as such he calls on them to patiently follow the documentation process.

Col. Budy indicates that no matter how hard it might appear to be, aliens must help the Government of Liberia in carrying out its function of protecting all and properties.

Also speaking at the forum, the Deputy Commissioner General for Naturalization at LIS, Atty. Asatu Bah-Kenneth discloses that LIS has a plan to digitalize its database system.

According to her, digitalizing the database system will make the data collections and tracing system of immigrants to function faster.

Deputy Commissioner Bah-Kenneth also calls on all aliens who are in Liberia not to follow the wrong path of being an accredited alien in the country.

She stresses the need to adhere to GOLs regulations, saying if they want to stay in this country without getting into problem, it’s important that they work along with the government which will in return them.

In remarks, aliens and foreigners at the forum extolled the LIS for organizing such gathering aimed at clearing their doubts on many things.

They add that they have been wishing for such awareness occasion, saying it would have helped them by saving them of the many stresses and embarrassments they have experienced as aliens in Liberia.

They, however, express joy of how they have been living in peace since they came to Liberia, an ECOWAS member state. They pledge to uphold the rule of law of Liberia and appeal for more meetings of such to be held by the LIS.

By Lewis S. Teh–Edited by Winston W. Parley

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