BVI News

Outrageous! Infant separated from mother at airport — Skelton Cline

The Terrance B Lettsome Airport on Beef Island

Talk show host Claude Skelton Cline has alleged that the mother of a six-month-old baby was separated from her child recently after being made to leave the BVI to change employers.

The host lambasted the Immigration Department and its policy for the perceived lack of discretion in its enforcement.

“The whole matter of persons needing to leave the country needs to be suspended. That thing is a policy, it’s not the law,” he said on his Honestly Speaking radio show on Thursday.

According to Skelton Cline, he received a complaint sometime ago about the issue and was summoned to “run interference”.

The host said he received a call to lend assistance to a woman who had to leave the country to return because she had to get her work permit transferred to a new employer.

“Now here’s this woman — she’s leaving the country, she has a six-month-old baby. [She] gets to the airport and then they tell her the baby can’t leave but she has to go. Can you imagine that? A six-month-old baby,” Skelton Cline reported.

He said the woman was left to call her intended employer to come for the infant.

“You mean to tell me there’s no discretion? There’s no occasion to extend some kindness, some courtesy to assist people?” he asked.

Skelton Cline further stated that the woman was forced to leave the country without her baby and found difficulty when trying to return to the BVI because “things aren’t being done”.

He repeatedly called on the Minister of Labour & Immigration to address the issue because he felt some direction needed to be given on the matter.

Locals cautioned to treat strangers better

Skelton Cline, a clergyman, cautioned BVIslanders about the way “we are treating people amongst us”.

“There’s going to come a time when our children, our sons, our daughters are going to be in somebody else’s place. Every dog has its day now, every country has their season – where you’re going to need somebody else somewhere, to assist your child, to assist your mother, to assist your grandfather, to assist your daughter.”

The talk show host said these issues are happening at the worst of time; with many people already burdened with all manner of challenges because of the pandemic.

“We continue to put people through unnecessary pains when we have certain discretions to exercise greater prudence, courtesy, [and] kindnesses towards people.

Cline said he was not advocating for rules to be broken, but insisted, “there needs to be some discretion exercised relative to how persons are being treated in this country.”

 

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61 Comments

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  1. Agreed says:

    For once I agree with something this man says. This requirement to leave is absolute nonsense.

    Like 122
    Dislike 7
    • Yup says:

      Only the racist Belonger would do something like this. The absolute funny part is that they are Caribbean Negros just like the Belonger. It is the epitome of racism. Hopefully the Brits through the COI will end this crap and put the Belonger back…way back to where he belongs.

      Like 46
      Dislike 13
      • Kingfish says:

        @Yup: It seems that you are still living in the VERY DARK AGES, this is not racism, it is a stupid
        policy, why did you have to bring race into this and besides what is a Caribbean Negro and where will the Brits put the Belonger and where does he belong. It seems to me that you are the racist.

        Like 10
        Dislike 1
      • Yup says:

        Agreed

        The inherent racism, oppression and ignorance is appalling. Maybe the UN needs to get involved as this is a human rights issue.

        The lack of empathy and basic compassion is always blatantly present in our officials towards expats. Even visitors. So sad that we project this image to the world. People of the world know it, see it, and read about it. They then vote with their feet and go elsewhere, taking those much needed dollars with them.

        We must do better or we will fail even more

        Like 3
        Dislike 1
    • I would agree says:

      That was not a nice thing, Why would they separate a six month old baby from the mother. That is not right.

      Like 54
      Dislike 1
    • Not surprised says:

      We all know that the hatred towards expats run deep in the vains of many locals…..So, this should not be a surprise. Yet, these are the same locals who want to go to the USA and want equal treatment SMH

      Like 47
      Dislike 5
  2. Me thinks says:

    Maybe Gubmint can have a consultant study this. Hmmm, who can we hire for 6 figures that makes noise like a loud fart but work don’t amount to a pile of.,,,

    Like 24
    Dislike 6
  3. @ CSC says:

    EITHER YOU SEEING THE LIGHT OR YOU źJUST PLAYING THE FIELD 🤔 ANYWAY YOU HAVE JUST OPEN A CAN OF WORMS AND ITS GOING TO HAVE A BACKLASH FOR REVEALING THE TRUTH FOR A START

    Like 18
    Dislike 2
  4. Unconventional leadership says:

    CSC, too little, too late. Something is brewing. This nonsense has been happening for a while, strangely you now see it fit to speak out, while all the while you have been anti expat. You only now realized how we were treated. You remind me of Al Sharpton. But thanks, no thanks, no matter how we suffer under the hands of your immigration minister and this oppressive administration I say we will never accept you as a voice speaking on our behalf.

    We know who you are, we will never allow you to gain on the backs of the expats. Where were you when the 7% were levied on the backs of my people, not a word. Honestly speaking you are getting me really annoyed with your turn around face. Something is brewing, it is all about to blow in the COI. Leave my people out of it and out of your ingenuity. Our time will come, we have a God, He have heard the prayers of His people. He will deliver, it will not be through you. We will wait for our Joshua. Thanks but no thanks.

    Like 53
    Dislike 8
  5. reality says:

    she got pregnant had a child so wheres the father? why did she not have documents for the infant to travel? Why is she changing jobs after less than 5 years with a young infant?
    Answer all these questions first, the law is the law.

    Like 11
    Dislike 85
    • Lacey says:

      Why are you bvi people so heartless and mean to same black people? You guys forget when the hurricane destroy your island is the same people who came to help rebuild? What makes you guys better than us , just a bunch of wicked set of people but don’t worry when you guys require help not a soul will be their to help you guys. Nonsense where her child father is her business and if she changes job between 5 years also her business that’s not your concern am sure she had travel documents for traveling but because of alyo hatred and spite for a down island people. Half you guys on that island can’t even make a whole….

      Like 41
      Dislike 9
      • Yep says:

        I am a BVI Islander and I totally agree with you. I live abroad and every time I go back home I realize how unpleasant and rude we are to ourselves and expats. We have to do better than this, prejudice for other territories has got to stop.

        Like 39
        Dislike 4
    • Belonger says:

      No excuse to separate a young baby from its mom.. Law u say, so called policy put in place frig with mankind as far as I see. Obviously u seen to be Al set up so u don’t know how wrong this is…

      Like 17
      Dislike 3
      • yes law I say says:

        You CANNOT leave a country with a child unless she has travel documents for that child i:e a passport or a birth certificate and if it is with a birth certificate then THE FATHER must be there or have given written permission for the child to leave.

        Ask yourselves this question: WHY DID HER EMPLOYER COLLECT THE CHILD?

        Idiots everyone one of you

        Like 17
        Dislike 17
    • @Reality says:

      LET ME TELL YOU SOME REAL REALITY, IT IS NOT YOUR PLACE NOR IS IT YOUR BUSINESS TO INQUIRE THE WHEREABOUTS OF THE BABY’S FATHER. IT IS NOT YOUR PLACE TO WONDER WHY THE WOMAN IS CHANGING EMPLOYMENT. HOW DO YOU KNOW SHE DID NOT HAVE PROPER TRAVEL DOCUMENTS FOR THE BABY. THE LAW IS THE LAW. I DIDNOT KNOW WE HAD LAWS IN THE BVI SANS EVERYONE DOES AS THEY PLEASE.

      Like 18
      Dislike 2
    • Belonger says:

      It’s not a law.

  6. Ghost says:

    Hire Guy Hill. All dem politicians uncomfortable with that man in immigration ,why there is a CV clown at the helm.

    Like 15
  7. ReX FeRaL says:

    Now here’s this woman — she’s leaving the country, she has a six-month-old baby. [She] gets to the airport and then they tell her the baby can’t leave but she has to go. Can you imagine that? A six-month-old baby,” Skelton Cline reported.

    I DO NOT BELIEVE THIS REGARDLESS OF WHO IT IS COMING FROM

    Like 27
    Dislike 2
  8. Tongue Fu says:

    Rare to hear anything sensible and reasonable from CSC but we dwell in hope.

    The policy is ridiculous in the best of times and more outrageous now in the worst of times and here is why:

    1 The persons could easily be charged a fee and remain here until the process is complete. In addition to that they would spend more money in our economy while they wait here for the process to be completed.

    2 Getting people back to work as quick as possible to get the economy moving should be our priority. Government policies should assist small businesses not get in their way. Getting more people back to work means more taxes, more SS fees, work permit fees etc. Its a WIN/WIN.

    3 In these covid times why are you encouraging more non-essential movement?

    4 It would save money on airline tickets/ hotels/ etc. and have that money be used for a more essential reason.

    Like 25
    Dislike 2
    • Peace says:

      I will admit that I am speaking from lack of knowledge here. I don’t quite understand you having to leave when changing jobs unless it the equivalent of what happens in the U.S. that even in working in the U.S. if you are not a citizen you have to leave after a certain amount of time and reapply to get back in even if you are still employed by the same company.

      As for the situation with the child and not knowing the particulars that is a red herring that I will leave alone.

  9. Strupes says:

    Don’t make any sense of what you are saying! Was the baby attached to her passport? How was the baby going to be received in her country through immigration? Stop dividing the country and go look for work to do. Do you think it’s easy in the USA or even other countries? Sick of you! I will never vote for you, so stop this mess right away.

    Like 19
    Dislike 4
  10. Care says:

    Looks like Claude running the country now.let him keep putting he foot in he mouth till he get choke .

    Like 10
  11. systems says:

    For years, i have been saying this. that the immigration is responsible for some of our social ills esp with family separation. they have to be some sort of discretion. A person without his or her wife or husband — what you think gonna happen in the long run? infedelity, adultery and broken homes in our society which contributed to single parenting thus putting strain on the social system.

    Like 16
    Dislike 2
  12. Quietly Watching says:

    Well, I cannot say that CSC isn’t making sense on this. He is absolutely right. If a small child, six months is involved, somebody needed to use that vessel in their chest that pumps blood to their brain and make a decision. And if a decision could not be made on the spot, with God in the midst, they should have let her take her child or assist her in leaving on another day through the airlines assistance. You see, that saying today for me tomorrow for you is something my grandparents and great aunts and uncles taught me. And the 7 years of plenty and the 7 years of famine, well that is Biblical. We have to be careful the seeds we sow in this life.

    I am not happy about how persons are being allowed to walk into this country and tell you they are coming on a two-week vacation and a month later they are working selling drinks in a strip club or stacking shelves in a supermarket. Things should not work like that. There is no reciprocity for that anywhere else in the Caribbean or elsewhere for the ones working in the yachting industry.
    Lots of young men would jump at those jobs. Entry level jobs should be for your own, the bikers on the streets can stack shelves. If they were given an opportunity to formulate a good work ethic from 16, get up, go to work and grow in a company, they would not be at 25+ riding bikes and being idle. But Immigration has got to get it together and grow some gonards and tell persons, point blank what they can and cannot do.

    I am getting tired of these men who are in serious positions who are not decision makers and do not have a vision as to where they want to go and grow their Ministry. Ladies, we are going to have to take over if this continues. It is a pain in the buttocks watching this. Men, be the leaders God created you to be. Sit on your porch, look up to the sky and ask God to guide you and then use the brain he gave you and look forward one year, five years, ten, twenty years where do you want Natural Resources and Labour, Health and Welfare, Transportation and Works, Finance, Education and Agriculture. It is not rocket science. It just takes serious thought and introspection and if your brain is not suited to that type of work, leave Politics alone or since you are already there, simply Google and see what the rest of the Caribbean is doing, the rest of the World is doing and tweek it to fit our small islands. My goodness, God help us all. Alright, Y..nky Preacher you are right this time.

    Like 18
    Dislike 3
  13. Joshua says:

    It is indeed a down right shame and an indictment on all the expats so called pastors in tortola. Every last one of them. Not one can be found from East to the bay to the west who will speak out and speak up for the injustices done to expats in this territory. Why? Glad you ask, every last one of them it is not a matter of being politically correct it is because they are looking for the crumbs that fall from the master’s table.

    There is not my God not a Joshua among one of them. None to stand up and be a lone voice in the wilderness. You are satisfied to stay in your lane and not offend the status quo.

    When God looked for a man to lead his people he found a moses. When He wanted another man and He asked who will go for us He found a willing Isaiah. Who can He find in tortola among the cowering expats pastors. Who will stand either inside or outside the four walls and declare let my people go. Guess all of you when you take off your robes you will see that all you have under there is a short pants. Shame on all of you. I double dare anyone of you to respond to me. From the east to the bay or the west.

    Like 7
    Dislike 5
  14. *Hmm says:

    I don’t understand, what’s the reason for the child not being able to leave with his/her mother?

    • ok says:

      the childs father is a bvislander and so the child could not leave without him, thats her new employer, is it starting to make sense yet…

      Like 5
      Dislike 3
    • Clarity says:

      I said the same thing. Can someone please share the whole story? Is it that the baby did not have travel documents? The spin here does not pass the smell test. BVINEWS please do some research. Thanks.

      Like 8
      Dislike 1
  15. Super cow says:

    This is one of many flaws in rigid airline policies. In light of this situation, do we expect to see any proactive effort to make amendments by those we perceive to be of higher intelligence than ourselves. Please be responsible. Be safe. This is not the last time you will see such foolishness on display. There is moore to come. Mooore. Moooore!! Buckle up and brace for it!!

  16. MJ says:

    Hebrews 13:2, NASB: “Do not neglect hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.”
    Deuteronomy 10:19 ESV / Love the sojourner, therefore, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.
    You intolerant, unfair lot you will get your just deserts

  17. GTFOH says:

    I’m calling BS on this story. Why would they separate the mother from a child especially a new born, it makes no sense at all. Government doesn’t have a daycare. Only the legal guardians meaning the mother then the father can be the caretaker of the child for any extended period of time. Government cannot force a mother to give her newborn to a stranger, her boss, or even a family member without an official Court Order. It can only happen if the mother is sentenced to prison for a crime or is deemed legal unfit as a parent and the child is taken from her and if she doesn’t have rights to the territory most likely she would be made to leave with the child in that case. If this story really is true she should sue because this is an easy win for any lawyer.

    Like 15
    Dislike 4
    • @gtfoh says:

      Have you considered that maybe the boss is the father? Why else would the mother call the boss and not the child’s father.
      Apart from that I do agree that it is absolute nonsense that the child was separated. But then maybe there was a good reason the mother herself agreed to leave the child behind. After all, she would then need permission from immigration to bring the child back into the Territory.

      • GTFOH says:

        I didn’t actually take that into consideration. I maybe out of touch but screwing your boss usually is a bad career move for the long term.

  18. WEW says:

    What else is new. “Locals” have always treated none belongers like sh.. They believe that because they’re black they can’t be called racist.

    Like 23
    Dislike 7
  19. Expat. says:

    I was locked out during border closures last year and i begged and pleaded to various ministry to return during the time the locals were allowed to return but my begging and pleading falls on deaf ears. My 2 kids here had to suffer during the lockdown as i was not there with them during those trial times. A father can do so much but every child needs a mother presence.

    Like 22
  20. Unconventional leadership says:

    One person who sounded knowledgeable said it is because the infant doesn’t have a passport. Most countries that I know would accept an infant that age with a birth certificate. As long as one parent is from the country it is clock work. The immigration should have known that and if in doubt make a call. This is tortola bvi love.

    Like 9
    Dislike 2
  21. Belonger says:

    I can’t believe this is the same CSC who always sowing seeds of discord.
    Has God appeared to him in a dream or was it Hickinbottom?

    Like 10
  22. Belonger says:

    Damn wickedness, yall evil no doubt…. How can you take away a young baby from its mother…im crying😭 yall have no shame at all. Do you know how important it is during that time for a mother and her child especially if that child is still freaking breastfeeding!!?! Lord have mercy on his nation… Time will come and no one would be holding their hand out to give you willingly BVI… Oh BVI yall sickening

    Like 9
    Dislike 2
  23. The Big Con says:

    You must have heard of “The Big Lie”? The Donald’s assertion that the US election was stolen?

    The BVI Immigration Department utilises “The Big Con”. They toss together their rampant xenophobia with the notion that the individual actors employed by Immigration have zero authority, zero discretion, and zero ability to think outside the box (actually, all three are most probably true). They are noting more than parrots, repeating what they have been fed by superiors.

    It’s pretty clear that Common Sense never will find a home in the BVI Immigration Department.

    Like 10
    Dislike 2
  24. Love says:

    This do not make sense for her to leave it means she was here less than 2 yrs. Not sure why people get offended when them know the rules it is more to the story than this here.

    Like 5
    Dislike 2
  25. Secret Bear says:

    A few thoughts: During Covid times, work permit holders should be exempted from leaving the country. It’s just common sense. BUT. This woman clearly didn’t have the proper documents (i.e birth certificate) to take the baby out of the country, and she should have known that before going to the airport. Unless she was required to leave overnight, which I doubt, she should have had time to get proper documentation and/or arrange for child care while she was gone, if not. It’s absurd to characterise the BVI as “separating a child from its mother.” What if she had been trying to kidnap this child away from its father, which happens A LOT? There needs to be precautions in place to protect children.

    Like 8
    Dislike 2
  26. Lord help says:

    Who is taking care of the child now?

  27. I said what I said… says:

    Reality get you stinking h** ***nt… you must be one of them stinking employer that treat us immigrants like s**t and expect us to stay when treated like s**t… f**k Tortola and dem law… soon this place gonna be nothing without us immigrants… labour and immigration department is trashed…

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  28. PLease says:

    Some of you people whether your from here or where ever, need to use your brain. you don’t have the facts of this, just listening to gossip and you’ll go from there. please stop it. please.

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
  29. Rubber Duck says:

    The world is changing. This is twice running I agree with CSK.

    The whole issue of making people leave the island is a human rights scandal worthy of the NAZIS.

    Like 4
    Dislike 2
  30. Facts? says:

    If you live here very long you don’t question a story like this. Sounds like stuff I see happening all the time.
    So all you ‘baby got no passport’ people, please hush you mouth.
    It is their country. We are in it as ‘non belongers’ So what more you need to hear to get your ‘facts’
    All these immigration laws are written by belongers. It’s the same crap you see in Mississippi…down there them preachers make noise every now and then too. But it is still Mississippi.
    Nothing going to change here from this nut trying to get some attention for himself.

    Like 4
    Dislike 6
  31. Red shoes says:

    Tortola going to get a serious disaster only a matter of time

    Like 3
    Dislike 5
  32. Nonsensical says:

    There are a number of these repressive policies around, for example a child has been living her since he was 3weeks old. The child was listed as a resident on the Parents residency status paper for the past ten years. The Parents are now Belongers and citizens. Now that the child is 18years old the child is no longer a resident, but must apply to immigration to in order to stay in the country and must now apply for residency status. Does this makes any sense at all?

  33. wow says:

    so the BVI sending out a mother of a young child just because she is changing her job and has to get a different permit while they have a S D of St. Vincent resign here as a visitor since before the pandemic till she made a baby and working as a visitor and going into immigration for time every 3 and 4 months. This is pure NONESENSE BVI!!!

  34. idea says:

    The BVI is very hard on the expats who fall in love with the territory and want to make it home. Fact is, and after many years of giving, Tortola will never welcome you as one of theirs…and this mentality is driving the island down. look at the economy and how BVI behaved during the pandemic by closing its doors for people who invested years of their life…just shameful. BVI can block you out in flick of event and you will find yourself blocked outside the island with no hope of returning….

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  35. to be clear says:

    The child the 6 month old infant is a BVIslander so cannot leave the country with his mother who lives on another caribbean island without permission from the infants father, her boss who came and collected the child….making sense yet, Claude taking s**t as usual

  36. Jane says:

    The whole restriction on expats being bound to work for the same employer for five years or face being required to make an indefinite and expensive exit from the Territory (their home for the last five years) seems to serve no purpose other than to keep us ex-pats in “our place”. The impact is that employers can treat employees with absolute impunity, knowing that their work-permit holders have to take whatever mistreatment is given. It is akin to modern day indentured servants, just a step up from slavery. It also ensures that wages and conditions are kept low, which is bad for BVIslanders getting employment, because quite reasonably they won’t tolerate this abuse. This law is supposed to protect BVIslanders but it does the opposite. The whole Immigration and Labor Department, its policies and procedures are not fit for purpose. They are soviet in their inefficiencies but ensure that many BVIslanders are kept in government jobs enforcing these demeaning, inhumane and totally bonkers rules to ensure that all ex-pats (of all races and nationalities) know that we do not Belong, will never Belong which ultimately seems to be the MO of the BVI immigration philosophy.

  37. Captain Flint says:

    The only thing I have agreed with this man. This draconian “leave the island” because you change jobs is unjust and unfair and can be economically devastating as well as degrading and putting us our ‘place’ but to have to leave the child is emotional abuse. I understand that expats are not welcome here but without us some of the jobs would not get done.

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