Woman fined, turned over to immigration officers
After spending two nights on remand at Her Magistrate’s Prison for staying in the British Virgin Islands without a valid permit, Fior Feliciano changed her plea to guilty when she returned to court for trial yesterday, January 19.
Magistrate Ayanna Baptiste DaBreo subsequently fined the 34-year-old offender $1,000.
Feliciano will serve two months at Her Majesty’s Prison if she does not pay the fine.
Before noting that she is turning over the Dominican Republic native to Immigration officers, Magistrate DaBreo stated: “I do not believe this is a situation that warrants imprisonment.”
It is not clear if the offender will be deported.
Feliciano pleaded not guilty when she first appeared before the magistrate three days ago.
The court heard that she lost her job as a waitress at a bar in Sea Cow’s Bay back in October 2016.
With her work permit immediately becoming invalid, Feliciano went to the Immigration Department and sought a new permit to stay in the territory.
The court heard that immigration officers instructed her to submit a few documents for a new permit to be processed.
It is reported that, on November 10, Feliciano submitted some of the required documents and was told to return with the others.
She did not return, and instead cut off communication with the Immigration Department.
It is reported that immigration officers held her on January 13.
She was subsequently charged with overstaying.
Magistrate DaBreo initially denied the woman bail after noting that she (Feliciano) did not have any remaining ‘time’ in the jurisdiction.
Copyright 2023 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.