Unions representing immigration officers defend their importance, amidst suggestions that they should be replaced by technology

The unions representing the island’s immigration officers are defending their importance, amidst suggestions that the individuals could be replaced with technology to allow for greater efficiency at the island’s ports. 

In a statement, the Jamaica Civil Service Association, (JCSA), acknowledged comments made by a former customs executive regarding the role of immigration officers being redundant.

The association said it found the comments disconcerting, especially considering the pivotal role immigration officials play in safeguarding the nation’s security.

It said immigration officers serve as frontline guardians of the nation’s borders, as they are responsible for vetting and processing individuals seeking entry. 

the JCSA added that their role extends beyond routine administrative tasks to identifying potential risks, such as individuals with criminal backgrounds or those who may pose a threat to public safety. 

Meantime, the National Workers Union, NWU, which also represents some of the immigration workers, said it is very concerned over the unfortunate statements regarding the role of immigration officers.

General Secretary Granville Valentine urged former Commissioner of Customs, Danville Walker to withdraw the comments.

He added that the unions are in support of the use of technology to aid in the immigration services but not to the detriment of employees.


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