Amidst the slow pace of the ongoing foreigner residents registration, Nimba County Detachment Commander of the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS), Col. Yea F. Dolopaye, is calling on aliens residing in the county to take advantage of the ongoing exercise to regularize their status.
The exercise, according to Col. Dolopaye, is being carried out jointly by LIS personnel from Monrovia and Nimba and the Liberia National Police, kicked off in October in the county’s capital, Sanniquillie, and will affect all part s of the county.
Nimba straddles neighbouring Guinea and La Cote d’Ivoire in the northeast of the country.
Col. Dolopaye said, her office has observed that the registration is moving on “a very slow pace,” something she attributed to the refusal or reluctance of aliens to regularize their statues contrary to the laws of Liberia.
According to Col. Dolopaye, after entering the country, the foreigners are given a period of three months (90) days to enable them visit Immigration authorities to regularize their status, but those in Nimba are taking the grace period as a right to live in the country without regularizing their statuses.
According to her, this act on the part of some nationals from other countries is counterproductive and has the tendency to defraud the government of lawful revenue and undermine the LIS’ strives to combat illegal entry and stay in the country.
She noted that the exercise is peaceful and meant to get record on foreigners and aliens residing in the county, adding “this exercise is not a witch hunt or an attempt to embarrass people who are non-Liberians.”
Col. Dolopaye stated that unlike other counties, Nimba hosts more foreigners due to its strategic bordering connection with two countries of the sub-region (Guinea and Ivory Coast) and the number of borders the county shares with those countries.
According to the LIS official, Nimba has a total of 55 border points that the exercise covers and must not be looked at as witch-hunt or an attempt to get at non-Liberians who are residing in the county.
Alien registration is a normal exercise conducted at anytime by LIS personnel to take record on foreigners entering, residing or leaving the territorial limits of Liberia, according to Col. Dolopaye.