Fourth Floor, Immigration Headquarters Gloucester Street Freetown, _Wednesday 25 October 2023-The United States (US) Embassy Assistant Regional Security Investigator in Sierra Leone, Kristen Hale, has paid a courtesy call on the Chief Immigration Officer (CIO), Hon. Alusine Kanneh, assured him of support in the area of cooperation of immigration active participation in the interview process of all alleged Sierra Leonean nationals who have no legal rights to remain in the US under the following categories; Foreign National Offenders, Failed Asylum Seekers and over stayers.
Congratulating the CIO for his new appointment, the US Assistant Regional Security Investigator commended Hon. Alusine Kanneh for the transformation he has brought to the Immigration Office.
She informed the CIO that the US Embassy Regional Security wants to work with the Immigration Department to address the establishment of periodic information, sharing system on visa refusals of applicants who attempt to obtain visas thereby providing counterfeit supporting documents.
For regular engagement with your office, she added potential training opportunities for the Sierra Leone Immigration Department needed. Kristen Hale also told the CIO that the US Government is strongly working towards enhancing the capacity of Immigration Offices across Africa especially, in terms of border management.
“It is my job to talk to the head office to fix some of these problems. And I hope we will be able to address the historic issue of people obtaining illegal passports” she said.
Kristen Hale disclosed that one of the reasons for visiting the CIO was to see how they can work together in cracking down illegal passports from people who do not qualify to have a Sierra Leonean passport.
She intimated that as an investigator, they find it difficult to investigate cases of possession of illegal passports from people in the US, adding that with the support of the Immigration Department their work will definitely get easy.
The US Embassy Regional Security Investigator said they have been supporting the Immigration Office over the years, noting that capacity training is also important when it comes to the operational aspect of handling counterfeit documents.
Hon. Alusine Kanneh, Chief Immigration Officer thanked and appreciated the US Embassy Regional Security Investigator for paying him a visit, commending the US for their relentless support to the Immigration Department over the years.
He underscored the need for collaboration with the US Embassy in Sierra Leone and that the United States Government has played pivotal roles in discouraging people who are in the habit of possessing illegal passports.
He said the US Embassy has to continue in supporting the Immigration Office in capacity training for its staff, further noting that immigration issues are very complex issues that cannot be easily addressed. He encouraged the US Embassy Regional Security Investigator to have discussions with the US Ambassador to have further discussions in respect of migration issues.
The CIO heartily reciprocates the congratulatory message received by Kristen Hale, stating that he looked forward to seeing further strengthening family relationships with the US Embassy in Sierra Leone.
He requested the US Embassy Regional Security Investigator to have further discussions in respect of investigating Foreign National Offenders, Failed Asylum Seekers and over stayers.
Hon. Alusine Kanneh told Kristen Hale that he has always wanted to head the Immigration Department because of his verse experience in immigration jobs and that since his appointment as the new Chief Immigration Officer, there were so many laguna at the Immigration Office but with support from his staff, they are making some progress.
He noted, his appointment as the new CIO was not a surprise because he knew he had to go there to add value to the department. He assured of re-branding the Immigration Department in the eyes of the public especially, those who have over the years turned blind eyes to the institution.
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