Caines coy on PLP immigration meeting

  • General response: Wayne Caines, the Minister of National Security (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

A forum on immigration was held behind closed doors last night at Alaska Hall, the Progressive Labour Party headquarters, on Court Street in Hamilton.

The town hall meeting, billed as open to all, was announced yesterday as “for PLP members only” by a party press officer.

Wayne Caines, the Minister of National Security, said that the Q&A-style forum had been well attended and that it had not focused on any one specific aspect of immigration.

Otherwise, Mr Caines refused to be drawn on the specifics of the meeting, in particular the topic of mixed-status families.

He added: “I talked about immigration reform generally and gave an overview of what the Department [of Immigration] is doing — the strengths, what we are trying to build on.”

Mr Caines said that work was being done to organise public meetings to discuss the issue.

The forum featured Mr Caines, who is responsible for immigration, with Renée Ming, a PLP MP and member of the bipartisan parliamentary committee on immigration reform.

Leah Scott, the deputy Opposition leader and a member of the committee, posted online on Monday that she had sought clarity from Mr Caines about the whether the meeting was open to the public.

Ms Scott cited “the sensitivity and emotion around immigration and any proposed reform” as well as the “vital need for inclusion and input”.

She said the reform committee would hold public meetings of its own for discussions on immigration.