The Minister of Justice & Attorney General of Liberia, Frank Musa Dean says the reforming and restructuring within the Liberia Immigration Service is very important because it leads to greater capacity and integrity within the entity.
The Minister said the strengthening of any security entity and its workforce is important for the growth and development of that institution, especially in the LIS in the Country.
The Liberian Attorney General said in order to enforce their mandate as Immigration Officers, they much be disciplined, earn distinctions in their various capacities and realize that they are the first point of contact of entry within the Country.
Moreover, we must realize that law enforcement is a fundamental component of the rule of law, maintaining that being a post-conflict society, we have suffered from endemic dysfunction with regards to severe inadequacies in adherence to the rule of law.
The Justice Minister who spoke through a proxy, Massa Jallabah, said a breakdown in the rule of law gives rise to high rates of crime, lawlessness and a general decline of individual security, safety and the internal security of the state.
He further said without an adequate level of law enforcement, it is impossible to achieve sustainable peace and security or to reinforce the rule of law.
“Your mandate as Liberia Immigration Officers as enshrined in the Alien and Nationality Law of Liberia is to implement enforce, safeguard and protect the borders and boundaries of the Republic of Liberia,” Minister Dean stressed.
Additionally, it is realized that there is no fulfillment if a person does not find purpose in what they do, noting I want you to know that we appreciate your diligent service rendered, challenges you face and will continue to work with you in acquiring the result in the Country.
He further said in order to recognize diligent and hardworking officers, the Liberia Immigration Service Act of 2016 was passed and made provisions for creation of the policy Management Board, adding with the board being functional, I look forward to the activities shaping the challenges faced by our officers, I recognize several challenges faced, but I want you to know that said challenges are gradually being addressed.
The Minister made the statement through a proxy in Gbarnga, Bong County on May 10, 2019, during the official launch of the new ranking structure of the Liberia Immigration Service in the Country.
For his part, the Acting Commissioner General & chair of the Policy Management Board, Moses K. Yebleh, given some historical background of the LIS which he said was called the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization. He said the LIS is an agency of the Liberian government created in 1955 via legislation that tasked it with enforcing the Aliens and National Law.
The Acting Commissioner General informed citizens that the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS) Act of 2016, was passed by former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf into law replacing the Bureau of Immigration & Naturalization (BIN), which was established within the Ministry of Justice under Section 22.11, Sub-chapter (a), Chapter 22 of the Executive Laws; Chapter 12 of the Liberia Code of Law Revised; and Section 2.2 of the Alien Nationality Law of Liberia.
Commissioner Yebleh further said the reform process of the LIS is to improve the institution in the sense of better incentive for officers.
He, at the same time, said officers who are bearing rank at the LIS current salaries cannot commensurate with their work and as such if one bear a rank he/she should be making the money or salary for that rank.