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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

TweetThis! Immigration plan to allow dual citizenship - Kenya

Kenyans will soon enjoy dual citizenship if a new policy on immigration is adopted.
Children born outside the country by Kenyan mothers with non-Kenyan fathers also stand to benefit.

Immigration minister Otieno Kajwang was present during the debate by stakeholders of the draft policy at Laico Hotel in Nairobi on Tuesday.

If accepted, the draft developed through the assistance of International Organisation for Migration (IOM) will be taken to Mr Kajwang’s ministry before being forwarded to Cabinet and Parliament.

"There is no right moment other than now when we should address the issue of dual citizenship that continues to bother our diaspora population," Mr Kajwang said.

He added that the policy will also support broad national economic, social and human interests through effective border policing while still encouraging international trade, foreign investments, social interaction and regional integration.

Under the policy, people married to Kenyans will also have opportunity to become Kenyan citizens after fulfilling certain conditions.

An advisory committee on citizenship is also envisaged under the new policy.

The department of Immigration has operated without a government policy on immigration since 1950.

Mr Kajwang, who was accompanied by the IOM regional representative Mr Ashraf El Nour, said his ministry has developed an integrated "one stop shop border management concept backed with up to date technology that will enable all border agencies share information and process data within the reasonable times."

"The credibility of our performance in this front shall be measured by a simple yardstick: Ensuring that people, who should get in, do get in cheerfully; people who should not get in are kept out zealously; and people who are judged deportable are returned gracefully," he said.

He said the government’s duty was to make Kenya a destination of choice for everyone.

He restated plans by his ministry to compile a data base with photographs and fingerprints of all children above 12 years "so that when they get 16, they will get national identification cards automatically."

"This is the reason why we are developing an integrated population data base so that we can easily know who our citizens are and curb cheating," he said.

Mr Kajwang has previously announced plans to reduce the age at which Kenyans can acquire national IDs from 18 to 16 years - Nation.co.ke/News

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