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New Measures Planned To Tackle Illegal Immigration

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

FOREIGN Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell expects to soon announce new measures the government will take to help clamp down on illegal immigration to this country.

Mr Mitchell, who has immigration in his portfolio, foreshadowed that “drastic measures” may have to be taken to stop the “revolving door” of immigrants who are repatriated only to quickly return to the country illegally.

“Within a couple of days I’m hoping, with the leave of the Cabinet, to announce some new initiatives with regard to documentation to try and stop new people from making applications in this country after just jumping off the boat,” he told the House of Assembly yesterday.

“(I’m also hoping) to tighten up the rules with regard to nationals and their passports and the requirement for people that have residency or permits here notwithstanding that they may have a contingent right to citizenship of this country at the age of 18.

“All of these rules have to be tightened up to stop this demand here or this inflow of people coming here unlawfully.”

Mr Mitchell’s comments came after he highlighted this country’s persistent problem with illegal immigration, noting that 105 people, all believed to be Haitian nationals, were apprehended in Ragged Island over the weekend, bringing the total number of apprehended immigrants for the month to 409.

“I’m also advised,” he said, “that three Cubans were interdicted at Wood Cay, which I believe is near Mangrove Cay, Andros, and they’ve also been brought in. The Cubans have been taken to Inagua.

“I think they are waiting for the weather to break because the Detention Centre is not able to hold anymore. It’s actually bursting at the seams, but we expect that repatriation flight will be taking place tomorrow which will remove half of those individuals back to Port au Prince.”

Mr Mitchell urged Bahamians to work with law enforcement officials to solve the problem which he believes persists in part because many illegal immigrants are supported by Bahamians.

“I had a very interesting comment made to me,” he said. “Among the people who came (recently), there were eight children and it turns out those eight children had been repatriated in this country about three to four weeks ago, so what you have is a revolving door going on here. We believe that there are Bahamians who are driving this smuggling effort which is coming in here. We are sitting with the intelligence chief to try and figure out how these things can be interrupted.

“It is to the point where in some communities people are on a knife’s edge about this and it may be that some drastic measures will have to be taken unlike we’ve seen in recent years when we’ve tried to bring this matter under control.

“What I do ask for is the support of the Bahamian people for the support of the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF), the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) and the Immigration Department to bring this matter under control. We have to know who is in this country. It is clear that undocumented people in this country cannot be here unless they have support and the comfort of Bahamians who keep them here (it is their) patriotic duty to stop that and support officials in their efforts to solve this immigration problem.”

Comments

Emac 5 years, 5 months ago

What a bunch of horse shite! Why do we pretend so much in this country? Everyone and his uncle knows even the good minister himself knows that the crux of the problems lies within his own department. The department is corrupt to the core! Stop allowing your team to catch illegals then release them once they can pay a couple thousand dollars. Ilegals are not afraid of immigration because they know they can be bought. Grab a pair of nuts and put your foot down! Do you job then you can come to the people to ask for their cooperation. The time has passed when officials can spoot out a bunch of empty talks and think that the people are impressed! Oh and by the way, the Tribune investigative staff sucks!!!

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GrassRoot 5 years, 5 months ago

ah, he was out of the stagelight lately. Welcome back. Couldn't stomach being not in the public's eye? So here is how 99% of the developed world countries work: 1. get the job done and 2. communicate after, unless you need more funds allocated by the Parliament to get the task done. Here in the Bahamas, it is all talk, and talk and talk. Nothing will happen.

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GrassRoot 5 years, 5 months ago

I would not want to see how the detention center's conditions are. Any pictures?

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empathy 5 years, 5 months ago

If "the government" were really intent on solving this problem they know full well what should be done. From prosecution of smugglers, boat captains can be identified if everyone is arrested and prosecuted (the migrants will give them up if they themselves are subjected to fines and jail time); "Bahamian" employers prosecuted, abolishment of the policy (or Constitutional amendment) which grants "citizenship" at 18 even for "illegals". Undercover operations in Haiti and the Bahamas to identify all those involved in smuggling including Bahamian officials. Proper finger printing and documentation of those apprehended, and showing respect and concern for people in general. If we did care, we'd do what was necessary to end this modern day slavery-like servitude.

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jackbnimble 5 years, 5 months ago

This system is corrupt to the bone. Some people in high places are being paid sweet dollars for all this smuggling and our Government is powerless or choose to remain powerless to stop it. We are the laughing stock of this hemisphere. We might as well just open the fri__n borders and let them come in. They coming in anyhow.

And this Minister is full of hot air. How many times must we read that they are "about to put measures in place.....yada, yada yada". I say stop the talking and do something that we can see and not hear!

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TalRussell 5 years, 5 months ago

No PLP can riles them Comrade reds more to go running up to Cooper's Town for they's Papa Hubert's return than when Minister Freedy announces that drastic measures may have to be taken to stop the “revolving door” of immigrants (mostly Haitians) who are repatriated only to quickly return to the country illegally. The red's leadership is done on the phone, summing a return of Haiti's President to once again rally he troops for the reds, come 2017. Hey you red shirts, the Haitian President's "unofficial visit" strategy backfired on your Papa in 2012 or did you forgets? Too many reds listening to that Creole Talk Show airing every night on that Creole Guardian Radio, but at same damn time are tuning out what Bahamalander's does really think them and they Papa Hubert.

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by TalRussell

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Emac 5 years, 5 months ago

Now you know that is balony. Both the FNM and PLP pander to the Haitian element.

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SP 5 years, 5 months ago

Hubert Ingraham is the most powerful Haitian in the Bahamas. Is he also the mastermind behind illegal Haitian smuggling?

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asiseeit 5 years, 5 months ago

We are already overrun by Haitians. Go anywhere except long Island and you will hear people speaking Creole. In Abaco I would say that there are more people of Haitian decent than Bahamian. Here in Nassau, if you live in the city most school age children speak passable Creole as they want to fit in. The politicians give these people citizenship for their vote, I know that for a fact, seen it with my own two eye's in the past. Bahamians have sold out their own country and when their children are forced out by the Haitian, Bahmians are the ones to blame! We are just smart like that!

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birdiestrachan 5 years, 5 months ago

Most Bahamians know that the Bahamas Government sends the illegals back on the plane and they come right back on the boat. if they get pass the Defence force on Monday the children will be in the school, the women will be in the hospital giving birth. and the men will go to work. and if they stay long enough the government will give them Citizen ship so why not come.? They are coming to stay with their family members who are already here.

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SP 5 years, 5 months ago

Mitchell is a flaming jackass. After 41 years of lip service PLP and FNM continue rattling sabers and doing nothing tangible about the Haitian invasion.

The proof is undeniably evident that PLP and FNM policies greatly encourage illegal Haitians and others to come.

Illegal Haitians have more rights in the Bahamas than they do in Haiti at the expense of tax paying Bahamians. There are no free schools and medical care in Haiti.

Haitians hate Bahamians and openly disrespect our country. Why the hell should we pay to care for them?

Now this jackass PLP government is heaping VAT tax on the shoulders of poor Bahamians to pay for illegal Haitians?

We already have no jobs, our power is off, our phones are off, our water is off, we are losing our homes, we are losing our business's, we are losing our cars, we cannot afford medical bills and cannot access government medical care because of dam stinking Haitians.....HELL NO!

Where are the disincentives for Haitians to enter the country illegally?

Where are the laws punishing people for hiring illegals? Why are illegals allowed to enroll children in our school system free of charge without fear of immigration followup on weather their parents/guardians are legally here? Why are pregnant illegals allowed to clog our hospitals and clinics with no fear of deportation?

Haitians are dragging our country down to Haiti's failed state level with the full blessing of government who plan to grant citizenship to thousands of them in exchange for votes in the next general elections.

Go to hell Mitchell and take your big head chief idiot Perry Christie with you.

Dr. Andrea Rollins is 100% correct. The country is in desperate need of new leadership as the jackass leaders we have now are NOT REPRESENTING the will of Bahamians!

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