EDITOR, The Tribune.
According to media reports 537 Haitian immigrants have been arrested since the first week in June, 2014.
On August 19, 2014, 124 Haitian immigrants were arrested on Flamingo Cay, off Ragged Island. Twelve hours later, Defence Officers arrested 100 Haitian immigrants on a sloop off Warderick Wells Cay. Prior to the aforementioned arrests in the months of June and July, 2014, 102 were arrested at Hawksbill Rock, Exuma, 30 arrested off the Abaco Cays, and 76 at Belle Island in the Exuma chain. All of these persons are brought to the Detention Centre in New Providence to be detained pending deportation.
Someone should inform President Michel Martelly of these numbers, who continue to risk their lives to get here.
It is also published that there was a prison break in Haiti and over 100 violent prisoners escaped. Has the Haitian Government sent any information to our Police Force, eg photographs, names, fingerprints and the criminal history of the escapees?
We never received any information about the 350 who escaped during the earthquake.
Are our officials interrogating the immigrants held here on matters such as identification of the captain and crew; the cost of the voyage and to whom the money was paid in The Bahamas or in Haiti?
Such an interrogation is necessary if we want to identify those persons involved in the human trafficking.
I suggest, that government consider establishing a Detention Centre at Inagua and the boat loads arrested closer to Inagua be detained there to be repatriated by the larger Defence Force boats to Haiti. The cost should be less, than the airplane charter and there would be better security control.
I often wonder what would happen on an aircraft if all of those persons being repatriated decided to violently rebel.
PAUL THOMPSON Sr
August 25, 2014.