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Bahamian-Born Woman Accuses Immigration Staff Of Assault

photo

Dahene Nonord

By KHRISNA VIRGIL

Tribune Staff Reporter

kvirgil@tribunemedia.net

A WOMAN born in the Bahamas of Haitian parents has accused Department of Immigration officers of assault and “wrongfully” apprehending her after they picked her up during a routine exercise on Cowpen Road.

Dahene Nonord, 19, yesterday said that while she was not carrying her Bahamian documents that show her legal status to reside here when Immigration officials approached her around 9am Wednesday, there was no excuse for her to be abused. Ms Nonord has applied for Bahamian citizenship and is currently waiting for government to make a decision on her application.

The assault, she claimed, happened as an immigration bus took her to the Carmichael Road Detention Centre and continued during her short stay at the facility.

Ms Nonord visited The Tribune yesterday to give an account of “the most terrifying day of her life.”

She was still visibly shaken and complained of severe body pain, however The Tribune saw no visible bruises on her.

She said she was kicked several times, punched and put in a head-lock.

She said she plans to take legal action against the government for the ordeal. 

“I feel that what happened wasn’t supposed to happen,” she said. “I was not supposed to be beaten by the officers.  

“I asked them where in the law it said (when) you go in the Detention Centre it say that people should be beaten. Everyone is human and we have the same blood. None of us are different, we only speak different languages. I was born here even though both my parents are Haitian.” 

Fred Smith, a human rights activist and the lawyer who plans to represent Ms Nonord, said he found the incident “disgraceful”.

He accused the Immigration Department of acting as if they are a law unto themselves. 

Mr Smith said: “It is a disgrace that in the Bahamas, in this day and age that Bahamians are being picked up off the street. 

“The Immigration Act does not give officers any greater power. It says that their powers are the same as the police.

“I am encouraged that young Bahamians are standing up for their lives and I encourage anyone else illegally arrested, detained or abused to go to the thousands of lawyers in this country and sue the government.”

According to Ms Nonord, after being questioned about her nationality and being unable to produce a passport she was put on an immigration bus.

“They asked me if I was born here. I told them I was, right in the Princess Margaret Hospital. My parents are Haitian, but I born here and I am Bahamian.

“I told them not to touch me and we were cursing each other. After awhile they grabbed me and I was trying to defend myself.

“About seven of them then grabbed me and was holding me. They handcuffed me and threw me on the bus.

“I was there on the bus speaking up for my rights and I said to them they need to stop discriminating (against) the people who were born here.

“And I think that because I kept talking on the bus they slapped me and choked me and body slammed me down in the bus.”

She said she was taken to the Detention Centre where the verbal and physical abuse continued. 

Ms Nonord said she was released several hours later when her parents brought documents to verify her status.

Following her release, Ms Nonord said she visited the Department of Immigration on Hawkins Hill to file a complaint. However, she said an official there said her account was not the truth and did not allow her to make a report.

When told about the allegations yesterday, Fred Mitchell, immigration minister, said he had no knowledge of Ms Nonord’s incident. When asked if it was something that would be investigated if she again attempted to file a complaint, Mr Mitchell did not say.

However, he said, there were two mechanisms that could be used if she felt wronged. These include either sending a written complaint to the Department of Immigration or reporting the matter to the police.

Comments

duppyVAT 3 years, 11 months ago

Here we go again ......................... this girl is NOT Bahamian until she legally obtains a Bahamian passport ................ she was born here to Haitian parents (she is Haitian).

She may have residency status ............... but our education system did not help her there.

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Voltaire 3 years, 11 months ago

really? that is the thing that jumps out at you from this story???

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afficianado 3 years, 11 months ago

I concur. "Ms Nonord has applied for Bahamian citizenship and is currently waiting for government to make a decision on her application. " Technically she isn't Bahamian until approved

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TalRussell 3 years, 11 months ago

Com'on Tribune what's up headline? There can be no such thing as being a "Bahamamalander Born Woman," unless you was born a Comrade Bahamalander..She, by her own admission ,knows she didn't have her "papers" on her possession, as required by da law and that is the only reason she was detained..Tribune reporter you gotta stop listening that Guardian Creole Talk Show, OK, cause obviously you has been brainwashed believe this sh@#.

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Space 3 years, 10 months ago

There's no law that you have to carry your papers! Who the hell has brain washed people into thinking this!?

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Delivert 3 years, 11 months ago

Did her parents have their papers when they reach? Cause if not they shoulda hold them too!

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TalRussell 3 years, 11 months ago

Comrade truth is Bahamalander's are being forced to stand their ground, if the sovereignty of nation is to be protected. Unfortunately, for the many good, law abiding and decent Haitians among us, the kindness and generosity extended to them over many generations is quickly being destroyed by the radical voices sprunging up daily. Voices I am more than ever convinced are hell bent on claiming Bahamaland as their very own. Comrades the signs are becoming loud and clear. No damn passport can possibly make you a proud Bahamalander. No passport will ever change what is in your heart's, more so, when their actions are more about prepping this land as their captured Haiti colony.

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GrassRoot 3 years, 11 months ago

well the question is whether you want to be treated like her. headlocking a woman? wonder where that immigration officer was raised, I hope not in the Bahamas.

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duppyVAT 3 years, 11 months ago

What if she was behaving badly and had to be subdued? Immigration officers can exercise justifiable force like police officers ........... this is her story.

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birdiestrachan 3 years, 11 months ago

She claims she was trying to defend her self. The reporter said they saw no bruises, Now I am going to tell you, no one can lie like a Haitian. and speaking about drama, they are drama kings and Queens. This poor me and I do not know anything about Haiti will not do. Take note of them on Haitian flag day. they fly their flag with much pride, In Abaco A Bahamian flag was used as a rag not a Haitian flag. The Bahamas has taken to long to put their immigration laws in place. but it is better late than never. something has to be done. These are the same people who are in the Tribune every day, who are encouraging their Haitian people to come to the Bahamas. and they are using their children. I am with the Bermuda Law.

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lucaya 3 years, 11 months ago

I agree wholeheartedly with you birdiestrachan...

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jackbnimble 3 years, 11 months ago

Here we go again....

“They asked me if I was born here. I told them I was, right in the Princess Margaret Hospital. My parents are Haitian, but I born here and I am Bahamian."

These people are seriously deluded. I think they think this is the good old U.S of A.

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TalRussell 3 years, 11 months ago

Comrades take ya doctor prescribed High Blood pressure Pills, before tuning in to da Guardian Talkie Show (5) nights week: 7:30PM - 10:30 PM

Kreyol Connection 3 December, 2014

......................///http://guardiantalkradio.com/kreyol-c...">http://guardiantalkradio.com/kreyol-c...

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Emac 3 years, 11 months ago

Anytime I tune into that talk show I usually have to change the dial after 5 minutes. Last night I tuned in just as the good host was describing how a 'lil Haitian boy' whose Haitian mother doesn't speak a bit of English, graduated from Uriah McPhee and raked in all of the awards during the graduation ceremony, while the mother of a Bahamian child shouted out "who dis little Haitian boy tink he is?" He further alluded to the fact that the son of the Bahamian mother, who made this remark, didn't receive any rewards, blah, blah, blah.

Anyway, the point the host was trying to make was that we are driving away the brightest from our society, meaning Haitian descendants. And in a sly way he was really saying that Haitian children are smarter than Bahamian children. Soooo, my point is, if he believes that Haitian children are indeed the brightest among us, why not send that smart child back to Haiti so that he can be a part of building a nation that doesn't seem to have any bright minds at the forefront. As a matter of fact, why doesn't Mr. Georges go to Haiti and try to improve a country whose culture he loves so much?

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Emac 3 years, 11 months ago

I have nothing against embracing other cultures around the Caribbean. I love Kompa. But for God's sake stop trying to make your show Bahamians versus Haitians. By the way, I noticed that Mr. Georges has a very 'threatening' tone of voice whenever he speaks to guests that do not agree with his opinions. That is definitely a Haitian thing.

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SP 3 years, 11 months ago

Please get this girl and her parents OUT OF OUR COUNTRY. Haitians are a pain in the ass we can do without!

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ChaosObserver 3 years, 11 months ago

we say the same thing of bahamians in the USA....

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pablojay 3 years, 11 months ago

She claims "we were cursing each other". If i were an immigration officer and i was being cursed at by someone who had no ID with a Haitian name , i would lock her up too.

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duppyVAT 3 years, 11 months ago

The real issue here is that a person who was asked for her identity refused to cooperate with the authorities and was subsequently taken into custody after resisting arrest.

This is a common problem ............. if you are given an order, obey and then present your case ............ do not take the law into your own hands. If you do, be prepared to face the consequences .......................... arrest, detention, interrogation and charges as necessary.

This is how a law-abiding society is supposed to work .............. many Haitians won't understand

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Voltaire 3 years, 11 months ago

Ironic coming from someone whose user name suggests they object to new law that will place VAT on our backs. If a law is unjust, we are right to oppose it. Similarly, if the actions of a law enforcement officer are illegal, we should, indeed must refuse to cooperate. There is no legal basis for requiring people to walk with ID. Therefore, an individual cannot be detained on this basis. Added to which, the girl was stopped illegally in the first place, as there was no warrant in her name. The authorities can't just stop whoever they feel like. She did not resist lawful arrest.

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CatIslandBoy 3 years, 11 months ago

Come on fellow Bahamians, don't let our temporary raw emotions underscore our pitiful ignorance. The story here is about the mistreatment of fellow human beings by our immigration officers. This is not a debate about legal or illegal immigrants. All persons, regardless of their status, are to be treated humanely, definitely not to be subjected to physical abuse.

As a former police officer I have observed many of our uniformed servants speaking in a derogatory manner to their fellow Bahamians, and much worse to foreigners, temporarily in their charge, who may not understand their version of English too quickly. In fact many immigration and police officers believe that if they yell louder, somehow they are understood more clearly. And if they don't have a logical response to a reasonable question, then they simply resort to force, and shut up the complainant.

The Immigration issue in the Bahamas is a complex one that begs for some measure of humanity while the laws of the country are being enforced. Of course we must secure our borders, and we must protect the rights of our citizens to a decent education, good health care, and jobs. However, this does not give us rights to abuse and dehumanize those who seek a better way of life, especially after the many years of backbreaking service they have given to this country for meagre earnings. I am always amazed at the thousands of Bahamian households in the islands of New Providence, Grand Bahama, and Abaco that employ Haitian, Jamaican, Dominican, and even Mexican maids, nannies, and other domestic labourers. Obviously if Bahamians were not providing streams of income to these people they would turn elsewhere to better themselves.

When we continue to speak (or write) derogatorily about our brothers, as if they are less than human, we are only showing our true colors to the International communities. I am currently half way around the world, but each day I pull up the Tribune to see what's happening in my beloved country. Potential tourists and visitors are doing the same.

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expatkz 3 years, 11 months ago

Well said. If only more Bahamians would think as you, then the world would place the Bahamas as the first class country you claim to be. Rather its viewed as a party, pirate and tax evading haven mostly because of the party, and pirating behavior of the majority of Bahamians.... Except on Sundays lol

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concernedcitizen 3 years, 11 months ago

catislandboy ,,you make good rational points

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TalRussell 3 years, 11 months ago

Comrade Freddy is not just a lawyer, the man is a Queen's Counsel which means Queen Liz at some time must have tapped her Royal sword on his shoulders. Where is the medical or on the scene witness(s) to validate his clients allegations against the immigration officers or detention center's personnel? In fact, Freddy been around as lawyer so long, he could've been made King's Counsel.

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DEDDIE 3 years, 11 months ago

We are a society that have become desensitize to violence of any kind. All the police have to say "known to police" and what ever minuscule concern we would have had vanishes away. We don't care if the authorities beat our own so how do you expect the Bahamian populace to be concern for some girl who will never be embrace as a Bahamian even when she gets citizenship. I examine myself and sadly I am zombi-ish to the violence around me. Pause - Well I will quickly be awaken if they beat me.

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TalRussell 3 years, 11 months ago

Comrade Deddie isn't it this young woman who is the one making this a Haitian issue? What makes you think people of Bahamaland would ever advocate for abusing anyone, be they citizen, resident, work permit holder or visitor. Why make us out be savages? These are no more than unsubstantiated allegations, yet to be proven before a court of law, by da Comrade King's Counsel Freddy. Suing the very government you wish make you a citizen is not exactly a smart move on her part. Comrade Deddie real abuse of Haitians, is the many $100's dollars it can add up to when trying to obtain out Haiti the supporting documents required when applying for citizenship-passport or even work work permit. Not a damn single Deddie ever talks about, why is it the Haitian government will not stop their citizens from boarding those unsafe sailing sloops to make their way into Bahamaland's waters?

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DEDDIE 3 years, 11 months ago

I was driving with one of my workers to pick-up a vehicle. He pointed out to me a track road where he was beaten by the police with a pvc pipe. He said another police car showed up after his agony started. He said the sarge in anger said, if you ga beat him you need to take him further in the back of the pine forest so no one can hear you.We get a call about screaming. We know and condone it as a people.

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TalRussell 3 years, 11 months ago

You seem quick blame others for doing nothing. But. after the incident did you and your co worker drive police station to report it. If not, why not?

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Emac 3 years, 11 months ago

DEDDIE, as much as I disagree with you on certain issues, I have to agree with you on this one. Bahamians are in denial about police brutality. What makes it sad is that rogue law enforcement officers, mainly CID, have killed many black young men while in their custody and Bahamians are unaware of this barbaric practice because most have our heads buried in the sand.

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deablo01 3 years, 11 months ago

Island boy, I am quite impressed with your response, because your response was so sensible and logical, I figured that you may have been a Bahamian that is currently not living in the Bahamas, or one of the sensible ones that eventually found a way out of a country that is on the verge of becoming the next Rwanda

This generation of Bahamians will never be able to relate to your humane post, simply because a Barbaric way of living seem to be a comfortable way of life for them.

all Bahamians seem to have sense for is to jump up and down on Clifford park in these political t-shirts in support of having these pirates elected, while the very ones elected using their contacts and forming relations overseas for when the shit hit the fan they can be on the first thing smoking out of that hell hole.

I am Bahamian and yes let's face it the Haitian kids can run circles around the Bahamian kids as it relates to academics, the average Bahamian parent always seems to more interested in what the child will be wearing or what vehicle they would be driving in for Prom.

I just read and article the other day about Haiti now producing IPads, from a local factory in Haiti using Haitian factory workers, and your government still encouraging Bahamians to become maid, bellman's and bus boys, be careful how you treat these people, simply because the Bahamas is already what Haiti use to be.

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TalRussell 3 years, 11 months ago

Comrade here we go again, talking down to a nation's peoples who took you in when your own nation of Haiti oppressed you. When no other much richer nation would allow you land onto their shores. We give Guardian Radio a broadcvasitng license and they thank us by clogging our airwaves with their Creole slanted talk radio show. We allow you to clog our hospital by the thousands because our government is too greedy for votes, to place immigration officers at entrances.

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Girly 3 years, 11 months ago

So true Tal.There is no way this person could be a real Bahamian.His condescending talks shows this.These are a very UNGRATEFUL set of people.Just look at the trend from Dominican Republic.They introduced the race card,desecrated and tarnished that country's image all because they can't fix theirs and want to demand rights.They have eaten away at that society so much that the dominican people hardly have a say in their own country.But I can tell you this THE BAHAMAS WILL NOT BECOME A SECOND INVADED DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.I never had any ill will toward the haitian people until I started readin their comments and see how they illegally raid countries and then kick them and claim racism and discrimination all the while praising Haiti who continues to treat their people like dirt.

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Girly 3 years, 11 months ago

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_th... Education in the Bahamas is compulsory between the ages of 5 and 16. As of 2003, the school attendance rate was 92% and the literacy rate was 95.5%. The government ...

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SP 3 years, 11 months ago

Deport all illegal Haitians. Parents, children and grandchildren. These people's allegiance is to Haiti so send them ALL back to their beloved country!

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birdiestrachan 3 years, 11 months ago

Cat Island Boy half way around the World. As you know you have only heard one side of the story. There are always two sides . We are only writing about illegal immigrants. There are some persons in Government with faults. but there are many who do an excellent job. It is hard when boats loaded with illegals enter the Bahamas and there are cars present to pick them up and the authorities only find a few. the others disappear into Shanty Towns . It causes the Tax payers millions to send them back. and next week they are back again. when we go to the Government hospitals and go back home because we can not receive service because there are to many illegal immigrants ,it is hard. You will not understand because you are half way around the world. We live it. There in lies the difference.

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Voltaire 3 years, 11 months ago

@birdiestrachan - that is nonsense on so many levels. I am right here and I live it every day. Fact 1, it is not "hard" for a fleet of modern naval vessels equipped with radar and other tracking devices to locate and interdict loaded sloop crawling along at a snails pace, under the power of a sail made from stitched together flour sacks. It really isn't. Fact 2, the reason so many do make it through is because they know before who among those "excellent" authorities you mentioned they will need to bribe on the way in. Any Haitian will tell you that before coming, they have to save up to pay the boat captain AND the Defense Force/Immigration. Fact 3, it may cost us millions to send them back, but that is a mere drop in the bucket compared to the hundreds of millions of taxpayer money those "excellent" people in government, give to their friends in the form of BOB bailouts for a secret list of buddies, referendums the results of which are ignored at the behest of certain web shop operators, land giveaways to friendly foreign investors (amazing how no one has a problem with the government buying white foreigner anymore) and etc and etc.

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Voltaire 3 years, 11 months ago

@Deablo01 and CatIslandBoy - thank you for being beacons of sense and humanity amid this sea of bigotry and foolishness. I honestly hang my head in shame over this. How did my people become this? How in 40 years, not even a generation, did we go from the oppressed and downtrodden poor, to the haters of the oppressed and downtrodden poor? When did we, who used to be our brother's keeper, who used to ask "What would Jesus do?," become the kind of people who generalize, who judge an entire group of people instead of recognizing them as individuals. Who blame the victims and condemn them for trying to live. When did we become the kind people that sit smug and self-satisfied, looking down upon people desperate to give their children a better life? When did we become the kind of people that adopt the self-righteousness of ignorant, suggesting these poor people should do impossible things like "Go back and fix their own country"? As if we know how to fix any of our problems here. As if any one of us, given the choice between making our children safe and endangering their very lives in a vain attempt to rescue a failed country, wouldn't do the same thing as Haitians do. What exactly is a poorly educated young Haitian-Bahamian mother supposed to do, exactly, to "fix Haiti"? How is she going to clean the cholera out of the water supply, when the United Nations can't manage to do it. How is she going to make food where there is none, where everyone else is eating mud? How is she to stop her children from dying from the countless illnesses and deprivations that run rampant through Haiti today? What would any of the people on this thread do if they found themselves in her shoes? All the chest puffing indignation on display here is nothing but petty, egocentric tribalism. How did this happen to us? How did we forget who we are and where we came from? We should be ashamed to look in the mirror.

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TalRussell 3 years, 11 months ago

Comrades if there is something that bothers you as Haitian nationals, be.looking within without judging a nation's people. I certainly hope the world does not think we are focusing on Haitians because they're black or Haitian. Reality is they just happen to be nearing out populated all others. Why are Haitians so unwilling to look within themselves. Look within not lumping accusations against a nation who has and will always be welcoming to Haitians - but not in your face Haitians, be they legal or just happen to hold Bahamaland passport. All passports are issued with an set expiration date. They can be demanded back at any time or place.

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Voltaire 3 years, 11 months ago

Tal, this have nothing to do with "in your face" Haitians. This is about an unlawful, unconstitutional effort to round up and remove people without due process. They aren't just going after "uppity" Haitians - the basis of the policy's illegality is the very fact that it is indiscriminate. Immigration only has the right to detain someone on suspicion that they are illegal, if they have a warrant based on demonstrable probable cause. Instead, they are rounding up illegals, those who have been naturalized, those who have applied through the legal avenues to be naturalized, Bahamians who look "too Haitian" etc, and then sorting the wheat from the chaff afterwards. That is a violation of the constitution, plain and simple. People aren't being "in your face", they are speaking up for their rights. Why not have a rational, constitutional policy that respects due process, people's rights, and fair to all. That in connection with a proper border protection plan is the way to deal with this problem. I am not Haitian in the slightest by the way...

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TalRussell 3 years, 11 months ago

Comrade why would uninvited people only issue call for national, constitutional policy that respects them but not people who the Constitution is supposed to represent? Illegals are very limited to the type of process, people's rights, and fairness, they can expect when in country that wants them to please return 'on your own" back your own Homeland. This IS NOT their Homeland. Don't you get it?

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Emac 3 years, 11 months ago

@Voltaire-Looking at all of your statements on this page, it is becoming ambiguous as to what you are claiming to support. What do you feel ashamed of? Law enforcement officers allegedly arresting people indiscriminately, who appear to be illegal, or the alleged abuse towards illegals by these officers or the fact that Bahamians want illegal immigrants out of this country? While I cannot support the inhumane treatment of any human being, I cannot see why anyone should have any qualms with the Bahamas trying to resolve the illegal migrant crisis that has been plaguing our shores for decades. The fact that people are struggling in Haiti does not give them the right to invade other people's country and then turn around and not abide by the laws of the land. Anyone who expects Bahamians to accept that is clearly being unreasonable.

However, my biggest concern is that those people who cry out saying that the Bahamas is being unfair yadda, yadda never has anything to say about the incompetence of the Haitian government and how the fault really lies at the feet of the Haitian president. BAHAMIANS ARE NOT OBLIGATED TO OVERSEEING THE WELWARE ANY OTHER COUNTRY.

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Emac 3 years, 11 months ago

correction: people who cry out saying that the Bahamas is being unfair never *have anything to say

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duppyVAT 3 years, 11 months ago

I support you Emac ...................... Haiti is a 210 year old country .............. they did a bad job of ruling themselves regardless of the circumstances that were thrown at them ....... the Haitians beat all of the European countries to get their independence then they turned on themselves. They blame the white people for their demise, but just as they tore the white out of the flag .............. they should have stood up and taken responsibility for themselves. Hell, the Hispanics revolted against Spain, the Americans against Britain ........ and they survived.

That is why it is important for Bahamians to recognize our ability to control our own national destiny and stop looking for a "sponsor" to bail us out of shit that we create on our own.

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Girly 3 years, 11 months ago

These fake posts by people claiming to be a "Bahamian"is really cracking me up.Stop hiding behind your posts and declare that you are truly haitians because no true Bahamian would down their own people.You people are really something else.You are like WOLVES IN SHEEPS CLOTHING.The Bible warned about people like you.You invade a country wanting people to feel sorry for you then when you get your grubby hands on its soil you show your true ravenous colors.You have stripped,drained,thrashed,desecrated,humiliated,annihalated and dethroned the dominican people so much that they hardly have a say in their own country.YOU CARE NOTHING ABOUT ANYONE ELSE BUT YOURSELVES AND YOUR ANGENDA,YET ALL THE WHILE PRAISING HAITI WHO DONT GIVE A TWO HOOTS ABOUT YOUR PEOPLE.THE FIRST WAY TO HEALING IS TO ADMIT YOU HAVE A PROBLEM.but SADLY YOU UNGRATEFUL SET OF PEOPLE NEVER BELIEVE YOU HAVE A PROBLEM.I have been doing my research recently on your country and boy o boy do you have problems.The haitian educational system is at 53 % literacy rate whereas the Bahamas is at 94%. I won't stoop to your level though and can see through opened eyes that the tactics that most of you haitian people use is to gain sympathy and throw ridicule.But I will say again on this day that THE BAHAMAS WILL NOT BECOME A SECOND INVADED DOMINICAN REPUBLIC BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS AND THE GRACE OF ALMIGHTY GOD.MAYBE IF YOULL PRAY MORE HAITI WOULD NOT BE IN THE STATE IT IS IN.

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Girly 3 years, 11 months ago

Education in Haiti - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_Haiti Formal Education rates in Haiti are among the lowest in the Western Hemisphere. Haiti's literacy rate of about 53% (55% for males and 51% for females) is below the 90 ...

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Voltaire 3 years, 11 months ago

@Girly, mmm yes, a really christian attitude. Jesus was well known for shunning the unfortunate. As to your charge that some people here must be Haitian, because no Bahamian "would down their own people", I would say you are right - Bahamians support their own people no matter what - and that kind of attitude is exactly the problem - unthinking tribalism. So you know, I am Bahamian, with zero Haitian ancestry at all, but i still don't argue that something is right just cuz "my set" is doing it. I support something as right because it IS right, regardless of who did it. In your world, every member of every nationality and every tribe and every ethnicity should just go around blindly arguing that their people are right and everyone else is wrong. I don't see the point in that. The modern world has evolved past tribalism, to judge the individual on his own merits, and justice is supposed to be blind to considerations of ethnicity, gender, nationality. Our own constitution outlaws that sort of discrimination.

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Girly 3 years, 11 months ago

Firstly Jesus himself whipped the money changers out of the temple when they were doing wrong.So don't tell me about no Christian attitude.Secondly I believe you are a true Bahamian just like I believe there is a Santa Claus.THIS IS THE TYPE OF ATTITUDE OF HAITIANS NOT BAHAMIANS SO GO SIP SOME TEA AND GO FIX HAITI.

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Voltaire 3 years, 11 months ago

@Emac - I will state my case fully. I have no qualms about the Bahamas moving to solve its illegal immigration problem - we must do something and quickly. But, there is a process by which it should be done, set out by our constitution, the fundamental law of the land (you want to talk about law breakers? No one is a bigger criminal than a violator of the constitution). That constitutionally mandated process does not include: indiscriminate raids, suspect profiling, detention with out legal representation, detention without charge, deportation without conviction. It explicitly excludes beatings, abuse, mistreatment etc. Now, into this mix comes a new policy that ignores the constitution, and does virtually all the things that it prohibits. The world is definitely watching, and we are doing ourselves unimaginable damage for a country that depends on the world's good graces to survive. The scariest thing though, is that the widespread support for the policy has revealed what is a very disturbing trend among my people, who seem to have lost their concern for their fellow man, and their fellow black man at that. It reflects so so poorly on us, and on our forefathers, who fought discrimination from the Bahamas to South Africa in their day. So, recognizing that these people come from a place that is hell – and through no fault of their own, as you know if you understand anything about Haitian history – can we not put in place a humane policy that respects their rights, and yes, sends back those who are here illegally, after affording them due process under the constitution? At the same time, can we not live up to the other relevant provision of our constitution, which says that they have the right to apply for citizenship at 18? Playing games like "nab you before your 18th birthday" and "nab you while your application is still being considered" is horrific, certainly to the international community. Finally, it disturbs me that we have decided the "Haitian problem" has become so big that only harsh tactics will resolve it. No - the problem has become so big because of slack border enforcement and the real traitors in all this, Bahamian human smugglers and bribe-taking officials who have facilitated it. In a nutshell what I want is: a humane, decent and constitutional process for identifying and repatriating illegals, that is also efficient and not riddled with corruption; efficient border protection; honorable treatment of those who the constitution says can apply to become Bahamian; and above all, a public sentiment which says 'Though you have to go, we will try and make it humane as possible considering what your people have been through, and we will place the majority of the blame where it belongs, on the Bahamians who profited hugely from your misery, not on individuals who any honest person must look at and say "There but for the grace of God go I". That is what I want. If not, I honestly fear for our soul on this dark road we are now trodding.

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Voltaire 3 years, 11 months ago

@Girly, yes Jesus whipped the money changers, who were rich connected men; but was kind to the poor, be they thieves or prostitutes. Check your attitude against that standard, see what you come up with.

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Girly 3 years, 11 months ago

You need to check yours.You are in definite need of it.

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Girly 3 years, 11 months ago

And the point wasn't about the money changers.It was about Jesus himself who did the whipping and my Christian attitude.Whenever wrong is being addressed you'll always talk about Christian attitude just to have you'll way.

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Girly 3 years, 11 months ago

Whenever there was wrong Jesus spoke about it.Just like HE said "RENDER TO CAESAR THE THINGS THAT ARE CAESARS AND TO GOD THE THINGS THAT ARE GODS.This means to respect the laws of the land which the illegals ARE NOT DOING.Why don't you tell them to adapt to this type of "attitude"

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Girly 3 years, 11 months ago

And lastly Why are you getting so offended and on the defense,hmmmmmmm?

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Voltaire 3 years, 11 months ago

He was being ironic in my opinion. It was a smart insult aimed at the Romans. Because really, everything is Gods, leaving nothing to caesar. Many Biblical scholars interpret it so.

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Girly 3 years, 11 months ago

It was not ironic He actually got a coin and paid it himself.

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Voltaire 3 years, 11 months ago

In all seriousness Girly, did you read my position just above all that about the money changers? What is wrong with a humane, efficient and sensible approach to immigration enforcement?

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Girly 3 years, 11 months ago

See this is what I don't like.Nobody is talking about not being humane.I am referring to the way SOME haitians and SOME illegals are NOT obeying the laws of the land.

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Voltaire 3 years, 11 months ago

Yes but that is not the issue. Illegal people have always been breaking the law, by definition. There is nothing new about that. What IS new is a November 1 policy that tramples on the constitution, shows the world we don't care about human rights and now, we have to deal with claims that our officers are beating them. If they followed due process as outlined in the constitution, there would be no space for these claims, right or wrong. They would simply be impossible to make.

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Girly 3 years, 11 months ago

So tell me something how much human rights laws are being broken in Haiti? And because lllegals have been breaking the law for a long time does not make it right and it can be changed.We have to start from somewhere.Do you have children?Do you want to see the rights of your children taken away by lawless individuals who have a country but do not want to take even the smallest steps to make it right?Where is the justice in that?The final analysis is the haitian people have got to fight for their country like we are fighting for ours.

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Girly 3 years, 11 months ago

Do you you know that a harmful chemical was sprayed in the faces of Haitian school children just recently with no concern for their lives in Haiti.Do your research,look at the videos and see if you still have the same mindset.The bottom line is THEY NEED TO TAKE THEIR COUNTRY BACK.

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Voltaire 3 years, 11 months ago

Haiti's human rights record is irrelevant. Two wrongs don't make a right. Plus, Haiti has no international reputation to protect - we do, and must protect it desperately. We do have to start from somewhere, and what i am saying is that a lawful and efficient policy will actually work BETTER that this policy. And you talk about creating a better Bahamas for our children? Like I just commented on another article: "Make no mistake - this will never end with Fred Mitchell strong-arming all the Haitians out the country, then we all live happily ever after. This will raise tensions inside our country, people of all ethnic backgrounds will get hurt. We will introduce an element of ethnic strife that thankfully, we have managed to avoid up until now. Lord knows, with everything else we have to deal with, we don't need it. Meanwhile, our international reputation will be raked over the coals. This is a lose-lose situation for us. We must replace this immigration policy with one that is humane, efficient and constitutional, as quickly as possible." You really think that is unreasonable?

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Girly 3 years, 11 months ago

If you want the small country of the Bahamas to become like the Dominican Republic that's on you but not on me.THE DOMINICAN PEOPLE ARE SUFFERING AND HAVE PRACTICALLY NO SAY IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY.

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Girly 3 years, 11 months ago

You say "Ethnic strife"They caused strife when they were burning our flag,dragging our flag on the ground,using the word Columbian neck tie,cutting down our trees and squatting on our land with out no repercussions.Come on I have never even heard you mention any of the wrong doings of illegal immigrants.

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Girly 3 years, 11 months ago

And the burning of the flag and dragging it was way before November 1st 2014.This was going on for years during their flag day.Now how do you explain their hate for us now?

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Voltaire 3 years, 11 months ago

They are spraying chemicals in haitian children's faces and you want to send more children there? All children are innocent, my first instinct would be to protect them from such horrors. I won't ask what Jesus would do, since it upsets you when i do that.

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Girly 3 years, 11 months ago

You just don't get it do you?HAITIANS NEED TO TAKE THEIR OWN COUNTRY BACK.And that is all.

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duppyVAT 3 years, 11 months ago

Girly & Voltaire .................. there are 100,000 US residents of Bahamian origin ....... want to go and interview a sample of them about how they or their ancestors got there??????

All of us have family members in the USA ........... some got there legally and some jump the contract and some were illegal immigrants.

Remember, the Americans used us as cheap labour to build Miami over 100 years ago and on the Project from the 1940s to the 1960s.

Our hands are not 'clean' when it comes to immigration ........................ LMAO

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Girly 3 years, 11 months ago

This is not the point.AMERICA IS HUGE.The Bahamas is a small country.Do you want us to become the next Dominican Republic?Go right ahead then.If you want that for your generations,FINE.BUT NOT FOR MINE.Do your research and see how the dominican people are suffering and don't have a voice in their own country.

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duppyVAT 3 years, 11 months ago

Haiti and the DR have similar populations ............. are you saying that over 50% of the DR population is Haitian?????????

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TalRussell 3 years, 11 months ago

A Comrade asked; what would Jesus do? Pretty sure first order business in Haiti for Comrade Jesus, would be tell them, give up Voodooism and follow Him.

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Observer 3 years, 11 months ago

Here we go again, Voltaire. Are you pretending to be the great Voltaire, re-incarnated? Because, seems to Observer, you are who Haiti needs right now. Go ye into HAiti and fix the problems there. You can yap, yap, yap, but nothing is being fixed here. Don't come into my domain and demand that I cater to you at my own expense.

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Voltaire 3 years, 11 months ago

@Observer. YOUR domain? Do you own The Tribune website?

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Voltaire 3 years, 11 months ago

Observer - you are right, nothing is being fixed. certainly not by this new policy. As I said before, this will not result in all Haitians expelled and we all live happily ever after. Get as self-righteous as you like, when this blows up in our faces, remember, you heard it here first. This policy will end in disaster for this country. The world is watching and we are breaking our own laws. For a minute, stop and really think about it. Live up to your username instead of spouting emotionally charged nonsense.

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Girly 3 years, 11 months ago

Yes the world is watching.MOST OF THE AMERICANS AGREE WITH US.GO TO YAHOO.COM

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Girly 3 years, 11 months ago

Read:17 states sue to stop Obama's immigration plan Los Angeles Times3 days ago

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Voltaire 3 years, 11 months ago

Ok Girly... whatever you say. First of all, 17 states are suing. As you know, there are 52. How is that most? And, suing over Obama's law is not the same thing as supporting Mitchell's illegal and immoral policy. I don't even understand the comparison. And, the opinion either way of a handful of right wings states is not what we should be concerned with. When the foreign press and Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch, and the United Nations and the US State Department are finished with us.... well, Im sure we will discuss again when the chickens come home to roost. Its just so avoidable and unnecessary. Im advocating for a sane policy that rids us of all illegal immigrants, you understand that, right? It seems to me that anyone who prefers the current tactics to a sensible and legal policy just wants to see Haitians beat up.

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Girly 3 years, 11 months ago

READ.I want you to look at two points.Firstly go to yahoo and search to see that they are supporting our new immigration laws.It was on yahoo and the comments supported our new law.Secondly the other point is just the beginning of some of the states taking action.Face it everyone is getting tired of the illegal influx of immigrants.BUT YET YOU ARE DEFENDING THEM.SOMETHING JUST IS NOT RIGHT ABOUT YOUR THINKING.also read up on the CNN REPORT on how the haitians are invading the Dominica Republic.You need to read more.

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Voltaire 3 years, 11 months ago

Girly, I think you should take your own advice - read. Specifically, my comments up until now. I nowhere defended illegal immigrants or anyone else. I am saying it behooves us not to act like animals in tackling our illegal immigration problem. You are correct: there has been a rise in intolerant and bigoted responses to migration in the US and around the world. That don't make it right - quite the opposite in fact. Nevertheless, again I say it - the inhabitants of those states, or any other state in the US, will not be the ones to sink our reputation. Any one who reads, the right things anyway, knows that the first world plays a game of "Do as i say, not as I do" when it comes to judging little countries like us. That is not to mention the damage we do to ourselves on this slippery slope. I wonder, what other parts of the constitution are you people willing to do away with just to have your "revenge" on poor people? It really is quite sickening.

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TalRussell 3 years, 11 months ago

Comrade "King's Counsel" Freddy why is it I am experiencing flashbacks to when my Nana "You just waits til ya daddy gets home," God bless her beautiful soul, would chase me around house with cod liver oil in one hand and that yucky tasting Vics cough syrup in other. This is very same reaction I am getting to you and your passport-waving client. Nany would say, come here child, this will force whatever you got’s inside ya right out’s ya. You will feels like's new child.

http://tribune242.com/users/photos/20...">http://thetribune.media.clients.ellin..." alt="None">

by TalRussell

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Emac 3 years, 11 months ago

Boy Voltaire and Girly sure gat this page on lock down, lol. I went out to get something to eat and there are already 70something comments, wow! I think it is important for people to be able to express their opinion though, so we can thank the Tribune for that.

Voltaire, I noticed that you bring up the constitution a lot. So does this mean that you are advocating for the Bahamians to respect the constitution? Because if that's the case, then where was your voice when the many innocent young black Bahamian males in this country were constantly beaten by certain police officers and forced to say they are guilty? Where was your voice when other Bahamians have been deprived of their basic rights contrary to the Constitution of the Bahamas? You cannot pick your battle. If that is your beef, let's hear your voice whenever someone in this country suffers. By the way, the name 'Voltaire' is French/Haitian. I am not saying this to mean anything. We all come from some family tree, just saying.

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Voltaire 3 years, 11 months ago

Emac - hahah! Tell me you know the philosopher I chose the name in homage to... you seem like one of the most intelligent and sensible people on this thread. It was the principles which that late individual stood for, not the nationality, that I am seeking to evoke, although I can see how ironic it is in this context. In fairness to your other point, I can see how you would say that I am picking battles. All I can say Emac is that you don't know who I really am; if you did you would know that I have done more than most to give a voice to the innocent young black males to whom you speak. Lets just say that for reasons of my employment up until last week, I haven't ben free to engage in this type of conversation. Now that I am, I jumped in, and this just happened to be the human rights/justice issue that was at the forefront. I am very passionate about police brutality as well, all forms of discrimination. Educational inequality, which is a big problem in this country. The poor in general and young black men in particular....

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Voltaire 3 years, 11 months ago

LOL - I guess that means if you follow birdiestrachan and Girly's logic, I must be a Haitian-Bahamian young black male who is uneducated and got beat by the police. Cuz lord knows, people can't defend principles unless it is to their personal advantage. :)

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 years, 11 months ago

Leslie Miller says: "Dat woman need one good slap broad side her heard to knock some sense into her.....bring her to me, I just the man to do it!"

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bruce 3 years, 11 months ago

Another lying dirt eater. If we did send her back to Haiti she would find out what real abuse is

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duppyVAT 3 years, 11 months ago

The police and the MPs feast off these immigrants ............. money, juicing and votes

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Voltaire 3 years, 11 months ago

Yes dippy, use them and then turn around and abuse them

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Voltaire 3 years, 11 months ago

Take a gander at this, from before the internet ruled the world. Imagine if this has been written today, it may be the kind of scathing report we will soon have to answer for. Note incidentally, the involvement of a certain Senator Mitchell, then of the FMN, as well as the interesting observation that 'Father Remy, a Catholic priest from Freeport, noted a correspondence between raids and elections: "The government rounds up Haitians at election time to pacify Bahamian voters".' - http://avalon.law.yale.edu/diana/hait...">http://avalon.law.yale.edu/diana/hait...

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Emac 3 years, 11 months ago

Voltaire, it seems as if you are bend hard on blaming the Bahamas for every aspect of the Haitian migration problem and the results of poor people leaving Haiti to come to the Bahamas. Whenever someone feeds you some conspiracy theory, no matter how far fetch, about the government having ulterior motives to do what they're doing, you run with it and make it your argument. You never once mention how the Haitian government is really responsible for its own people. You never refer to the fact that Haiti has one of the worst records in regards to people abuse and corruption. I never once see you mention the danger that these Haitians put their young children through when they try to traverse the treacherous seas to get to the Bahamas or any other country. You try to tear apart anyone comments that are against your beliefs. Haiti is an old ass country, if anything they should be leading by example not burdening the rest of the world.

We can talk about the constitution and human rights as much as we like. We can talk about how people around the world must be watching our alleged abuse and or dislike for the Haitian population as much as we like. The hardcore truth is that people all over the world are fighting their own battle with illegal Haitians. Should all of these countries be chastised for forcibly removing illegal Haitians from their country? And no matter how deportation policy carried out, people are gonna complain about some kind of abuse, because they feel they have a right to be in that country. They feel they help build that country. The argument about WHY,WHEN,HOW and WHERE the government of the Bahamas is deporting illegal immigrants is invalid in the Bahamas. Take your concerns to the source of the problem, which is in Haiti. When social services is called because a child or children are being abused in a home, what it the first thing they do? Remove the child from that home. I am saying the same thing. Go back to your own country, help rebuilt your nation and stop trying to fight a losing a battle of belonging where you are not wanted!

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Voltaire 3 years, 11 months ago

Emac - Comparing the Bahamas to Haiti is nothing but deflection, we are responsible for our own actions regardless of how other nations behave. I don't indulge in that kind of comparison because it is a red herring, a dodge meant to cast our deeds in a better light than they should be. When the police come to arrest me for stealing I can't get off by saying "Well my neighbor is a murderer." One has nothing to do with the other. I am a Bahamian and am concerned with what we do. Full stop. And I don't know about countries around the world fighting battles against illegal Haitians; I do know how the Dominican Republic is handling it, and they are getting destroyed in the international press. I would say this: to the extent that any country disregards fundamental rights and freedoms as part of the "fight" which you reference, then I think they should definitely be chastised. Finally, this business of 'go back and help build your country' is nothing but a convenient fantasy with which we make ourselves feel better. Haiti is failing on a massive scale, through no fault of any individual Haitian living in the Bahamas, and when sent back, there is nothing they can do about it but go there and die, and watch their children do so as well. YES. We do have to send illegals back for the future of our own country, but don't tell yourself bedtime stories so you could sleep at night. Be big enough to accept the consequences of you factions - we make the choice to send them back to suffer a brutal, pointless and probably short life. I have no problem with choosing my children over their own, but I do it with a heavy heart and at least try to man up to the realities.

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Girly 3 years, 11 months ago

"BAHAMIAN" SUREEEEE you ARE LOL.

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Emac 3 years, 11 months ago

Voltaire, I will agree to disagree on this issue. Haiti being a failed state is nobody else's fault but the Haitian people and the government of Haiti. Sending Haitians back to Haiti to rebuild their own country is not a fantasy. IF you and other Haitian nationals put the same passion that you are putting into this dead debate, you can rebuild Haiti collectively. Don't hand me that bullshit about us being at fault or guilty of sending these people back to poverty etc. The sympathy card does not work anymore. The reality is that there are countless Bahamian kids and families who are also living in poverty. As the old adage goes, "God helps those who help themselves."

In conclusion, let me say that I have no problems sleeping at night. While I don't dislike illegal Haitians or don't see them as being inferior, I will stand by the majority of Bahamians who think that it is in the best interest of the Bahamas to send all illegals back to their country by all means necessary. I will not apologize for loving my country more than any other.

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Girly 3 years, 11 months ago

LOL. He is a true Haitian National at heart. Voltaire just be proud man, just like as Bahamians we are. Nothing is wrong with that.

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Girly 3 years, 11 months ago

@ EMAC,Voltaire is too afraid to go and fight for Haiti. He is too busy talking smack in OUR country because of our sweet democratic rights.

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CatIslandBoy 3 years, 11 months ago

@Voltaire. I do admire your principled and eloquent position, including your ability to navigate between the issues of illegal immigration and human rights abuses. I wish that I could so passionately defend the rights of all people, Bahamian and foreigners alike, who are continually harassed and abused by many of our public servants. I believe that Bahamians are so accustomed to being abused by public servants, that they have become desensitized and blame the victims. Their argument is: because the Haitians have entered our country illegally, utilized our resources, built the Shanty Towns, etc., then it is ok if they are mistreated and abused by Immigration and Defence Force officers.

@BirdieStrachan. Being half way around the world does not mean that I don't live in the Bahamas, just as supporting the humane treatment of all people by our sworn officers does not equate to an abdication of our immigration laws and policies protecting the borders of our country.

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birdiestrachan 3 years, 11 months ago

Cat Island half way around the world. now exactly where is half way around the world? have you heard the other side of the story or are you only hearing and believing one side. this woman said they were cussing each other. she seems to have given as much as she got. care to say what part of Cat island you are from.? Officers have rights also and they do reserve some respect. they are not all bad. What about the Immigration Officer who received stiches in his face. Do you care about him?

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CatIslandBoy 3 years, 11 months ago

@Birdie. I'm in Shangai, as I write, perfecting my command of the Mandarin language. I think it will come in handy as the Chinese gain a greater stake in our little economy. I grew up in Northern Cat Island with the Stubbs, Newbolds, Russells, Deans, etc. but also spent time in the Southern heel of the island as an educator. From Orange Creek to Port Howe, I know all of the families there, including a few Strachan families..

To respond to your comments, I believe that we can defend the borders of our country without abusing the human rights of those who break our laws. I am not saying that all sworn officers are bad people. In fact most of them are normally decent human beings, but many are frustrated for various reasons, and allow this frustration to manifest itself in abusive behavior towards those in their charge. Police Officers beat suspects; Defence Force officers, and Immigration officers beat detainees. This is a known fact. So, it is very easy to believe this young woman's story. She has her papers, that allows her to remain in the country legally. The only reason she was carted off to the Detention center was because of a suspicion by the officers. I would be angry, and cuss too if I was being detained against my will simply because of a suspicion that I might be an illegal resident..

The Bahamas should always be seen as nation that respects the rule of law and the human rights of all people, including those who violate our immigration laws. I will always contend that if the Bahamian people stopped providing a stream of revenue to these people, they would sail on by to the U S A. Let us refrain from hiring them to perform the menial tasks that no Bahamian wants to do; stop renting land to them to build the shanty towns; and cease renting to them the slums and substandard housing in which no Bahamian would live. Also we could also begin to prosecute all employers who hire any illegals. The word would quickly spread that the economic opportunity is no longer available.. .

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Emac 3 years, 11 months ago

I agree 100%. Especially with your last paragraph!

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SP 3 years, 11 months ago

...................... Trinidad spends $409,000 on charter flight to deport migrants ..........................

http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news...">http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news...

..............Send ALL illegal immigrants and their children back to wherever they came from.......

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