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Children 'Left Hungry And Slept On Floor' At Detention Centre

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Chief Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

CHILDREN picked up in a raid by Immigration officers on the first day of the Government’s new policy slept cold and hungry on the floor of the overcrowded Carmichael Road Detention Centre, according to one parent.

The Tribune interviewed Maria Cenatus, mother of the two-year-old boy whose photo of him being carried away in a soiled diaper by an immigration officer sparked international concern over the government’s new immigration policy.

Ms Cenatus is one of two families who spoke to The Tribune about the traumatic ordeal that allegedly left them separated from their children for several days.

Their stories follow a recent announcement from Immigration Minister Fred Mitchell that the government was considering the use of a separate facility to house detainees with children, adding that the current provision is to prioritise their deportation.

At that time, Mr Mitchell maintained that there have been no reports of abuse concerning the conduct of immigration officers and congratulated officers on their professionalism.

“It’s your children,” Ms Cenatus said during an interview at her home. “You can’t sleep, just crying, just thinking what they’re doing. These officers are so spiteful these days so if the child doing something they don’t care, they having hatred against these children because they saying that these are Haitian children and they don’t want them over here, so they just trying to ship everyone out and they ain’t worrying about them.

“It was a reality shock because it’s never happened like this, in years,” she said. “You grow up hearing your parents speak about it from years ago, my mommy used to say that’s how it used to be back in the day when immigration used to raid, but now it just happening all over again. I don’t know.”

Immigration officers conducted a raid in the East Street area around 11am on November 1. Ms Cenatus, a 23-year-old hair stylist, said she had gone to work on a client when she got a call to inform her that immigration officers had taken her children.

Five-year-old Jermique and two-year-old Jayden Ferguson were in the care of Ms Cenatus’ house mate Merita, who was arrested with three of her four children and later deported.

Merita has lived in the Bahamas for some 14 years, according to Ms Cenatus, but did not have legal documents to reside in the country. She explained that Merita’s fourth child was on a field trip, and now lives with his father’s parents because his mother and siblings were deported to Haiti four days after their arrest.

Ms Cenatus and her two children were born in the Bahamas, but do not have passports, she said. The young mother said her application for Bahamian citizenship was submitted earlier this year, after she struggled for years to obtain and translate documents on her deceased Haitian parents.

She explained that she presented birth certificates for herself and her children when they were finally released, nearly three days after their arrest.

“I went by the Detention Centre to try and get the kids (on November 1),” she said, “but they (officials) told me that they could not release them until Monday when the person who could release them came.

“I asked them also if I could leave some clothes for them to put on because when they took them they didn’t have anything on. They told me no they’re not accepting nothing for the kids, no clothes, no sheets, no pampers nothing. I went back on Sunday and they said the same thing, they didn’t take anything for the kids and it was cold that weekend, very cold.”

On Sunday following the November 1 raid, immigration officials confirmed that there were 496 people in the Detention Centre.

“(Children) were saying up there was cold, the floor cold,” the mother said. “When I ask what they were eating up there, they said (officers) just gave them grits and tuna nothing else. Then, they went outside and run up and down you know how little children go.

“When the immigration (officers) carry them up there, they didn’t change Jayden’s pampers for a long time, my daughter said. She said they didn’t eat much all day, she told me they just ate tuna and grits. She still remembers it.”

While the youngest toddler does not speak about the ordeal, Ms Cenatus said her 5-year-old daughter often questions why she and her friends were taken, why her friends did not come back, and whether or not she would also be taken again.

Jermique stood teary-eyed next to her mother as Ms Cenatus recounted this part of the child’s experience.

“She is be asking for the children that went with the lady (Merita),” Ms Cenatus said. “Asking if they coming back, she asks why immigration carried them, why immigration been here. They (children) wasn’t saying nothing much, they just ask why is immigration doing this.”

The controversial photo of Jayden in the arms of an immigration officer, wearing only a yellow and blue jersey, soiled diaper, and one tennis shoe, went viral moments after it was posted on social media. The footage was later broadcast by television news stations.

The government has maintained that several children picked up over the November 1 weekend had been abandoned by their guardians, some who had left the minors in the home with a stove on.

Jimmy, a 36-year-old Haitian mason, admitted to The Tribune that he ran away and left his 7-year-old daughter Jayda and 9-year-old nephew John Marco inside a house when he saw officers approaching because his work permit had expired a month earlier.

Jimmy’s last name has been withheld at his request.

“When I saw them, I ran through the back window,” he said. “I told them (the children) that immigration was out there so don’t open this door.

“When I left, they went into the yard and knock on the door. No one answered but they knew somebody was inside so then they kick the door down and went in. When they don’t see no parent, they took the children and gone.”

Jimmy said he was born in Haiti, but has lived in the Bahamas for the past 19 years and has had 12 consecutive work permits.

His father went to collect the children from the Detention Centre on November 1; however, the children were instead released into the care of Social Services, he said.

Jayda’s 38-year-old mother said the children were held in the care of the state for three days before she was able to take them home.

“When I reach, I find her (Jayda) crying by the woman (caregiver’s) house (on November 1),” she said. “She’s crying, she say she miss me, I cried too, I cried plenty. Nothing is right, it’s not right for the children, they were born here.”

Jayda’s mother said she has a Haitian passport and has lived in the Bahamas since 2005, adding that her permit application was still being processed.

Jimmy added: “They (officials) always do it, you can’t stop that. So I don’t really know if there is anything to say about this.”

The new immigration policy that mandates that everyone living in the Bahamas must have a passport of their nationality was announced in the House of Assembly on September 17.

Certificates of identity issued to people born to foreign parents legally residing in the Bahamas will not be renewed; instead a passport of their nationality with a resident stamp is required.

Last night, Mr Mitchell declined to comment on the allegations.

Human rights groups that have expressed concerns over the new immigration policy include Amnesty International, Robert F Kennedy Centre for Justice and Human Rights, and the Grand Bahama Human Rights Association. Daphne Campbell, a Democrat in the Florida House of Representatives, called for tourists and international businesses to boycott the country over a policy she says discriminates against Haitian children.

Comments

birdiestrachan 5 years, 4 months ago

Have you bothered to check on Ms. Campbell's Police record? Persons who are living in the Bahamas illegally , should go back to their Countries. they paid thousands to come here, it will cost them less to go back home. The Bahamas is no longer in any position to help them. and then all of these stories will come to an end.

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birdiestrachan 5 years, 4 months ago

MS> Cenatus was aiding and abetting Merita, she knew the woman was an illegal immigrant. What she should do is tell her children they were both breaking the laws of the Bahamas and she is far from innocent. It is time for person who aiding and abetting illegals face criminal charges.

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afficianado 5 years, 4 months ago

I wonder if they caught jimmy.He and other parents are the reason immigration officers are catching so much heat. I hope Fred Smith read this article!

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TheMadHatter 5 years, 4 months ago

Oh those poor children !!!!! Having to be in the news like that. Too bad they are not some of the many Bahamian children with soiled diapers and just a jersey on and having a shoe fallen off.

Then they wouldn't have to worry about being in the news. The condition of so many suffering and malnourished Bahamian children is simply not news-worthy.

TheMadHatter

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expatkz 5 years, 4 months ago

Of course,what else is new.... Another blunder from a governmental agency entrusted to ensure the well being of all human beings (not only the Bahamians). Hey fast taking Freddie, here's a idea, the next time you issue marching orders to your round up thugs , maybe you better make sure you have a common decency holding area and supplies for the children you immorally sieze like property.

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ThisIsOurs 5 years, 3 months ago

Maybe they should spread the word that the Bahamas has no place to house them, we do not have the resources of the US who has give work permits to 5million illegal immigrants in one fell swoop. We can't even comfortably house 40 immigrants at the detention center. Spread that word. If you are not Bahamian, if you are not a tourist visiting. If you are not here on a work permit, we simply can't accommodate you. It's not even being unneighbourly, we just don't have the money. We're on the verge of devaluation for Gods sake. Tell your friends if they are here illegally, French, British, Chinese, Armanian, Haitian, Jamaican whatever, leave quickly, you don't want to be put in the detention center

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SP 5 years, 4 months ago

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

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Voltaire 5 years, 4 months ago

expatkz - thank you for being a beacon 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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ThisIsOurs 5 years, 3 months ago

We are on the verge of devaluation. We cannot handle the influx of illegal immigrants flooding our shores, it's very simple

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duppyVAT 5 years, 4 months ago

VOLTAIRE ................If a person intentionally decides to come here illegally, live and work and raise a family ...... are you excusing that person and his/her offspring for good works?????? Even God doesn't accept that logic.............. WHAT SAY U MR. PHILOSOPHER????????

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Voltaire 5 years, 4 months ago

I would say three things: 1. I would break the law to protect my family and keep my children alive. I hope you would too. 2. The new immigration policy is in itself illegal and unconstitutional. Two wrongs don't make a right, that is kind of Ethics 101. 3. It is logically inconsistent to put the law on a pedestal and say 'anyone who breaks it is evil', no matter what the circumstances, then turn around and defend an enforcement policy that is illegal just because, you know, too many of them here and they need to go. Either the law is sacred and inviolable, or it is not. You can't have it both ways. In fact, the very fact that you want to have your cake and eat it too in this regard, suggests its not really the law you are concerned about at all, that this is just an excuse to promote an underlying prejudice.

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Sickened 5 years, 4 months ago

Ms. Voltaire, how many immigrants do you suppose our county can sustain? 25 thousand... 50 thousand? Tell me a (realistic) number and then tell me what we should do once that number has been reached. At some point there will be too many people for our infrastructure and I would not want our Government to borrow money just to expand our country so that it can take in more immigrants. I would honestly say our country, any country, can only take in a certain percentage of its natural population as immigrants. Say that number is 25%. I believe that we have surpassed that point and that we cannot support those that we have much less any more. I think that is the main reason why so many of us are getting upset. We have been accepting immigrants from around the world consistently for as long as I can remember (some 35 years) and I personally think we reached our 25% about 10+ years ago. Our true economy has not grown enough to accept more immigrants. Perhaps in the future it will but for now we need to reduce the amount of immigrants to a sustainable level.

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Voltaire 5 years, 4 months ago

Oh and 4: You asked if someone coming in illegally should be excused along with "his/her offspring". Responsibility for crimes do not pass on from generation to generation; the individual who committed the crime is the only one culpable. The children of illegals are therefore innocent of committing any crime, unless you construe their mere existence as human beings to be unlawful - an idea which is.... utterly disgusting, particularly among the descendants of a race that was treated as second class humans for hundreds of years.

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duppyVAT 5 years, 4 months ago

Well .......... when the great USA solves its 12 million illegal Mexicans dilemma, I will answer you .................. a country that does not preserve its borders and effectively acculturate its immigrant population will cease to exist. At this time, we are failing at both ............ adieu

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Voltaire 5 years, 4 months ago

Yes. I agree. Now lets do it legally, logically, humanely, constitutionally and according to due process. And when we assign blame, let us blame those who have really failed us, not the poor people whose behavior we would mimic if we found ourselves in their shoes. Many Bahamians in official careers have gotten fat and rich off the misery of these people. And we, instead of denouncing them for it, become all tribal and defend "our set", right and wrong be damned.

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duppyVAT 5 years, 4 months ago

Agreed ............... maybe both of us have kept our hands 'clean' despite the temptation to profit or look the other way ........... we are at a crossroads

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TheMadHatter 5 years, 3 months ago

Sorry Voltaire - but most of us would not "mimic" their behavior. If we found ourselves in their shoes we would not move to the USA and have 12 children.

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Voltaire 5 years, 4 months ago

We are indeed. I fear where the present course will take us. 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.

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Andrewharris 5 years, 4 months ago

What Good Christian country this is... There are no words to describe this lack of humanity. This is a national disgrace and I for one am ashamed of my country. Yes illegals must be deported, this is not unique to the Bahamas but all Children everywhere must be protected at all costs regardless of nationality, ethnicity, religion. There is no excuse for this. And the hatred expressed above by some of the readers is nothing short or evil. This is a national shame. Maybe a boycott is in order.

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Observer 5 years, 4 months ago

Voltaire, you are a bundle of emotional trauma. The mother who is the subject of the news article must have ABANDONED the child at the moment of the 'raid' on her home. Even RATS are seen carrying their babies to safety in the face of 'danger'. Who, repeat, Who? abandons a baby to seek cover for his/her own a-s? Neither the UN or JEHOVAH can help a people who are determined to maintain their particular mind-set. If they refuse to SEE or WALK, don't blame anyone in the entire universe for their situation or condition. The world makes dumb excuses for Haiti's sociopolitical mess, and the Haitian authority relishes this. Until they are left to solve the problems that they created and are creating for themselves, nothing for them will change. They will continue to act as parasites on any host, including the big 242.

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Voltaire 5 years, 4 months ago

Ummm, it says she was at work. It would be helpful if you actually read the story though...

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TheMadHatter 5 years, 3 months ago

So people just leave babies at home alone while they are at work?

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Voltaire 5 years, 4 months ago

@Observer - true or not, all that is irrelevant. Our constitution demands that we afford rights to each and every individual, regardless of their nationality or status. It does not allow us to bundle people into groups of "them" and treat them accordingly. Right now, the government is the biggest lawbreaker in all this.

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Observer 5 years, 4 months ago

Why don't these journalists open this kind of 'story' with relevant quotes from the relevant ACTS of the PARLIAMENT of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas. They, journalists, are bent on quoting the ignorance spewed by law-breakers, but don't balance the publication with what actually pertains. Is it that they are too lazy to do the requisite research? Part of their service to the public is to present balance and educate the ignorant.

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duppyVAT 5 years, 4 months ago

I agree ............. this is junglist journalism. .....................Sensationalism

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Observer 5 years, 4 months ago

Voltaire, before the Constitution, as you read it, there was the Bahamas Immigration Act, no part of which was repealed by the Constitution. As a matter of fact, the Constitution strengthens the ACT that pre-dates the Constitution. You cannot find ONE clause in the Constitution that gives comfort to any law breaker. He who comes to Justice, must come with clean hands. Our Constitution demands obedience to ALL of the LAWS OF THE BAHAMAS; that is the DEMAND of OUR CONSTITUTION. Hope you comprehend.

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Observer 5 years, 4 months ago

Oh, Voltaire, how dare you suggest that one can choose to ignore the rules that have been laid down to govern a people in a democracy? Hey, Voltaire, take the matter to court if you can bear the restraints of our laws. Have you really read OUR CONSTITUTION? Do you really know what was the intention of the FATHERS when the CONSTITUTION was being framed? By the way, some people cannot even comprehend the preamble to OUR CONSTITUTION. Seems like that is the genesis of your problem. Are you an inheritor, too?

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Voltaire 5 years, 4 months ago

Observer, I will try to respond to all that confusion. 1. The comparative dates of the Constitution and the Immigration Act are irrelevant. Any law that does not conform to the constitution is subject to constitutional challenge and subsequent amendment. It is the supreme law of the land full stop. 2. No one said the Immigration Act is at issue here. The new policy goes well beyond the act. In any case, it is policy, not law. 3. The constitution does not give comfort to a law breaker, but it does set the procedure for determining that someone is a law breaker in the first place. You can't just assume.Everyone in the Bahamas is innocent until proven guilty. So sayeth the supreme law of the land. And, this is precisely the area where the new policy is a problem - it acts as judge, jury and executioner and as such, is a violation of Chapter 3 of the constitution. I do indeed understand the preamble of the constitution,which the country is founded on respect for christian values and the RULE OF LAW. The new policy tramples on the rule of law. Simple as. Hope YOU comprehend.

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birdiestrachan 5 years, 4 months ago

Voltaire Just keep on hanging you head in shame as you should. You ignore the truth. persons who are in the Bahamas legally have nothing to fear. The Bahamas is not in any position to continue to absorb these people. You said you will break the law to protect your family. Where do you draw the line? There are many persons in jail still waiting to prove their innocence. are you asking this for illegal immigrants? you seem to have the same argument that Fred smith has. that is your interpretation ,, there are others who will disagree with both of you. If one has to go back to their Country. it will be wise to take their children with them.

I doubt you have any concern for the Bahamas and how we look international .You have no love for the Bahamas or the people of the Bahamas, your loyalty lies else where.

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Voltaire 5 years, 4 months ago

@birdiestrachan - I can't for the life of me understand why Girly and yourself continue to assume that because I don't walk lock-step with everything "Bahamian", I must have some other loyalty? Can that really be how you think? Is it really impossible that your country (and mine) could occasionally be wrong? For the record, what I say about a humane and decent approach to this issue, I have said countless times when it comes to disadvantaged Bahamians, the hundreds in this country who are wrongfully imprisoned and those to whom justice has in some other way been denied. The difference between me and you is that I value all human life equally, regardless of nationality or any other consideration.

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Voltaire 5 years, 4 months ago

And I also don't know for the life of me why you keep telling me that we can't absorb these people and they need to go. I know I AGREE. But that doesn't mean we have to trample all decency underfoot and act like animals. This policy is criminal, time will bear this out. And then we will revisit this issue and i will try my best not to say i told you so.

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TheMadHatter 5 years, 3 months ago

We are only catching 60 per day - but more than that are coming in. If 100 come in every day and we only remove 60 - then we are still losing the war. You must understand that Haiti has declared WAR on the Bahamas and is simply using "children" as their weapon (just like Hamas, and ISIS do in the middle east).

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shamebahamas 5 years, 4 months ago

Hopefully, the few comments from this post doesn't reflect the opinions of the entire country but, I believe it does. It's unfortunate, but reading unsympathetic comments about basic human rights irrespective of people's origin is sad. The Bahamas is wrong for what it has done to these people knowing full well that they didn't have a plan put in place to house and treat people with dignity. I love social media because it has exposed the hatred the some Bahamians have for foreigners. The Bahamas has a systematic issue of racism against foreigners, just that the Haitians are the "lower hanging fruit." I understand why Bahamas are commenting that the country can't absorb too many people inside the country. The reason why The Bahamas can't absorb too many in the country because the country lacks VISION. The Bahamas is situated geographically in the right location but yet vision and innovation are missing. Rather than the Bahamians supporting other Bahamian businesses and entrepreneurs, some have chosen to wait on investors and then rob these investors blindly including using the immigration as a weapon giving the Bahamas a "bad name." The Bahamas should be flooded with investors at its door but that's not the case. Bahamians, your country has done a lot of wrong to many people. You might want to reference this wrong to when Prime Minister Pindling kicked so many out of the country. Overall, the Bahamas has to look within and ask for FORGIVENESS and PROSPERITY.

I have read comments on this site and others, As I read these comments, the "true colors of the some Bahamians are coming out." I say some Bahamians but it only takes a few to brand a story. Keep posting your negative and hateful thoughts. If you believe that It's Better in the Bahamas, you might want to think again. The very same people you hate are the very same people that helped you to have a voice today.

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Voltaire 5 years, 4 months ago

@shamebahamas - well said. I wonder where the Bahamas Tea Party disappeared to. Must have a rule against defending brutality on the Sabbath....

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shamebahamas 5 years, 4 months ago

@voltaire, This moment is not a PROUD time for the country. The country places a strong emphasis on PROUD. How do you define proud at this point in the Bahamas history? The Bahamas once had an advantage of containing information within the country but the world now knows. When you can separate parents from kids, add human right abuses, and freely express hatred, how can you justify this situation yet along state the country is a Christian nation? Might I suggest, you remove Christianity from your everyday dialogue. The immigration process lacks inefficiency and a procedure for foreigners to integrate inside the country. Rather that upholding that the Bahamians are very proud people , you probably want to rethink that. What are you proud of? Have you seen Haiti, once considered "the jewel of the Caribbean?" Yes, Haiti has its problems but remember, your very last name might be of Haitian origin. Check your history and understand your past.

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Emac 5 years, 4 months ago

When you can substantiate these reports of abuse by officials, then you can go on labeling some Bahamians as being inhumane or unchristian etc. Until then, you are not helping the situation by making these statements out of just pure emotions. The same can be said for those commenters here who condone this type of behavior. What do you think is the Christian thing to do with children of illegal parents? Send them along with their illegal parents or have them placed in the care of Bahamas Social Services? The onus really lies on the illegal parent. If the illegal parents really love and care for their kids, they would avoid these situations by simply leaving the country voluntarily or curb their desires of having so many illegitimate children.

At what point will illegal Haitian women living in the Bahamas see that in is not in their best interest to have so many children that will eventually suffer because of their their high sex drive?

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Emac 5 years, 4 months ago

Further, why would anyone who leave a country because of daily struggles and poverty revert back to the same lifestyle and living standards as the place they left behind in the first place?

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Voltaire 5 years, 4 months ago

Ahh but Emac, as far as our reputation, global image etc is concerned, perception IS reality. These claims are making international headlines already. At the end of the day, the truth will not matter. You think anyone in South Florida will believe us over the Miami Herald? I have long argued for a transparent, independently monitored law enforcement culture, that would not just prevent abuses of power, but also negate any false claims of the same. If Immigration officers did as they were supposed to, collecting evidence against individuals, applying to the courts for a warrant, approaching said individuals while in the company of official witnesses AND video cameras, granting them access to an attorney to look after their interests, etc - it would be very difficult to make a false claim of abuse. The same goes with police brutality; not a single suspect should be interviewed without a lawyer AND a video camera being present and the latter presented as evidence in the case. Likewise, cameras throughout the detention center, monitored by an independent oversight committee. Why not? WHAT DO WE HAVE TO HIDE?

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Voltaire 5 years, 4 months ago

As to your second point, what can they do? Do you think they have a choice in the matter, but just want to live in a shanty town? Its not as if they arrive here with job letters, bank accounts, borrowing power, a command of the English language, the right to work, or now, even freedom of movement. What choice do they have but to eek out whatever living they can, under the circumstances? Anyway, it is not the same lifestyle, compared to where they came from, what you see is a huge improvement: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/ne...">http://news.nationalgeographic.com/ne... Tell me you would't take your children out of that by any means that presented itself.

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Emac 5 years, 4 months ago

What about the many children these women have each year Voltaire? Again, at what point do they stop to think about the downfall from having so many kids that they would never be able to take care of.

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shamebahamas 5 years, 4 months ago

The Bahamas has been "called out" by several human rights groups. Haitians living in the country feel threaten should they speak up for their rights. Hopefully, a collective effort will expose the inhumane treatment of the Haitians for the world to hear and see. Thank goodness for social media. Unfortunately, this situation will not die for the Bahamas. If you think our minor discussion here is insulting, you might want to think about the impact this issue will have on the Bahamas globally. Yes, some Bahamians are inhumane and insensitive. The ill-treatment of Haitians throughout the years in the Bahamas is unnecessary. Haitians living the Bahamas are treated as second class citizens. This issue is set by governmental policies of discrimination against the Haitians in education and social integration. Until some Bahamians self-evaluate and look within and discuss its racist attitude towards the Haitians and against other Bahamians, the country will not unite and progress. The country needs a lot more Martin Luther Kings standing up for injustices and protecting human rights.

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countryfirst 5 years, 4 months ago

This new policy is just a distraction so Bahamians can not take note of the high crime,poor education,poor healthcare,high unemployment,corruption,VAT,BOB,BEC,BTC,MOW,BAHAMASAIR and the visionless leadership that we are seeing today.

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duppyVAT 5 years, 4 months ago

Yep the PLP will look for populist issues to try and swing the 2017 vote ....... but they must be removed if we are to revamp this country ......... we need a new brand of leadership of the post-Independence variety

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Voltaire 5 years, 4 months ago

Emac, no one said they should have children they can't take care of. But that's not the children's fault. And considering how we go in this country when it comes to irresponsible breeding, that's not the pot calling the kettle black?

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Emac 5 years, 4 months ago

The pot can call the kettle black whenever the pot is legal and can support their own children Voltaire.

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Voltaire 5 years, 4 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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shamebahamas 5 years, 4 months ago

The Bahamas must be put to SHAME for its human rights behavior and discriminatory practices. In the Yale report cited by Voltaire above, it states, "Both long term Haitian residents of the Bahamas and recent arrivals from Haiti suffer serious abuses of their fundamental human rights," Why would a country treat people in such a way? Shame! It's Better to Shame the Bahamas should be the new slogan.

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shamebahamas 5 years, 4 months ago

@Emac, I think I answered your human rights abuse accusation above. Haitians are fleeing their country for a better life and some Bahamians have chosen to abuse them mentally, physically, socially, and psychologically. I am curious to know should The Bahamas fall victim to sinking due to climate change, where might the Bahamians find refuge, Haiti or Florida? Haiti has mountains. You can read the report here, http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/...">http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/.... The Bahamas is the richest country in the Western hemisphere without a VISION. It's unfortunate.

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Emac 5 years, 4 months ago

@shamebahamas-The argument here is not about climate change. When you talk about Haiti's human rights abuse and mistreatment of their OWN people then you have an argument. As for now, your claims are baseless. You cannot lay the full blame of any kind of abuse SOLEY on the feet of the Bahamian people without first looking at the real source of the problem. Shouldn't you be cussin out the Haitian government for allowing their people to leave their country and be abused? Shouldn't you be blaming the Haitian government for stealing most of the money donated to them and not looking after their own people? Shouldn't you be blaming the Haitian government for not educating their people and providing stable employment so that their people can live in dignity? Shouldn't you be blaming the Haitian government for not teaching their woman the importance of contraceptive to avoid having so many children that they are unable to care for? Do you wish for me to go on???

http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/0...">http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/0...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/...">http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/... You see shamebahamas, anyone can cut 'n' paste

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Emac 5 years, 4 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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TheMadHatter 5 years, 3 months ago

Actually, it's not that Haitians are not wanted in the Bahamas. I know a number of very nice friendly Haitians, good people. What is not wanted is for them to have 7 children per family so that the Bahamas becomes majority Haitian descent. We want the Bahamas to be mainly inhabited by Bahamians.

Now, as I've written here before - If Min. Mitchell could make a deal with Haiti that ALL of their people could come here, and ALL of our people would go there (ie. swap countries) I would be VERY MUCH in favor of that. I can assure you that Haiti would prosper in just the space of five years to unbelievable levels. Tourism, farming, manufacturing etc would skyrocket.

THEN what would happen is that "Bahamians) (ie. the Haitians that took over the Bahamas) would start coming in boats back to Haiti by the thousands.

TheMadHatter

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duppyVAT 5 years, 4 months ago

These bunch of Haitian apologists on this thread need to be sent back to Haiti with the illegals to go and help build the country ................... if the Bahamas is that bad, go somewhere else

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Voltaire 5 years, 4 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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Voltaire 5 years, 4 months ago

@duppyVAT - all versions of the "if this place so bad, why you here?" argument are a tacit admission of defeat. A statement about a country is either true or it is false – people's decision to stay in/leave said country have zero bearing whatsoever on the facts as they are.

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shamebahamas 5 years, 4 months ago

@Emac, Thank you for acknowledging the abuse. The narrative is about the Bahamas and its abuses towards the Haitians. As you stated, this topic is not about climate change but about what has happened to Haitians in the past and its continuation today. The story is not about other countries and what they are doing to combat immigration. Are you familiar with NGOs? One of the articles states, "But his insistence that Haiti's government has nothing to do with corruption since aid money is funneled from international donors to nongovernmental organizations rings hollow." You might want to further research historical patterns of monies allegedly been sent to Haiti. Most of that money is promised but never sent, in other words, "lip service." I am not in government to understand the dynamics, however, I do know thaty abuses have been committed against Haitians from The Bahamas. The abuse story has been addressed back in 1994 and it will continue to give The Bahamas a "BLACK EYE." The narrative, The Bahamas is a human rights violator. I'm a sympathizer for basic human rights. Are you?

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Emac 5 years, 4 months ago

@shamebahamas-Something tells me you have some Haitian roots. That's fine. Nothing wrong with that. But if that is who you are, state who you are and then give your reasons for fighting for who you are. Because the word 'alleged' can be used by you when referring to the Haitian government being corrupt but does not apply when relating to abuse by Bahamian officials. If you are of Haitian origin, I don't expect for you to look at both sides of the argument. I am a Bahamian. Again, I will never state emphatically that Bahamians are 100% innocent regarding any of these claims.

Let's look at something here though:I don't believe that you are sincere about the issues of human rights abuse in the Bahamas. You are concerned about alleged human rights against Haitians living in the Bahamas. This makes your advocacy for stopping inhumane abuse insincere. You talked about being Christian but yet you are being selfish by choosing your battles. A true Christian does not pick and choose battles. Sorry, but ya don't get to register the name 'shamebahamas' on the Tribune page yesterday just to comment about something that you claim to have been going on in the Bahamas for a long time. Something tells me that you and others who are complaining are upset because the Bahamas is finally waking up and deporting HAITIANS out of this country. I put it to you that if the deportation exercise was not taking place, your comments wouldn't be on this page. OR you can prove me wrong and shame me by copying and pasting another article you posted before in relation to this matter.

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shamebahamas 5 years, 4 months ago

@Emac, The issue is not about once nationality. Please keep to the subject matter. Furthermore, I did not state that I was a Christian. You might want to refer to my earlier comment about Christianity and The Bahamas. By the way, I am not Haitian. I did register yesterday to read about the injustices bestowed upon the Haitians. As a mother, my heart felt compelled to address the issue of abuse. I am not the first to allege human rights abuses and, I am sure I won't be the last. As I mentioned earlier, I stand for justice for the human race.

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Emac 5 years, 4 months ago

Great! Look forward to seeing your postings against all ills of our society on these pages.

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shamebahamas 5 years, 4 months ago

@Emac, I am exercising my free speech. By the way, do you express your views on American made products, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc? When did "Shame Bahamas" became a brand not to be used?

The issue at hand is global. It's not necessary to address The Bahamas internal matters. I'm sure you can handle that.

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Girly 5 years, 3 months ago

@ Voltaire As of this week immediately because of the huge influx of illegal immigrants and the burden to the Bahamas,WE would need your home to accommodate 250 illegal immigrants forth with. You have no say in the matter. You would have to feed, clothe and provide education,health care etc for the rest of their lives for many years to come because they are entitled to due process and cannot be taken out of the country OR YOUR HOME until they are humanely given this opportunity.Therefore until then even if you want them to leave according to law you must give all the children born under your roof all of the same opportunites that your children have.NO EXCUSES.We don't care how expensive this may be to your pocket you have no choice in the matter because human rights groups are saying that we will boycott Voltaire if he doesn't.ARE YOU UP TO TAKE ON THIS TASK IMMEDIATELY.

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Girly 5 years, 3 months ago

AND PLEASE don't say that your home is too small because YOU CAN DO IT.You need to help the helpless,voiceless and stateless illegal immigrants.They are crying out for YOUR help because YOU are the one( and NO ONE else) that is saying that this is SO EASY TO DO.

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shamebahamas 5 years, 3 months ago

When will the Bahamas learn from its mistakes on human rights? History has a way of repeating itself, https://www.facebook.com/myzgg.runks2...">https://www.facebook.com/myzgg.runks2... The Bahamian people should be ashamed to allow such a thing to happen in its country.

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