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Road Checks Cause Crowds At Immigration

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Fred Mitchell

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Staff Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

RANDOM immigration road checks have sent droves of people to the Department of Immigration this week, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Fred Mitchell said yesterday.

Mr Mitchell said there was no formal complaint before the department following the detention of a UBS (Bahamas) executive last week.

He added: “What I do know is that on Monday morning, the Department of Immigration was swamped with people. All over the steps, outside the door, it was a madhouse so many people.”

“That’s the only point. The people who are supposed to be in the Bahamas should be documented to be in the Bahamas and not undocumented, and there is a way to get documents, and if you don’t have the documents it means you don’t have the right to be here and the law follows its course.”

Random road checks in the past two months resulted in almost 200 people being arrested and taken to the Detention Centre, according to officials.

The Department of Immigration has urged members of the public to bear with them as they attempt to control the country’s illegal immigration problem.

On January 14, Emmanuel Fiaux, Executive Director of UBS (Bahamas) Ltd, East Bay Street, was stopped by officials and asked to produce proof of legal residency during a road block.

According to a statement released by UBS, Mr Fiaux produced an electronic copy of his documentation for officials at the scene; however, the electronic version was ‘disregarded,’ said UBS.

The Electronic Communications and Transactions Act provides legal recognition of electronic writing, contracts, signatures and original information in electronic form in relation to commercial and other transactions and to provide for the facilitation of electronic transactions and related matters. 

When asked whether or not electronic forms of identification could be used, Mr Mitchell said: “I’m not an immigration officer, I deal with policy issues. That’s for immigration officers to make a judgement as to what they accept as evidence and not evidence, that’s not an issue for me.”

Attempts to clarify procedure with the Department of Immigration were unsuccessful yesterday.

Comments

Tarzan 7 months, 1 week ago

Come on Fred. At least tell us what we are supposed to carry 24/7. There has been zero communication with the public on point. Law abiding citizens and residents are surely entitled to know what they are expected to have on their persons in order to comply with Immigration officers' requests.

Anything less is something out of Stalinist Soviet procedures, "You will know the law when I tell you what the law is".

Maybe Fred is spending way too much time in Cuba.

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B_I_D___ 7 months, 1 week ago

There is currently no law in the books that forces you to carry anything 24/7...the only law of sorts is that when asked by an appropriate official for your proof of status, you do so within a 'reasonable amount of time'.

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ThisIsOurs 7 months, 1 week ago

Does the right hand even know what the left hand is doing?

If you run this type of operation and you expect to "snag" people, why did the detention centre turn into a madhouse? I can only imagine that everything was well planned and thought out before implementation....Why were people everywhere? Why did you not prepare for a scenario where you could detain up to even 300/500/1000 people given the scale of the illegal immigration problem in the Bahamas?

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proudloudandfnm 7 months, 1 week ago

Fred living in a fantasy world. MOF takes forever to give out documentation. Many folks in the country approved but don't have their documents yet....

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proudloudandfnm 7 months, 1 week ago

When asked whether or not electronic forms of identification could be used, Mr Mitchell said: “I’m not an immigration officer, I deal with policy issues. That’s for immigration officers to make a judgement as to what they accept as evidence and not evidence, that’s not an issue for me.”

Is this not a policy issue?

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MartGM 7 months, 1 week ago

Can Fred ever give a straight answer smt.

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Emac 7 months, 1 week ago

This is all so amazing. When Loftus Roker was minister of Immigration and wanted to control illegals in this country he did not need to have a road block or any national Id (even though he was crazy), when Shane Gibson was minister of immigration he did what he had to do without Inconveniencing everyone , when Branville McCartney was minister of immigration he went into the hills and valleys for illegals. NOW, all of a sudden catching illegals is a major problem? Bullshit. Firstly, show us that you really want to control this illegal immigration problem, then we can sympathize . A few years back the department set up a hotline that never really worked. When you call to make a tip, someone in the department warns the people who you reported. Ya gat to get rid of corruption first. I mean it’s like having Bevis and Butthead running this country. Finally, Bahamians need to STOP pretending. Everyone knows where the illegals are, they are all around you!

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Honestman 7 months, 1 week ago

If government really wanted to control illegal immigration it would deploy its resources to remove the shanty towns proliferating across The Bahamas.

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TalRussell 7 months, 1 week ago

Who in the hell came up with the idea that crowding the steps at immigration with people living in fear of the government was good immigration PR? What could possibly be gained by whoever calls the shots over at immigration (on any given day) when they think it's smart to instill fear of being denied your freedom, is a good working policy. You'd think the banker and all the work permit holders are second class guests in our Bahamaland. These Comrades ain't come to our tiny Bahamaland to be treated like common criminals. They have jobs and families to look after. Whatever joker is allowing this needs get their head examined, and quickly.

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digimagination 7 months, 1 week ago

Best thing Fred could do is walk into the sunset... and keep on walking. He hasn't a clue in a month of Sundays of the bigger picture facing the Bahamas.

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pat242 7 months, 1 week ago

All of the persons who has something negative with the governments new strategy in combating the illegal immigration problem that plagues this country can kiss my ass. I fully support the new implementations the the PLP government is doing reference to identifying and capture illegals that walk our streets. In fact these are the same people who often says the government is doing nothing with immigration. Now something is done and it is a problem. Bite my ass and drink my pee. Ungrateful mother f*s.

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Emac 7 months, 1 week ago

Yep. Typical PLPISM- If people do not agree with your cause fck um right? News brief: Not EVERYONE has to agree with EVERYTHING a government is doing EVERY TIME This is SUPPOSED to be a democratic country: That means we can criticize the government, the opposition, the Tribune, the Guardian and YOU without fear of being victimized. But if you really wanna talk negativity, nothing tops inviting other people who disagree with you to bite your ass and drink your pee!

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rony 7 months, 1 week ago

I don't agree with most things the government do but hats off to them on this one!! Get All illegals out!!! This island is gone with so many of them, I know we have illegals from many countries here but by damn so much Haitians here!! They make up damn near half of our population. I work on a job with 30 Haitians and 9 Bahamians madness!! No clear thinking bahamian should have a problem with what the government is trying to do.

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pat242 7 months, 1 week ago

EMac you are a asshole. Look at the other comments presented with the other person. why didn't u say anything to them. I suspect without reading the article and just the comments below you attacked me. Where i work i have first hand information on whats going on in this country. So i know whats going on. I class you with some of the other who would disagree with anything the P.L.P government is doing to make this county better. So i take back any sweeping indictments made towards anyone who i may have offended on this site. However all rants will be gears towards you Emac. You are a asshole and of course bite my ass and drink my pee. that's only for u ass face and not for anyone else.

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Emac 7 months, 1 week ago

Sigh…I guess it is pointless trying to reason with someone who probably failed miserably in school and lacks basic English skills. I am not a petty person. I try not to let other people’s angry words cramp my style. As a matter of fact, to show that I am not mad at you, I thought it would be a nice gesture for me to rewrite your comments while correcting some of the obvious grammatical errors you made in your response. Next time when you try to insult me, I would take it more seriously, because your grammar would be a little more polished.

Emac, you are Strongan asshole. Look at the other comments presented with the other persons. Why didn't u say anything to them? I suspect without reading the article and just the comments below you attacked me. Where i work i have first-hand information on what’s going on in this country. So i know what’s going on. I class you with some of the other ?who would disagree with anything the P.L.P government is doing to make this county better. So i take back any sweeping indictments made towards anyone who i may have offended on this site. However, all rants will be geared towards you, Emac. You are an asshole and of course bite my ass and drink my pee. That’s only for u ass face and not for anyone else. .*Strong*StrongEmphasis

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Emac 7 months, 1 week ago

Sigh…I guess it is pointless trying to reason with someone who probably failed miserably in school and lacks basic English skills. I am not a petty person. I try not to let other people’s angry words cramp my style. As a matter of fact, to show that I am not mad at you, I thought it would be a nice gesture for me to rewrite your comments and correct the obvious grammatical you made in your response. Next time when you try to insult me, I would take it more seriously, because your grammar would be a little more polished.

Emac, you are an asshole. Look at the other comments presented by the other persons. Why didn't u say anything to them? I suspect without reading the article and just the comments below you attacked me. My job allows me to have access to first-hand information about what’s going on this country. So i know what’s going on. I class you with some of the others who would disagree with anything the P.L.P government is doing to make this county better. So I take back any sweeping indictments made towards anyone who I may have offended on this site. However, all rants will be geared towards you, Emac. You are an asshole and of course bite my ass and drink my pee. That’s only for u ass face and not for anyone else.

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pat242 7 months ago

Emac. Fuck You, Fuck your family and fuck everyone you know. People like you need to find a hobby and stop playing political games. I hope Immigration arrest you and your family and send you all back to where you all come from. I am a Bahamian citizen and proud to me one.

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SP 7 months, 1 week ago

"The Department of Immigration has urged members of the public to bear with them as they attempt to control the country’s illegal immigration problem"

What the heck do they mean Bear with them?

We have been BEGGING FOR DECADES for government to get off their hands and deal with illegal’s.....GET IT DONE.

PLEASE Go AHEAD Fred Mitchell....Instruct Immigration to redouble efforts adding MORE ROAD BLOCKS, RANDOM CHECKS AT MORE BUSINESS'S AND INDIVIDUALS ETC!

Obviously proven results as evidenced by the sudden swarm at Hawkins Hill Monday is proof positive that Immigration efforts so far has caused illegal’s to FINALLY pay attention.

Fortunately we were successful in stopping "One Man Idiot" Hubert Ingraham from bringing in thousands more Haitians after the earthquake. Where would we have been now?

Keep it up Fred...We are behind you 1000% on this one!

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B_I_D___ 7 months, 1 week ago

Funny...encouraging the government to willingly break the laws of this country and violate even some of the most basic civil rights as laid out by our constitution...man...I back you 1000%...go ahead, break those laws, we don't mind...we encourage you to do so even...in fact, while you are at it, you may as well ignore any law that seems to impede your political agenda. Rock on guys!!

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