More than $1m spent on sending migrants home


Tribune Staff Reporter


FOREIGN Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell announced on Wednesday that the government spent over $1 million last year in repatriation costs for illegal immigrants.

So far for this year, the government has spent $463,063 to send illegal immigrants home, nearly half of last year’s total cost of $1,191,250. 

However, according to Mr Mitchell, the funds earmarked for the repatriation of illegal migrants for the 2014/2015 budget has been cut by $500,000. 

“I’m advised, however, that considerable savings will be effected in the repatriation exercises by the fact that Bahamasair will no longer charge the commercial rate to the Bahamas government for repatriation, but instead will only charge the costs of the crew and the fuel charges to the government,” the minister said during his contribution to the annual budget debate. 

According to Mr Mitchell, Operation Clean Up Bahamas, which focused on road blocks in eastern and western New Providence, saw the arrest of 2,381 migrants between November 5, 2013 and May 31 of this year. 

That figure is comprised of 1,846 Haitians among 536 others. 

In 2013, there were 3,868 illegal migrants repatriated: 157 Cubans, 49 Dominicans, 300 Jamaicans, 3,033 Haitians and 329 of other nationalities. 

Mr Mitchell also noted that 1,899 Haitians came to the Bahamas by boat. 

He added that the Carmichael Road Detention Centre is still in need of some major repairs and upgrades. 


Reality_Check 8 years, 3 months ago

We can only hope and pray that Freddie Boy's own travelling budget (and that of his typical entourage) has been significantly reduced!


SP 8 years, 3 months ago

According to the article the funds earmarked for the repatriation of illegal migrants for the 2014/2015 budget has been cut by $500,000.

Using last years expenditure as a yard stick, this translates to government having less than $230,000.00 left in this years budget for repatriation of illegal migrants. Not even a drop in the bucket!

Understandably the country is broke and cannot extend more funds to this area at this time, but there are other more effective "AND PROFITABLE" ways of dealing with repatriation cost for illegal migrants.

Instead of taking MY MONEY from the treasury to pay repatriation cost for illegal migrants, why not get serious and begin charging heavy fines to those found hiring illegal migrants?

Why should I and other law abiding citizens be saddled with repatriation cost for illegal migrants, when we have not broken any laws? Why should we be penalized by having our taxes be used to pay for others breaking the law?

If we intend on resolving this issue, It is time to stop the stupidity and get really serious here.

Charge the guilty parties not the innocent bystander! And confiscate illegally gained funds from anyone caught unlawfully employed, don't give them $100.00 and send them home....This equates to 200 days income in Haiti at .50c a day. Totally ludicrous invitation to come back again...with the kids next time!

Fred Mitchell would do well to seriously take a look at the petition going around by "Bahamas Nationalist Alliance."


Their 10 point disincentive plan would put an IMMEDIATE REVERSAL to the Haitian illegal migrant problem, and the government will actually make a profit instead of straining our already stressed Treasury as well!


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