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Politicole: Illegal Immigrant Sympathisers Who Attack Bahamas Immigration Law

By NICOLE BURROWS

IT comes as no surprise that the people with the loudest voices, with the most brazen of accusations about The Bahamas’ approach to the management of illegal immigrants and our level of “inhumanity” and “unChristianness” in the country are, in fact, not Bahamian, and/or are not living/have not lived in or near to the end results of illegal immigration in a small country of islands like ours.

Rarely are these big-mouthed voices the voices of Bahamians, particularly the kind of Bahamians who are still struggling in The Bahamas to make decent lives for themselves, so that they don’t also feel the need to illegally inundate someone else’s country.

Illegal immigration sympathisers hit below the belt with insults about our lack of compassion, or lack of Christianity, and it is bewildering.

What is “unChristian” about enforcing our laws – finally? Christians shouldn’t obey laws or follow regulations? What kind of Christianity is that? Even Christianity has its own laws and I don’t think they condone the besieging of a country whose people have welcomed you or at least been tolerant of your needs since you first sought refuge inside its borders.

What is Christian about Haitians threatening Bahamians (on any level), illegally populating their country in droves, and then telling them it’s not enough? How can it be that anyone could expect this to be done to Bahamians and they not feel some type of way about it?

Moreover, how is the welfare of illegal immigrants and their offspring a more humanitarian cause than the welfare of legal citizens of a country and their offspring? Shouldn’t a country get to decide priority for itself? Who is protecting the interest of the legal Bahamian living legally in the Bahamas?

Are we as a country, as a world, so accustomed to being slack and passive that to do what is obedient, to follow the laws of a land actually seems unfair? When did right become wrong?

What if me and 49,999 of my fellow Bahamians, natural-born or naturalised, rolled up into any country in the world, undocumented, and said “let us in”, demanded a right to stay, and to receive medical care, food, education, jobs, economic opportunity, immunity from deportation, all because, you know, immigration is normal and that country should just accept it?

Should we not expect the people born of or patriotic to that country we just illegally bombarded to retaliate?

When you threaten someone’s livelihood and existence, when they’ve fought and worked so hard for the little they have, and easy access is given to others who come through the back door, you should expect to meet the greatest amount of resistance. I know I would expect it; but, then again, I am law-abiding.

And maybe that’s the missing link in the sympathisers’ argument – respect for the rule of law. After all, if you sympathise with what is illegal, it does beg the question of what else you might condone or be involved in that is illegal.

The challenge the Bahamas faces now with illegal immigration is the same one America is facing. I’m neither a Democrat nor a Republican, but it’s hard to miss that members of the GOP, in the persons of Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, are vehemently opposed to Barack Obama’s soft stance on illegal immigrants, as many Bahamians have been for a long time with respect to their own leaders.

All over the internet, in online news and their respective message boards, are countless comments of the American public expressing the same sentiments that a majority of Bahamians do about illegal immigration to our country. “Why do we (America) have to have our borders spreadeagle for all to enter?” “Why is our leader not paying attention to the will of the people?”

If the will of the people is to be ignored, why even have borders and border enforcement? Why have laws? Why have government? Why have national sovereignty, if people from other countries should just flow freely in and out as they like, for whatever reason they feel is important?

What if every country opened its borders to citizens from every other country? You could choose wherever in the world you wanted to live at any given time, for any length of time, never need a passport, and just - bam - go there.

What a world that would be. I wonder if the sympathisers would like that.

And once there, the incoming immigrants could just set up house on any tract of land, including land already owned by others ... maybe even land owned by the sympathisers. Then what?

And what if the immigrants refused to speak to you in your language and used any means necessary to gain ownership of what you’ve worked for? Then what?

Is that what we’re aiming for? If so, what are we waiting on? Just open all borders now, one time, everywhere, and let us have a free-for-all.

No? Because it might be too disorderly?

Well maybe now you’re starting to get the point.

The difference between legal immigration and illegal immigration is that the former is done in an orderly fashion to prevent the chaos that occurs if done in the disorderly, illegal way.

When will the sympathisers get that?

No one is saying there should be no immigration; any person with half a brain can examine the foundations of the developed world and see how the work done by immigrants has helped to create world powers. Everyone has a skill that is useful somewhere, and a purpose to match it.

No one is saying a human being has no right to want to try for a better life in a place where they weren’t born. But there is usually an existing process to accomplish this. And it must be respected. Illegally entering a country, knowing you’re illegal, is blatant disrespect to that country, and it earns no compassion amongst that country’s law-abiding when illegality is your chosen route.

If my Bahamian mother entered and lived illegally in the United States, gave birth to me there, miraculously under the radar, even though I would have been a citizen at birth according to US law (as is not the law of the Bahamas), my mother would not have got a free pass; she wouldn’t have inherited the right to stay in America because I was born a US citizen.

She would have still been illegal, could have still been deported, and, as my primary caretaker, I would have had to go with her until I was old enough to survive on my own in the place where I had citizenship, a choice I would most likely make by the time I was ready for college, at or near the age of 18.

In contrast, with respect to the laws of the Bahamas and its illegal Haitian immigrants, Bahamian citizenship at birth is not an option. And Haitian citizenship/nationality at birth is not elective for Haitian children illegal in the Bahamas ... they’re Haitian children. They take their parents’ nationality. And they should take it with pride. They have a motherland. Why is this confusing?

Why are others – sympathisers and abusers of our Bahamian law – trying to superimpose a law on us that does not exist? Because it suits their own needs/benefits.

If you are illegal in the Bahamas, and you give birth to one child or 14 children in the Bahamas, you and your children are still illegal in the Bahamas. If you find yourself in a quandary at any point in time because of this fact, it’s because of your own choice to drop your babies on Bahamian soil.

You created this problem for yourself, because we have a law which has always been clear: you only have a right to apply for Bahamian citizenship (whether you reside legally or illegally) if you are born in the Bahamas to non-Bahamian parents, and only at the age of 18. That does not mean you stay here until you are 18. And the life you live if you choose to remain is a result of your own doing. You should apply for your children’s passports from your birth country, from the time they are born.

For that matter, there is no one born in the Bahamas without the right to claim any citizenship status at all, ie rendering them “stateless”; they have other citizenship status whether they want it or not. They always have, and they always will, until such time that they renounce it and, legally, take another.

In the latest (November 1) enforcement of new Bahamian immigration law, Haitians especially (some Bahamians and others, additionally) claim the required time frame is too short notice for those illegally in the Bahamas to get the documents required of them to lawfully remain in the Bahamas.

But how can any illegal immigrant fix their mouth to say the new law doesn’t provide enough time for them to get legal citizenship documents? They’ve had 40 years to do it!

And each time they pushed out another baby, they should have gone to their country’s embassy to apply for a passport for the child – that is, of course, if they intended for that child to be a citizen of their own birth country, which is most often not the case.

Regarding Bahamian citizenship rights, the law has always been (since 1973) what it is today and if you did anything counter to it, and still do, you’ve always been illegal. Either you chose not to concern yourself with the law and what it might have required of you, or you knew the law and deliberately chose to go against it. And ignorance nor belligerence are excuses for breaking the law.

With specific regard to illegal Haitian immigration to the Bahamas, and where we find ourselves today, there is much blame to throw around: from the Bahamian government’s historic timidity towards immigration law enforcement/creation, to the Bahamian employers and boat captains who open the gateway for illegal immigrants, to the Haitian government that doesn’t direct the Haitian people to stay at home and build up their country.

But, beyond this blame-throwing, there is one inescapable fact that anyone pleading on behalf of illegal Haitian immigrants cannot deny: there is one place where the problem can be entirely resolved.

If Haiti cared about the problem the Bahamas has endured for decades with nonstop illegal Haitian immigrants, Haiti would have stemmed the problem from within its own borders before it ever became a problem for the Bahamas. Haiti has enough manpower to do that. And if they did this at the root of the illegal immigrants’ departure from Haiti, the Bahamas wouldn’t have the enormous problem with illegal Haitian immigration that it does today.

Considering this reality, that the Haitian government is well-positioned to prevent its own people’s illegal migration to the Bahamas, is it any wonder, then, why Bahamians take issue with their Haitian sisters and brothers who flock here by the hundreds? It’s an awful abuse of a friendly relationship.

In the Bahamas, we have a couple of sayings which describe when a person takes advantage of another, or a situation: “You get too use”, or “you too familiar”, or “you wear out your welcome”.

In the end, no one likes a user or an abuser – especially the abused – even if they do still love them.

• Give feedback and topic suggestions at Tribune242.com, politiCole.com, Facebook.com/NicolePolitiCole, or nicole@politiCole.com.

Comments

asiseeit 5 years ago

The simple fact is Haiti see's the Bahamas as a cash cow. How many millions do you think the illegals send back to Haiti each year from the Bahamas? Haiti and the Haitians are bleeding The Bahamas dry. Why would the Haitian government stop this lucrative business?

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Revolutionary 5 years ago

1) They're not illegals, they're people that are here illegally. They are people. 2) The 2.2 million that is lost to immigrants (at most) is nothing in comparison to the funds that are "misplaced" by government or the repairs from abuse of government property (like BEC generators). 3) The Haitian government makes $0 off of the Haitians here illegally. They are not running a "lucrative business", they see 0 profit, nothing. That idea is absurd. If your argument is for the welfare of the Bahamian economy, don't start by deporting the laboring class that does the work few will, start with the corrupt individuals higher up and work your way down.

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asiseeit 5 years ago

1) Yes the are people that are breaking the laws of The Bahamas thus they are ILLEGAL aliens. 2) The 2.2 million you speak of is what we spend to RETURN these illegals to their country of origin. Now add in the money they remit to their country of origin, the cost to school their children, the cost to give them healthcare, the cost to try and stem their flow into the Bahamas, The cost to try and control their shanty towns (not to mention the environmental cost of said shanty town) and the list of cost to The Bahamas goes on, so your 2.2 million is absurd. The amount of money that the illegal Haitian remits to Haiti helps the Haitian government in many ways. It is injecting money into THEIR economy. Think before you want to berate someones post

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bahamalove 5 years ago

Preach on Sister! You must be using a jackhammer because you are hitting every nail on the head. Bahamians have been too tolerant of this illegal immigration problem for too long. Now the illegals think they have rights in this country which they are not entitled to. It is unfair to call us (Bahamians) xenophobic or prejudiced simply because we are trying to avoid our Country from being over-run by unwelcome house guests. There are many people here of different nationalities and races (including some Haitians) who have entered the Bahamas the legal way and have blended and contributed tremendously to our Society. There is no way I'm going to continue allowing my tax, and soon-to-be VAT dollars, to support a set of people that don't belong here. All illegals please leave at your earliest opportunity, which is yesterday!

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Revolutionary 5 years ago

1) A jackhammer doesn't hit nails, it destroys stone and concrete. 2) Are you arguing that the people that are here illegally don't have rights in this country? That sounds like a violation of basic human rights - to not treat one equally because they're here illegally. 3) Do they not belong here because they didn't file paper and get the stamp? or do they "not belong here" because of their nationality, because it would seem you are preaching bigotry. 4) It's not an "opportunity" to leave. Some came here out of desperation to escape a living hell, and you want them to willingly "leave", and go back to their death sentences? for what reason? because you can't share?

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Emac 5 years ago

There are many nationalities that are here illegally. The nagging questions are, why are illegal Haitians being highlighted as the source of the main problem for illegal immigrants in this country? Why aren't Bahamians demanding that other illegals leave immediately? When you can answer those two questions honestly, you will have gotten the correct answers you are seeking from bahamalove.

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Emac 5 years ago

Could not have said it better! Would like to hear from the so called immigrant sympathizers though. Would love to hear their rebuttal. But then again, ya can't defend what is undefendable.

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bismark 5 years ago

if you are illegal in this country no matter what nationality get out,the Bahamas is too small to host all of these people.

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mangogirl01 5 years ago

Haitians are the bulk of the illegall immigrants in our country, saturating our schools, social and health services. Tell that to the teachers who are overwhelmed with crowded classes in our schools and the overcrowding could well be the source of the 'D' average in our schools. Try and teach a classroom with 35-40 students or more and see how that go! Tell that to the nurses in PMH overcrowded maternity ward who have to deal with the biggety, pregnant Haitian women having 2 and 3 babies yearly. Tell that to Bahamians who have lost their jobs and homes and have to depend on social services but the Haitians are crowding there too! Tell that to the Bahamians in the government clinics who can't get service because the illegal Haitans are crowding them on a daily basis, getting free health care! Do you see any other nationalties sucking the life out of our country in those areas. You'll stay right there feeling sorry for the illegal Haitians, as one said 'there are more of us than there are of you' and he is correct. Haiti's population is over 9 million and counting compared to our lil country's population of less than half million. Anyone who sympathizes with the illegal Haitians should do so in the vein of encouraging them to go back home and demand action from their government. What happened to the billions of dollars donated from countries worldwide to Haiti's government after the earthquake? That is what Haitians should be demanding answers for! Not entering another country illegally and don't expect no backlash from us; we have had enough of them feeling that they are entitled to stay here because they have been here for years and having illegal children to boot. I hope that Minister Mitchell continues to be consistent with enforcing our new immigration laws and that Haitians back home with the idea of coming here illegally will think twice! Enough is enough!

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UserOne 5 years ago

Haitian women are having 2 to 3 babies a year? That's impossible; a pregnancy is a nine month affair.

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DEDDIE 5 years ago

A small protest was taken place outside a border town in Arizona over immigrants crossing the US Border. An American Indian walk up and said, "we didn't invite any of you". Initially, I thought the comment strange but realized the guy was right. If the Bahamas remains prosperous, descendants of Haitians living here would most likely be saying the same thing you are saying to some other unfortunate group. As the world turns....

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Revolutionary 5 years ago

Nicole, To answer your questions: 1) "What is “unChristian” about enforcing our laws – finally? Christians shouldn't obey laws or follow regulations? What kind of Christianity is that?" A: The laws contradict the foundation of Christianity "love thy neighbor". Though you may deny it, shown by your last line "even if they do still love them." , sending someone - against their will - to a living hell is by no means an expression of love. To further burst your bubble, Jesus Christ broke laws - the table turning of the temple, the denial of roman religion, a failure to bow to the emperor. in fact - he was arrested, convicted and punished. So, in the example of the central figure of Christianity, laws can be broken for the greater good. and that, Nicole, is the type of Christianity that practice what it preaches. I don't necessarily believe that this is a viable answer, but it's what the bible says - so don't try and argue that these laws and actions are Christian. 2) "What is Christian about Haitians threatening Bahamians (on any level), illegally populating their country in droves, and then telling them it’s not enough? How can it be that anyone could expect this to be done to Bahamians and they not feel some type of way about it?" A: To ask that is to say what's Christian about going somewhere, taking the land and taking what's there?. And to be frank, that was the entire process of the Crusades, Christian expansion, New World exploration and Neocolonization. All done by devout Christians, who cited biblical justification and spread the gospel to it's inhabitants. So, therefore - this would seem very (historically) christian. Once again, I do not condone these, but you decided to throw the Christian ball, I'm just swinging the Bat of Historical Accuracy. And also, you're welcome to "feel some type of way" till the cows come home, but a good Christian would "turn the other cheek" and not deport the infants. 3) "how is the welfare of illegal immigrants and their offspring a more humanitarian cause than the welfare of legal citizens of a country and their offspring? Shouldn’t a country get to decide priority for itself? Who is protecting the interest of the legal Bahamian living legally in the Bahamas?" A: The welfare of these people is not a more humanitarian cause, it's completely equal - and that's what you fail to see. we have no more or less rights than them. Bahamians are not at a higher or lower priority level. The fact is, however, that they come from a place with double the mortality rate and a fraction of the opportunity. A country putting itself before others (deciding priority for itself) is how Fascism works, and though an effective system, it's questionable morals lead me to believe it's not the answer. And lastly, the Bahamian Legal system, the courts, their judges, the RBPF, the defense force, the Bahamian parliament, your very own MP, websites like this, your community and you are protecting your interests.

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Revolutionary 5 years ago

4) "Are we as a country, as a world, so accustomed to being slack and passive that to do what is obedient, to follow the laws of a land actually seems unfair? When did right become wrong?" A: As a matter of fact, I find that The Bahamas has become passive to enforcing its laws. this one, however, is not the priority - that would be repeat offenders (murderers, abusers, narcotics etc), corrupt officials and environmental laws - before all else. As a world is such an ignorant thing to say. for the over 200 sovereign countries, the 9 billion people - from Canada to North Korea - you want to summarize the global passiveness on law enforcement? and as an attempt to relate to the Bahamas? Get real. Lastly, right never became wrong - some laws (segregation, ethnic cleansing laws, bounties on Jewish people - deporting infants) are better off being neglected. That is, until they are changed. 5) "Should we not expect the people born of or patriotic to that country we just illegally bombarded to retaliate?" A: I skipped the idiotic, hyperbolic hypothetical for the former reasons listed. I would hope they don't "retaliate" as that means to return an attack - and physical violence isn't the answer to immigrants. 6) "If the will of the people is to be ignored, why even have borders and border enforcement? Why have laws? Why have government? Why have national sovereignty, if people from other countries should just flow freely in and out as they like, for whatever reason they feel is important?" A: Historically, the will of the people isn't always what's right, that's why we elect smarter people to make the tough decisions. That being said, our voices should be heard more than they are now and this is a corrupt democracy. but laws and government aren't there to hear the will of the people, nor are they there for immigration- they are structure to a system of order (which I'll give you is failing). National sovereignty has nothing to do with immigration- it's the independence of a country. Few of the immigrants come here for "whatever reason", they come out of desperation, from an awful place and nor do they "flow freely in and out". The journey here costs more than most can afford and has claimed many lives, you should be ashamed to make such comments. 7)"And once there, the incoming immigrants could just set up house on any tract of land, including land already owned by others ... maybe even land owned by the sympathisers. Then what?" A: The immigrants, like any other group of people who "set up house" on private property would be asked to leave, and later evicted by law. A homeless Bahamian could do the same thing, the same consequences would follow.

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Revolutionary 5 years ago

8) "And what if the immigrants refused to speak to you in your language and used any means necessary to gain ownership of what you’ve worked for? Then what?" A: It is perfectly reasonable for someone to not speak my language, the majority's language or the official national language. That person is simply subject to the consequence of language barrier, but I have no right to be offended that we're different. And if they gain ownership of what I've worked for (I'm guessing you mean illegally) then they would be subject to the law - like anyone else.

My objective here isn't to make Nicole afraid to use a question mark, it's to correct the misconceptions and blatant falsehoods in this "article". Though some of her remarks and stances are valid, one cannot argue that it isn't "unchristian" to deport another human being. One cannot argue that the illegals are the primary issue in the nation, that would be education. and lastly, for god's sake, you cannot argue that after arresting, detaining and deporting a person to living hell - you "still love them". No love lies in those actions.

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tchoosayn 5 years ago

Revolutionary is clearly an idiot a$$hole. And a sympathizer. And probably is or was an illegal before someone sponsored him/ her an education.

He/she dissected EVERY line of this article and the comments of everyone who posted who he/she disagreed with??? WTF? People PETTY nah! Really? Wonder if they think this makes them look smart. When instead they actually seem like a psychopath, who is either totally in LOVE with Ms Nicole or a total HATER. Chile Ms Nicole, watch out cuz dis right here is stalker behavior. But the Tribune could track their computer in case you need to sick the police on dey a$$!

Revolutionary, you CLEARLY have waaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy too much time on your hands! Go give yourself a hand job instead of typing, cuz you obviously need to get off on sumthin.

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UserOne 5 years ago

What a ridiculous post.

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DEDDIE 5 years ago

I thought the article below same to be a repeat of history. Only this time it is Haitians vs Bahamians. The article was American vs Chinese. In fact you can substitute the word Haitian for Chinese and Bahamian for American.

The Exclusion Act of 1882 created significant legal barriers to Chinese immigrants’ assimilation.

Around the turn of the century, politicians played into white workers' anxieties, pointing the finger at Chinese immigrants for economic hardship and labeling them fundamentally incapable of assimilation into U.S. society.

In 1877, a congressional committee heard testimony that the Chinese "are a perpetual, unchanging, and unchangeable alien element that can never become homogenous; that their civilization is demoralizing and degrading to our people; that they degrade and dishonor labor; and they can never become citizens."

Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882, barring Chinese immigrants who were already in the U.S. from becoming citizens and restricting new immigration from China. The law marked the first time that the U.S. restricted immigration explicitly on the basis of race.

Along with the Exclusion Act's renewal in 1892, Congress required all Chinese-Americans -- including U.S.-born citizens -- to carry photo ID at all times or risk arrest and deportation.

There is nothing new under the sun.

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herecomestheboom 5 years ago

MR.revolutionary seems to think that we should simply let the country be over run with haitians until this country becomes the living hell he speaks of.........

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biminibhs 5 years ago

Hmmmm. Revolutionary exhibits the mental pathology of several minority groups: The 'downtrodden and suffering' black man/woman, the 'poor and suffering' illegal immigrants and the 'dejected and suffering' gay population. Can anyone take responsibility for themselves? The oversensitivity this person appears to experience because of an opinion article, matched with their overcompensation by pulling apart the opinion of someone who does not share their view is quite telling. Is it a coincidence that the only article Revolutionary has voted on is one about gay marriage? And then the same one post 7 times on different stories? A psychosis no doubt. Where is Kermit the Frog with his Lipton tea?

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