0

Haiti Delegation To Have Talks

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Chief Reporter

Tokyo, Japan

HAITIAN Foreign Affairs Minister Duly Brutus yesterday said bilateral meetings with the Bahamas government over its new immigration policy is a top priority as Haiti does not have the capacity to meet regularisation demands.

Mr Brutus called for the Bahamas government to meet the International Organisation for Migration and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees over the new regulations, adding that the primary concern was the treatment of children born in the Bahamas to Haitian parents.

He said he expects to send a delegation to the country this week after he was unable to meet with Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell on the sidelines of the Japan-CARICOM ministerial meetings in Tokyo.

He also underscored Haiti’s respect for the Bahamas government’s sovereign right to enforce immigration policy, and cautioned detractors against using excessive language that may create difficulties for persons of Haitian descent living in the country.

“We do not have the service now for the Bahamas,” he said, responding to questions about the government’s readiness to process the increased demand for Haitian passports. “We did it for the Dominican Republic, probably we will be forced to do the same with the Bahamas. That’s why we need to go (to the Bahamas) very fast.”

Mr Brutus said: “I wanted to sit with Minister Mitchell, but he is not here. I will try to go to the Bahamas, I want to be clear we want to have a lot of respect for Bahamas sovereignty.”

Mr Brutus spoke to The Tribune on his final day in Japan, where ministerial-level meetings were held between the Japanese government and CARICOM member states. He explained that his trip to the Bahamas was delayed because the conference, and independent bilateral meetings with the Japanese government, were very important for Haiti.

He added that if he is unable to travel to the Bahamas, a team will be led by Minister of Haitians Living Abroad, François Guillaume II.

“It is normal if the Bahamas government wants to take some measures regarding immigration in their country,” he said. “Our concern is about the treatment made to children, we know they have a lot of children born in the Bahamas and they do not know Haiti.”

Mr Brutus said: “That is why our position is very simple. We wish this (Bahamas) government to try to talk to the International Organisation for Migration and also talk to UNHCR commissary for refugee, to see how they can have a policy more open for children, that is the position of the Haitian government.”

Several new immigration policies were implemented on November 1, however, the mandate that everyone living in the Bahamas must have a passport of their nationality has proved to be the most contentious.

The measures were announced in the House of Assembly on September 17 by Mr Mitchell.

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 will be required.

While the Bahamas government has maintained that the new policy is non-discriminatory, human rights groups have severely criticised the move as it directly impacts the largely undocumented community of Haitian migrants – many of whom were born in the Bahamas.

Photos of Immigration officials apprehending children, who were reportedly left unsupervised by their parents, during a raid on November 1 has led to calls for international boycotts.

Haitian President Michel Martelly, Minister of Interior Reginald Delva and Mr Guillaume were briefed on local concerns by Haitian Ambassador to the Bahamas Antonio Rodrigue last week, according to Mr Brutus, who explained that he was confident a common solution could be met to deal with concerns given the working relationship between the two countries.

He said that his administration did not have a solution for how best to deal with undocumented persons born in the Bahamas of Haitian descent, adding that more information was needed before he could outline specific goals for bilateral discussions.

Mr Brutus said the illegal migration of Haitian nationals remained a top concern, as the phenomenon continues to increase despite the Haitian government’s efforts to inform citizens that the move was a “big mistake”.

He pointed to an earlier visit to the Bahamas by president Martelly, who then suggested that financing for illegal Haitian immigration should be redirected towards creating sustainable trade opportunities for economic development in north Haiti.

Comments

afficianado 5 years, 8 months ago

So before November 1st no one was concerned about the number of illegals coming from "Fish net" Haiti , but now that some laws have been implemented everyone has something to say.

If President Martelly was doing his job then his people wouldn't be in such a predicament. Since the implementation of the immigration policies the hatian ambassador, Mr. Brutus, President Martelly, Jenna Baptiste and the biggity florida politician have not mentioned ways or possible options for reducing the illegals coming from Haiti.

Mr. Mitchell please keep your head up these individuals do not respect the Bahamas. They are trying to put a bandaid on the situation while not addressing the real problem-Their people!!

4

Stapedius 5 years, 8 months ago

We love slackness. As soon as the Bahamian government acts then the Haitian government has seen it necessary to react. Fred Smith is an @#$. When the border patrols in Arizona and California are readily stopping and detaining Mexicans I haven't heard one word about genocide come from the human rights lips. The reason we haven't heard a word is because it is not genocide and Smith should have more sense when making public statements. He apears to have a serious hate for this country and nothing either government does is right. The reality is that the largest concentration of illegal immigrants in the country are Haitian as are Mexicans in certain areas of the US. So naturally the largest group to be detained will likely be of Haitian descent. That being said, it is my understanding that Cubans, Jamaicans and people of several other nationalities have also been detained for violation of our immigration laws. Mr. Smith always finds a way to grand stand and use the media to his benefit. Human rights is certainly important and we should all have respect for our fellow man. But, it is hard enough for the immigration officers to have to deal with the dangers of their job and on top of it be criticised for doing it. These are our young men and women going into some pretty gritty conditions and are having to sort out a whole range of social problems. Mr. Smith instead of always bashing everything the Bahamian government does I wonder if you are ever concerned about the protection and rights of our Defense Force Officers or Immigration officers. In many instances the RBDF have been fired up by Domincan fishing vessels. What about their rights?

4

birdiestrachan 5 years, 8 months ago

Has Fred Smith or any of the Haitian Officials ever visited the shanty towns in Nassau or in Abaco the mud and pigeon pea . If they did they would know that it is wrong. This Tale about the children is only a smoke screen .. Something for them to hang their hats on.

The parents must do what is best for their children . and teach them about Haiti. the old story they do not know anything about Haiti will not work.. have you ever seen them on their flag day. you could fool any body by the way they carry on.

Parents must do what is best for their children. It is their responsibility, not the Government , nor the Church. The parents. that is what my Mama told me.

3

duppyVAT 5 years, 8 months ago

Just like Bahamian children growing up in Nassau to parents who came from the Out Islands should be exposed to their true island roots .............. we need to start doing this in our own country ........................ go back to your roots (not just at regatta or to bury Papa).

Bahamians are ashamed of their island roots . just like so called Haitian-Bahamians.

0

Emac 5 years, 8 months ago

To be honest, I don't think the Haitian government is as concerned about the welfare or treatment of children born of Haitian heritage in the Bahamas as they are about being responsible for meeting the needs of these children once they are returned to Haiti. It is time for Haiti's leaders to step up to the plate and start to educate their people about family planning. Unfortunately I don't see that happening anytime soon, because voodoo and other self destructive habits are hardwired in Haiti's culture.

3

Greentea 5 years, 8 months ago

You know something eMac I visited Haiti last year for the first time and it's not bad if you know you are only visiting. What struck me is that I think I saw ONE pregnant woman the whole time I was there. it was almost strange considering the seemingly high reproduction rate of immigrants in the Bahamas- but then again perhaps not strange at all and quite deliberate.

0

SP 5 years, 8 months ago

Fred Smith was born a British subject in Haiti in 1956. Mr. Smith became a Bahamian citizen in 1973 upon the country’s independence. As child, he along with his parents divided their time between Haiti and The Bahamas.

Fred Smiths' "true roots" are Haitian, NOT Bahamian.

This is another shinning classic example of why it is of utmost importance for the Bahamas not issue "full citizenship" to expats and their children. These people will ALWAYS side with their country of origin.

Our country must replicate Bermudas' citizenship laws which would render a Fred Smith mute and voiceless in the affairs of Bahamians whom he cannot care about because he is "Haitian in spirit".

Read Bermudas' citizenship laws: ........... http://www.bermuda-online.org/citizen...">http://www.bermuda-online.org/citizen...

3

Observer 5 years, 8 months ago

Fellow Bahamians, you were told that the Haitians are very adept at trickery.Now your eyes are wide open. You haven't seen the end yet. They are figuring now how to out maneuver you. The pastors, the associations, the ambassador, the president et al, are actively involved. They pretend not to understand that 'born in the Bahamas' refers to specific 'citizens' of the UK & Colonies, relative to 10 July 1973 and other legal provisions enacted prior to 1973, and others who were 'naturalized'. Aliens who landed in the Bahamas illegally were never considered, except, that they are criminals. As such they cannot be made eligible to be granted the privileges that pertain to citizenship.

2

TheMadHatter 5 years, 8 months ago

I am proud to see everyone, especially Fred Mitchell, standing up to these Haitian invaders. Of course the Haitian Govt is "concerned about the children" - they are their soldiers in the WAR they are waging on the Bahamas.

This is a WAR. We are under attack. It is late in the day to fight back, but never too late. Don't stop the fight.

Get rid of 99% of them, and monitor the rest carefully.

TheMadHatter

1

SP 5 years, 8 months ago

.................................................. Show that you love your country ...........................................

..................... Sign the petition to STOP THE HAITIAN INVASION OF THE BAHAMAS ................

http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/s...">http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/s...

0

ThisIsOurs 5 years, 8 months ago

"Children born in the Bahamas" to ILLEGAL immigrants are not Bahamian.

0

SP 5 years, 8 months ago

..................... Haitians obviously believe that Bahamians are extraordinarily stupid ..................

Mr. Brutus has joined the chorus that children born to Haitian parents should be exempt from deportation because they do not know Haiti.

Haitians have been sending their children to Bahamas on leaky boats for 5 decades unaccompanied, unable to speak a word of English, having no knowledge of the Bahamas, unfamiliar with Bahamian culture and having no relatives in the Bahamas......Yet these children thrive in the Bahamas.

Why is it that when the travel equation is turned around these Bahamian educated "exceptionally smart Haitian children" should not be sent to the country of their origin where they know the culture, speak the language and have relatives?

Secondly, "the position of the Haitian government” is irrelevant. Their "position" reflects what is in the best interest of Haiti having no regard for the best interest of Bahamas in the short and long terms.

These little darlings will soon grow into adult Haitians, with Haitians best interest at heart not that of the Bahamas. In fact they will despise and work against us at every opportunity like enemy spies.

We are seeing it manifested more and more daily with Fred Smith being the most recent "hidden Haitian" to attack us.

0

precious_1 5 years, 8 months ago

I am a citizen of the Bahamas I respect the law of our Bahamaland but I am disgusted by the horrible remarks made by our own about people of Haitian decent. I do not believe that people are iriate about the deportation of the Haitian population, they are unhappy about the way our govenment decided to handle the situation. We are all people and i love everyone. I will not encourage harsh and discrimitory remarks made by our bahamian people about the Haitians. God made us all. No one is better than the other. The situation is already bad. I would advise everyone that discrimination against others is horrible and should not be tolerated. Those that are illegal should be deported. Those that are currently citizens of the Bahamas and are in the system to recieve their citizenship should not have to suffer or called nasty names. We have a big problem when we generalize everyone. Not everyone practice voodoo or is a criminal. This is wrong. We are being critisized around the world by comments that some of us make. At the end of the day we are making ourselves look bad. Bahamas put God first. Only God can fix this current situation

0

Emac 5 years, 8 months ago

A dishonest person cannot get angry if someone calls him or her crooked. In the eyes of some people crooked might be a nasty word, but it does not change the fact that this word best describes a dishonest person. I admit that some of us could be a bit nicer with our choice of words. But we have been nice for decades and as a result, those who we have been nice to have rebelled against us!. I agree, putting people in one basket is not always the correct way of looking at things. But unfortunately the majority of Haitians are casting a bad light for the few decent ones. You have to admit that something has got to be wrong when every country is lashing out against the Haitian community. The Bahamas is the most generous of all the countries. In other countries, of which I will not name for obvious reasons, Haitians are killed or physically abused on a daily basis. So read what's going on around the world before you start blaming Bahamians for being understandably angry over this situation.

0

Observer 5 years, 8 months ago

Question...... if mother and father are home in Haiti, and the child is left in the Bahamas, who , except the 'GUARDIAN', files for BAHAMIAN CITIZENSHIP on the young person's behalf? And what if all of the above, other than the young person, are dead?

0

Sign in to comment