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100 Escaped Capture In Abaco Landing

By SANCHESKA BROWN

Tribune Staff Reporter

sbrown@tribunemedia.net

PRELIMINARY investigations into Sunday’s illegal landing of Haitian migrants in Abaco reveal that 11 persons were allegedly thrown overboard during the journey from Haiti to the Bahamas and at least 100 migrants landed safely and evaded capture, according to Immigration Minister Fred Mitchell.

Speaking in the House of Assembly, Mr Mitchell said Royal Bahamas Police Force, Defence Force and Immigration officers apprehended a little more than 50 migrants in southern Abaco between Sunday and Monday, but nearly 100 more are suspected to be hiding in bushes in Sandy Point. He said Abaco “seems to be the island of choice” for illegal immigrants seeking to come into the country.

“Overnight there was a landing in Sandy Point, Abaco, which appears to now become the landing spot of choice for migrants because it appears they are able to melt into the population,” Mr Mitchell said.

“So far, at Sandy Point 57 people were captured by Immigration, the Royal Bahamas Defence Force and the Royal Bahamas Police Force and will be brought to Nassau for repatriation. The interviews that they conducted on the people on board suggest that there may have been as many as 150 people on this boat. So the search continues and we believe that people may have gone into the pine forest so they are still trying to find them. I believe another 26 was caught wandering in the bush. What is frightening is they said that they believe 11 people were thrown overboard on the way to the Bahamas and that is serious. Because if that is the case then it becomes more than just human smuggling.”

Mr Mitchell said if the Bahamas does not get a handle on the immigration problem it can have serious repercussions for the country. He encouraged all Bahamians to join the fight against illegal immigration.

“We need everyone to gather behind all the objectives we have in regard to immigration policy. It will require discipline by all Bahamians. We need Bahamians to abide by the law and resist temptations to say ‘release mine and catch everyone else’s’ because immigration issues threaten to undermine the integrity of the Bahamas and I am using this opportunity to join this fight.”

According to a press release from the RBDF, 24 migrants – 22 males and two females – were found after a blue and white motor vessel landed in the Hole in the Wall area at the southern end of Abaco on Sunday.

RBDF officers stationed in Abaco along with Immigration officials and local police were on the ground yesterday searching the immediate area for more migrants.

Yesterday police reported that another 34 illegal Haitian immigrants were apprehended in Abaco on Sunday.

Inspector Terecita Pinder reported that police received information around 2am on Sunday about a group of suspicious persons walking in the area of Ernest Dean Highway.

Last month, Mr Mitchell announced that government will impose new immigration restrictions in a bid to clamp down on illegal migration, particularly from Haiti.

This includes the consideration of a ban on people who have previously entered the Bahamas illegally and have been deported from ever obtaining legal status. As of November, the government will also impose new work permit procedures, the Fox Hill MP said.

He said the government will also mandate, as of November, that all people living in the Bahamas have a passport of their nationality.

Comments

Sickened 4 years, 6 months ago

Where is this blue and white motor vessel? Surely they captured it and know who the captain and crew are? After all this motor vessel carrying some 150 people cannot be a 'go fast' boat and out run our latest and greatest navy class destroyers.

I still find it amazing that these Haitian boats pass by 100's of miles and dozens of islands unnoticed and reach Abaco. They must have the Klingon cloaking device. Either that or our defense force patrols our islands with their eyes closed.

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realfreethinker 4 years, 6 months ago

Sickened I am sickened by the lack of accountability by our defense force . What the hell are they doing out there. It must be a racket in the defense force.

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MaLambee 4 years, 6 months ago

If Haitian boats or sloop could come into the Bahamas undetected then the defence force is useless. Imagine if these people were coming to harm the Bahamian people, which is quite a possibility in the future. They have had lots of practice how to evade them. Has anyone even considered this possibility? Too many boats are coming in undetected...something stinks!!. Also if there were penalties...pure and simple 'applied penalties' for the captain(s), this practise would cease. The other day, someone pointed that the country will soon be taken over by Haitians, actually haitian made the prediction. Perhaps he knows what he is talking about. After all, they are becoming the most educated people, most ambitious, most outspoken; they support each other with that gang mentality and are the most resentful people in the bahamas.

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GQ 4 years, 6 months ago

Minister Mitchell wants Bahamians to abide by laws and assist Immigration and I have no problem with that. But the governing party will not abide by anthing the Bahamian voter does e.g. The gambling referrendum. Ministers and chairpersons of corporations will not pay their utility bills but they cut off the poor people when they cannot pay, the difference is CANNOT AND WILL NOT. The poor cannot and these fat cat politicians WILL NOT.

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GrassRoot 4 years, 6 months ago

We need everyone to gather behind all the objectives we have in regard to immigration policy. It will require discipline by all Bahamians.# This means we have to do the dirty jobs ourselves and resist the temptation to hire illegals to do the crap work. Anybody volunteering? Work? Dirty Hands? Almost no pay?

Unfortunately, the way the Bahamian economy is set up and the way we act, we can not afford NOT to let these people into the country.

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SP 4 years, 6 months ago

Another idiot using the old cop-out excuse that Bahamians won't do menial labour.

You talking pure HORSE-SHYT!

Bahamians can be seen cleaning roadsides and working on dump trucks all over N.P.

"Almost no pay" my ass! Haitians do NOT WORK CHEAP...Those days are long gone.

STFU!

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gbgal 4 years, 6 months ago

May I suggest making use of modern technology to assist our country in protecting our shores? Drones, for example? I am sure there are other things we can get to lessen costs and manpower! You think we can try thinking out of the box?

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Andrewharris 4 years, 6 months ago

How we ga pay fuh drones and the training required to operate them?

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B_I_D___ 4 years, 6 months ago

Will if it is Abaco...the caption for this story should not be migrants...but immigrants... B.I.D...

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SP 4 years, 6 months ago

“We need everyone to gather behind all the objectives we have in regard to immigration policy. It will require discipline by all Bahamians. We need Bahamians to abide by the law and resist temptations to say ‘release mine and catch everyone else’s’ because immigration issues threaten to undermine the integrity of the Bahamas and I am using this opportunity to join this fight.”

FRED MITCHEL just reach with the last boat load of Haitians? He is" using this opportunity to join this fight.”

Where the hell was Mitchell Hiding all these years?

WE THE ELECTORATE have been begging and pleading you LOUSY politicians to get serious with these dam Haitians for DECADES!

The reason they continue coming is because they know you dam LOUSY politicians are not serious!

Where are the disincentives for being caught hiring illegals? Where are the constant roundups? Who are the so called elite's that can stop a CABINET MINISTER from rounding up illegal Haitian migrants?

FRED MITCHELL, the PLP and the FNM need to BOOTED OUT of the House of Assembly!

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Emac 4 years, 6 months ago

Simply go into the mud and the Pigeon Plum areas and demand to see the identification of every living soul in the area. It is common knowledge that Haitians will assist Haitians, whether is illegal or not. By the way, both the FNM and PLP are making me sick to the bones with their stance on this problem. If Bahamians don't rise and fight we're gonna find ourselves strangers in our own land!

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asiseeit 4 years, 6 months ago

The Government of The Bahamas is a FAILURE. There are more Haitians than Bahamians in Abaco. The failed politicians and a failed Civil Service can be blamed for this. This is what happens when a politician appoints idiots to do a job they are not able to do as a political favor. The Bahamas is also corrupt and there is little doubt that there are big fish involved. This nation can keep on with the same old two and six and perish or straiten up and fly right. I put my money on the two and six. As an aside, boy we are getting our moneys worth with those new boats hey. They have been in the Bahamas for how many months and not one Dominican poacher or Haitian sloop dare enter our waters in all that time. That's what you call value for money!

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B_I_D___ 4 years, 6 months ago

Miami had Little Havana...Abaco has Little Haiti...or is that BIG Haiti?

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SP 4 years, 6 months ago

Our country needs NEW LEADERSHIP!

Pure & simple!

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