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Mitchell Accuses Activists Of ‘Rank Hypocrisy’

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By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Chief Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

IMMIGRATION MINISTER Frederick Mitchell accused the Grand Bahamas Human Rights Association of “rank hypocrisy” over its stance against the immigration policy and personal campaign against him.

Mr Mitchell underscored the importance of establishing a public affairs unit within the Department of Immigration to assist with the execution and understanding of policy.

“What gets me however,” he said, “is the rank hypocrisy of it all. The Leader of the Grand Bahama Human Rights Association engaging in this political subterfuge while coming like Nicodemus in the night begging for work permits. Or his Chief Lieutenant one Joe Darville, a former school master, denouncing the policy in the open but in a closed meeting telling the Haitian pastors that they must tell their people to leave The Bahamas. No more or less,” he said.

His comments were made at the annual Bahamas Week Celebrations at the University of West Indies Cave Hill campus in Barbados on Tuesday.

He warned students to be critical of information written in newspapers or asserted by activists, some of whom he alleged were engaged in public relations schemes to attack him personally and make every illegal migrant a victim.

“They have used defamatory statements like ‘ethnic cleansing’,” he said. “They have said that we operate Auschwitz in The Bahamas. They have accused the Department of ‘institutional terrorism’. No objective agency has called them out on these mischaracterisations. Not only is there no evidence to support it. The fact is that the assertions are coming from people of questionable mental stability. Yet the assertions continue to come unabated and unquestioned.”

Mr Mitchell defended the government’s plans to require all non-Bahamian students, even those born here to immigrant parents, to have a student permit for the fall semester or a passport with a residency stamp.

He said last week’s announcement did not make a distinction between adults and children, and every country in the hemisphere had similar requirements for non-nationals. “The question of who gets into school and who does not is a matter for the Ministry of Education,” he said. “However, the law is clear that every non-national has to have a residency permit to be in The Bahamas.”

Comments

Economist 5 years ago

The attacks on Minister Mitchell are unwarranted. Admittedly he agreed to take on his Portfolio and happens to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Admittedly he was in this post before and perhaps should have taken some steps then.

Unfortunately for him, the Department of Immigration is poorly prepared for the task ahead. Indeed, they can't process simple residents permits in under a month and that is where people are providing all the papers, are able to pay $1000.00 and pay for everything while in The Bahamas. Imagine how long it will take them to process tens of thousands (if you believe what most of the other bloggers are saying) of children in a matter of months.

He is not in charge of being able to stop the inflow of illegals, as that is the job of the defence force.

Mr. Mitchell is a lawyer who spent time going around these islands teaching the Constitution. To have to defend a policy that he can't possibly believe in must be tough.

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Cas0072 5 years ago

I guess we see what we want to see. It sounds like Fred Mitchell gets it, and he is not about to bow to the hysterical crowds. I wish the ministry much success in getting this policy implemented in time for the 2015 Fall semester.

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ispeakthetruth 5 years ago

Why would he not believe in it? I believe he does not believe in violating anyone's human rights...and that's not what's happening here. A basic policy, that exists in most civilized countries is finally being implemented in the Bahamas. Why would anyone be conflicted about that?

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jackbnimble 5 years ago

The Government and Mr. Mitchell need stay the course. They didn't cave in when the detractors showed up after November 1st, 2014 so I'm sure they won't cave in now. The noise will eventually subside when these idiots see we ain't flinching.

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TalRussell 5 years ago

Comrades, if ya is a student and your mommy and daddy has cautioned you that whatever they asks you at school, you do not be telling no teachers your real name, or the name of the Justice of da Peace, we used who signed all we change of names papers - cuz tis good bet, they is illegal as they immigration papers.

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by TalRussell

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DEDDIE 5 years ago

You would have think that proper consultation between the Immigration Department and the Ministry of Education would have taken place before the policy was announced. We operate in such an ad-hoc manner without any regards for protocol.Each Ministry appears to operate in a vacuum.

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TalRussell 5 years ago

Oh My Dear Comrade Deddy haven't you heard, the consultation is over and the only two things left to do, is for Minister Freddy to authorize the deportation of the Haitian Ambassador on the next plane or boat load leaving for Haiti. And, number two is for Freddy to order our Ambassador home from Haiti. It ain't like either one them ambassadors been busy keeping Highians out Bahamaland. Right?

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TheMadHatter 5 years ago

If the Supreme Court rules against him, the next option is to reduce the budget for Education by 30%.

TheMadHatter

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pat242 5 years ago

You know what i find interesting, for some human right activist Fred Smith is doing a pretty poor job. I said that because he is not speaking out on other human right infractions that accure in The Bahamas to Bahamians. As of late he bickers about Fred Mitchel and his policies on immiigation but refuses to speak out against Bahamians being second class citizens in their own country, child abuse, domestic violence and others. Its obvious that he is not concerned for the well being of Bahamians and non Bahamians, its a personal attack on Fred Mitchel for doing something that honestly should have been done years ago. The Bahamians cannot be a depot for illegial immigrants.

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TheMadHatter 5 years ago

Yeah. Fred Smith has never heard anything bad about Fox Hill Prison. He is a Haitian Rights Activist - NOT a human rights anything.

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killemwitdakno 5 years ago

Human Rights Activists are appreciated , especially under this PLP. Although Fred Smith is also a lawyer that would have much clientele should cumbersome court come first in the process. Lawsuit propaganda intermingled with human rights where he gets to charge the overstayer thousands, and that would only work by making sure they never pick up documents for just $150.

Yes we're all still upset over Bimini and your penalty Smith , but government has no money to give Timothee 100 thousand.

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TheMadHatter 5 years ago

Just heard that now that because the Bahamas is going to start requiring non-Bahamians to have a student visa/permit, that the USA is going to START requiring Bahamians to have a student visa to study over there too LOL.

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Emac 5 years ago

That was always their policy.

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TheMadHatter 5 years ago

Yep, that's why I put LOL so that people can understand our new policy is not some strange thing invented only in the Bahamas.

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TalRussell 5 years ago

Comrades begging for work permits- did my red shirts skip over that one - intentionally?

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Economist 5 years ago

What this means that if my, or TalRussell's, or Emac's child goes to schooll they will be presumed guilty of being illegals until they show papers to prove that they are innocent Citizens of The Bahamas.

BAHAMIAN CHILDREN in their own country "GUILTY TILL YOU PROVE YOURSELF INNOCENT".

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TheMadHatter 5 years ago

Don't you show papers when you register your child in school? Don't they ask for vaccination records, birth certificate or other ID, parents names and contact info, NIB number, etc?

Schools have been requiring NIB numbers now for 10 years at even Pre-K level. Of course, for illegals they don't press the issue, because you know we are just supposed to roll-over and play dead and give our country to them free of charge and without question or insult.

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Economist 5 years ago

Why did we not ask? If you can't produce certain information would that not be cause to call Social Services? Doesn't anybody use their initiative?

Oh, so KB is correct "Government Job" get paid, do no work. But we let it happen so we must pay the price. No one accountable.

So if we let this all happen, and we get grade "D" averages, and many don't pass math or English, then maybe we ought to consider how we define ourselves. How do we define "a true Bahamian"? Who are we as a people, as a nation?

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