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Mitchell: Public Backs Immigration Measures

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

FOREIGN Affairs and Immigration Minister Fred Mitchell is confident the government enjoys the support of most Bahamians for its latest immigration restriction, which mandates that children of non-Bahamians have a student permit to attend school.

Mr Mitchell expects to meet with education officials today to discuss the policy.

His comment comes in the face of pushback over the policy from some members of the Free National Movement, including former Deputy Prime Minister and Immigration Minister Brent Symonette and former Education Minister Desmond Bannister.

Mr Mitchell said: “Immigration enforcement is broadly supported by the Bahamian public. There’s been nothing to suggest support has declined on any of these measures.”

As for the meeting he will have with education officials today, he said: “It’s an administrative meeting more than anything else. The minister (of education) has announced the position of the ministry on the matter so this meeting is just to make sure everybody understands what’s happening. I expect it to be very successful.”

Regarding criticism of the timing of the policy, which comes months ahead of the next school semester when the policy will take effect, Mr Mitchell said: “Timing is always an argument the opposition party engages in. But the time for debating is over. We’ve come to the point where the public is demanding action.”

The FNM universally supported the government’s immigration policy that came into effect last November. The policy, among other things, required people to have a passport of the country of their nationality and it marked the end of the practice of accepting work permit applications from people who are in the country illegally.

However, the latest measure has drawn criticism from FNM members, with Mr Symonette saying it is not “well thought out” and Mr Bannister calling it discriminatory and immoral.

“With this new policy, I’m nervous that you are going to drive people away from school,” Mr Symonette told The Tribune in an interview last week. “They won’t leave the Bahamas and you will have an uneducated, unhealthy section of the population that may lead to more anger and issues that could harbour crime.”

For his part, Mr Bannister said: “What the government is doing is keeping education free while creating obstacles for those whose parents may not be here legally, or those who cannot afford the fees charged by (the Department of) Immigration. They are in effect creating a society of the ‘haves and the have nots’ in similar fashion as when certain states in the US imposed poll taxes on blacks to prevent them from exercising their newly found right to vote.”

Last week, Minister of Education Jerome Fitzgerald said that the government is “resolute” over the student permit requirement for children.

“As the minister of education, I support Minister Mitchell and the Immigration Department in their attempts to enforce the immigration laws of our country,” he said.

“At the end of the day, we have to ensure that when dealing with children, we understand we have to have a balance in our approach, but we intend to enforce the immigration laws of the country and we expect not only for non-nationals to be registered, but for Bahamians to be registered because we have a challenge now where some Bahamian mothers are not registering their children at birth and getting birth certificates and this causes a problem at the end of the day when they go to get passports.”

Comments

DillyTree 5 years ago

I am one Bahamian who does NOT support Fred Mitchell's idiotic (and inhumane) policy of requiring foreign children to have permits to go to school. ALL children have the right to attend school as per the United Nations convention on children's rights -- of which the Bahamas is a signatory. The world is watching us, and so far we are proving we are nothing more than a 3rd world banana republic and a laughing stock.

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DonAnthony 5 years ago

I also do not support this unjust immigration policy that targets children. It is clearly intended to instill fear and prohibitive expense in those who can least afford it with the desired consequence that they leave the educational system. This is plainly wrong. I am all for dealing effectively with illegal immigration, but target adults, and leave the defenseless and most vulnerable children alone.

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TheMadHatter 5 years ago

Why you say they can't afford it, but they can go to the money transfer stations every week and wire transfer money back "home". ? Bahamians complaining they don't have no money, well you can't have money in the country if it is being sent out.

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duppyVAT 5 years ago

WHAT IS UNJUST ABOUT A COUNTRY'S GOVERNMENT ENSURING THAT THERE SHOULD BE A NATION OF LEGAL CITIZENS LIVING WITHIN THE BORDERS????? IF A PERSON IS HERE ILLEGALLY, EITHER GET REGULARIZED OR GO HOME!!!!!!!!!!!

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realfreethinker 5 years ago

duppyvat the children are not illegally in the country if they were born here. They are entitle to citizenship at the age of 18 once they apply.

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ispeakthetruth 5 years ago

If their parents are here illegally, then they are as well. They are entitled to apply at 18, it can be rejected.

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Economist 5 years ago

No, they are not here illegally as they were born here they, so to speak, arrived here legally. Indeed this is why Immigration has these new forms (Belonger I believe they call them) to provide for them to be here.

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ispeakthetruth 5 years ago

No, they are not here legally, otherwise they would have been provided with citizenship at birth and not simply the right to apply for citizenship at the age of 18. They belong in Haiti, with their parents.

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Economist 5 years ago

The government is providing them with papers because they are bound to do so.

Because we have allowed many illegals to stay for many, many years there will be a large number who will be allowed to stay.

Put the blame on those where it lies, take out your anger on the defence force, immigration and social services for their slack ways. If they had done their job we would not have an illegal problem.

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ispeakthetruth 5 years ago

Sorry economist, no anger here. But it seems as if you are having a meltdown, please relax.

I am, like you, simply contributing my two cents to this topic. I know that many descendants of illegal immigrants will be allowed to stay, unfortunately, due to our unconcerned, incompetent leaders...past and present. I am not experiencing heartburn over that. I am however, hopeful that those who stay will be limited to those who were here in 1985 and prior, and their offspring. That leaves those since then, and presumably the one generation after to consider for repatriation. And like I said previously, the children born of Haitian parents, are considered Haitians per the 2012 Haitian constitution.

It's crazy that any country, especially a small nation like ours, would have such a lack of concern for its people and its border, that so many undocumented persons can come, live, utilize services and procreate for generations without consequence. But the time for blame is over. And, at least, by appearances, the ministry of immigration is finally doing something. If they follow through thousands should be identified, and repatriated. It may be too little, too late, but it's something. And at least going forward there will be clear cut rules and the message to would be illegal immigrants that it is not better for them in the Bahamas.

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GrassRoot 5 years ago

this rule is EXACTLY why we have this mess. What a stupid rule. you get born here, but you have to hide for 18 years until you become legal? whoever came up with this must have smoked some crack. Only in the Bahamas. So someone to make a decision. The reality is if a minor is legal bcz it is born in the Bahamas, then you cant sent home the parents w/o the kids etc. If he is illegal, and being shipped out, how can it ever prove that it was born here? Bahamian government is not able to keep records (that I hope we can all agree on).

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Cas0072 5 years ago

Illegal immigrant parents not registering their children at birth, as is the requirement, is why we have this mess.

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ispeakthetruth 5 years ago

I, and most Bahamians, support this policy 100%. There is nothing being done to these kids. And I am sure you know by now the PM said no child will be denied an education. If illegal immigrants decide to keep their kids out of school for fear of being caught, that is entirely on them. Hopefully, they will be apprehended by some other means.

Children born into disadvantaged circumstances, usually endure the consequences of their parents' sins or shortcomings. For the most part, we seem to readily accept that fact of life. Along the same lines, why should the illegal immigrant parent be absolved of personal responsibility for the impact their actions will have on their kids?

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realfreethinker 5 years ago

What is the purpose of requiring the permit when they are guaranteed education ,regardless of their circumstance ?

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ispeakthetruth 5 years ago

It's just another means to know and record who is in the Bahamas legally or otherwise, via the school system. I think the only way it will work is to have all parents present a birth certificate, passport and/or visa at the time of registration or within a time frame after registration. If the kid is in the school, no visa then likely they will want to speak to the parent to see whether it's the cost, or to skirt immigration. If it's the latter, hopefully repatriation efforts will occur.

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GrassRoot 5 years ago

who please applies for the kids school permit? thank you very much. Illegal immigrants may not be educated but that does not make them stupid.

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TalRussell 5 years ago

Comrades I hate be the bearer of disappointing red news but the ever changing opinions of MP red shirts opposition members makes sense only, if its opinions are independent of PM Christie's government's polices pertaining to Immigration, Carnival, VAT, Regularizing of Web shops and Constitutional Amendments. The red MP's are not against them but the timing. Which translated to broken English - means, if reelected to government, they will NOT do away with a single one of the before mentioned evil PLP directives/polices/acts/laws.

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Girly 5 years ago

ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS,DO WHAT YA WANT.THIS YA'LL COUNTRY.SMH

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MonkeeDoo 5 years ago

Black people befuddle the devil out of me. Barrack Obama will not, even in the face of significant public opinion otherwise, deport, or even detain, one single "undocumented person" , (He won't call them illegal immigrants) and then we have the majority black Bahamian Government and Fred Mitchell in particular, that just lives to ship such people home. I would laugh my arse off if Obama's opening up of Cuba, to American Tourists, placed sufficient pressure on this countries economy that Bahamians had to swim to Cuba on rubber tires just to find a meager subsistence such as the Haitians do here. God don't like ugly at all.

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DonAnthony 5 years ago

The oppressed become oppressors. We love foreigners once they are not black, and poor.

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Cas0072 5 years ago

Were it that simple. If you have a group of poor, non-black illegal immigrants who overwhelm the country as much as Haitians please share. Then we can make an honest comparison. The Bahamas cannot afford to continue to allow illegal immigration to go unchecked and is well within it's right to force people to document their presence when they refuse to for their own self serving reasons.

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GrassRoot 5 years ago

True - financial racism is well spread and deeply rooted in this country.

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TheMadHatter 5 years ago

It would not have to be that way, if YOU would agree to pay all the bills for everybody. Why don't you start writing cheques?

Money doesn't grow on trees man. You must really hate Bahamians.

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Emac 5 years ago

Or probably of Haitian background

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Girly 5 years ago

Oh so you think the Bahamas is surviving just from Tourism. BIG JOKE. You really think that this country just like the other Caribbean countries are doing with sun,sand and conch shell that that alone is causing this country to survive.IT IS ONLY BY THE GRACE OF GOD.If you don't think so then too bad.

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Emac 5 years ago

Well I SUPPORT this new policy to be introduced by Bahamas Immigration. As a matter of fact, I would go on record to say that I was NEVER a supporter of the PLP. But because immigration reform is so important in this dam country that I would move into Fox Hill just to vote for Mitchell during the next election :(

When all as has been said and done, the average Bahamian is one that suffers from a broken immigration system. Those who oppose this new policy are entitled to their opinion. They are certainly not in touch with reality or what is going on in the rest of the world, or even the extent of the problem in the Bahamas. Ultimately, the Bahamas should be for Bahamians and all those who visit our shores LEGALLY to contribute to our growth. I often speak with many teachers who feel that this move is necessary in solving over crowded classrooms in public schools, which will result in Bahamian students and Legal immigrants receiving a better standard of education.

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TalRussell 5 years ago

Comrade Emac, before you make your big move to Fox Hill, I'd keep a watchful eye on the flip-flip reaction of the PM and his Minister of Education Jerome. Any cabinet minister going against Minister Freddy's student permits efforts, should be arrested and charged with-an act of treason against the state.

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Emac 5 years ago

Agreed. But didn't the good Education Minister say that he supported the brave Minister of Immigration and that their decision was resolute?

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birdiestrachan 5 years ago

The Bahamas immigration has been slack for to many years, that is why so many persons were under the impression that they could just jump on a boat and come to the Bahamas, some would go straight to the hospital and give birth, and the children would be in school on the first Monday, and there were jobs waiting for the men. There is nothing wrong with putting laws in place. and they would build shanty town. there is no place else in the world where illegals would even attempt to do what they have done here. and because they were allowed to break the laws. They have become rebellious and want to fight back.

A former Haitian said they will not pay for the permit , the only difference about the children he says is some have Bahamian parents and some have Haitian parents. that is a big difference, I support Mr. Mitchell he is a courageous man. to stand up for the Bahamian people. we are being out numbered.

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Emac 5 years ago

This may be far fetched to many. But I would say that if the brave Minister Mitchell goes full force ahead with his plans, without being dissuaded by the ranting of the anti-Bahamians Fred Smith and the other Grand Bahama guy, then I would support him as the prime minister of the Bahamas. Bahamians need politicians who are willing to look out for their interest, period. Fred has two big ones unlike the flakey leader of his party. Let's face it. The immigration factor will play a large role in which party wins the next election. Nough Said!

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ispeakthetruth 5 years ago

I'm beginning to have my doubts that he will do anything.

The politicians on both sides have had such an about-face on this issue in a short period of time that I believe it's simply because of its popularity among voters and there is no real intention to do anything. Just months ago Hubert Minnis and Chipman were advocating for automatic citizenship for Bahamas born Haitians. Even BahamasUncensored dot com, a.k.a Fred Mitchell vehemently defended illegal Haitians and even stated 'they are not a drain on our economy' and 'help build the country'. He did not explain how they are and are not doing this. He also denied that they had children at higher rates. However, to have their population swell to approximately160k in such a short period of time...who is he kidding? At that rate they are on track to match the native population very soon.

I hope whatever his personal feelings, he moves ahead with these new policies or we will certainly become BaHaiti within a short period of time. With so much corruption from our government officials we are well on our way.

So until I see tangible results, I am going to sign out of this debate and hope for the best.

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Emac 5 years ago

I am sure there is some ulterior motive as to why these policies are just now being introduced or enforced. Maybe it is vote related. Maybe during his second term in office as Minister of Immigration he is beginning to see the light :(

I agree though:We do have to see where this goes. But I am hoping for the best.

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GrassRoot 5 years ago

yes, he definitely can deliver. Our Spy-Fred Extraordinaire.

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TalRussell 5 years ago

Comrades next step is put an immediate halt to the millions of dollars being remitted every week back to the foreign nationals true homelands. You made your damn money working here, so spend it here. The laws on the books are more than sufficient to start issuing major fines to businesses or individuals facilitating the money transfers.

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GrassRoot 5 years ago

yes and once you are onto that, please also force the wealthy Bahamians to repatriate their flight capital to the Bahamas to spend it here.

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TheMadHatter 5 years ago

Grassroot - what the heck are you talkin about? Where are wealthy Bahamians (all two dozen of them) sending their money?

Man you need to get real. Either Haitians are sending money out of the country or they are not. Yes or No. Either we need money in this country for us to be able to survive. Yes or No.

You can't possibly shop at the same grocery store I do. I know I need money when I get to the cash register. Maybe you don't.

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GrassRoot 5 years ago

Now you are the one living under a rock. I bet the owner of the grocery store you and I shop has a big bank account in the US.

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licks2 5 years ago

No man nor child will go against fred right now!!! Fred know what he doing!! And by the way. . .the Bahamas has ratified CRC and is not signature. . .there is a difference! The Bahamas ratified that treaty with our derogation and reservations. . .which said that the non-citizen child will receive those rights to education so far as our laws applied to them being here. And no child. . .I said no child will be entitled above that which is given to Bahamian children! For example, the Education Act says that "as can be afforded" the Minister of Education is required to provide free education from five years to 16 years. . .with non-citizen children subject to those rules that subject Bahamian children! No money. . .no education!

For example, Bahamian children must produce proof of citizenship for self and parents. . .thus, according to CRC all non-citizen must do the same because on ratification our reservations and derogations declare that we will not give in to the UN on that matter!

Some of yall need to do ya home work like Fred. . .both Freds. . .one sloughing ahead with his new policies because he knows they can do nothing. . .the other just blowing hot air and doing nothing because he knows that there is nothing he can do. . .they are not ignorant of the rules!!

Do you guys know that UN conventions provide each member state the mechanism to opt out of any treaty that has inadvertently become unsustainable? Those treaties are not means of raping one nation to the benefit of the other!! The Bahamas has a strong case for what it is doing!!

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Emac 5 years ago

Wow! now that is a mouthful. I always welcome this type of information. Knowledge is power indeed!

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GrassRoot 5 years ago

I sometimes think it would be a good idea to allow the illegal immigrants to stayy, it will improve our genetic pool. degenerative tendencies.

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TheMadHatter 5 years ago

Please message me when you are ready to go to Haiti. I will personally buy you a one-way ticket.

You can go down there and improve your genetics and build a swimming pool in your back yard, or whatever you want to do. Just be sure to go to the clinic and get all your shots first - LOL.

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GrassRoot 5 years ago

No worries I got my hands dirty in Haiti helping people and I got my hands dirty helping my sisters and brothers at my church in Bain town and many other places. I have fed Bahamians dying in a hole because they were sick and abandoned from their friends and families. So love me or hate me for that. I don't discriminate. I have in the past but poor and suffering people opened my eyes and heart.

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Economist 5 years ago

If a country is only a signatory it means that it is not bound until it ratifies. Since The Bahamas ratified it means that it is fully committed.

That is the difference.

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GrassRoot 5 years ago

Yes it surprising that all is done in a half axx way.

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licks2 5 years ago

Yes. . .it has committed to comply. . .minus its reservations and derogations. . .which are presented to the UN prior to being allowed to become obligated to the tenants of the treaty!

When the UN governing body accede to members reservations and derogations. . .that member is allowed to ratify without obligation to go contrary to their state's reservations and derogations! In other words, each nation with reservations and derogations were telling the UN body: "boy you mussie fool aye. . .yoon getting we ta do dat"!

For example, UN/CEDAW and Muslim nations! They told them UN folks that we could go along with you in making woman a integrated part of our societies. . .but yinna better get from around me about ware whatever she likes! Hence a problem for the UN. . .they want whole sale compliance with the treaty. . .but Muslim religion prohibit total freedom for woman to ware whatever she wants. . .in defiance to her husband!

So the Muslim give their reservations (I might be able to work with that IN SOME THINGS) and their derogations (hell no. . .that een happening dude IN OTHERS!) and the UN allowed them to ratified with those exceptions and abstentions. That nation is only held hostage for what it agreed to carry out!

So treaties only bind nations beyond their reservations and derogations! In fact. . .the USA did not signature nor ratified CRC!! But she is full member of the UN. . .

You need to go and read the treaties (25 in all). . .observing all of their reservations and derogations. . .THAT'S WHY THEM BIG GUNS ARE NOT MESSING WITH THE BAHAMAS. . .WE GOT IT RIGHT. . .YINNA GOT IT WRONG!! WHY YALL THINK FRED MITCHELL TELLING ALL YALL KISS HE HIP AND TALKING TO YINNA SO BAD. . .HE EVEN MADE THE OAS SHUT DA HELL UP!!? WHILE FRED SMITH SPITTING-UP HESELF AND WILL NOT TAKE ANYTHINK TO COURT. . .BUT JUST WAITING FOR FRED TO SLIP?

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DEDDIE 5 years ago

Fred Mitchel charade is starting to pay dividends. You really believe Fred Mitchell position on Haitians have change from the time he protested Loftus Rokers deportation of Haitians. Come on people don't be so naive.Why do you think Fred Mitchell waited until now considering he was Minister of Immigration from the time the PLP won. Fred Mitchell was my lawyer for a past case and he is all politics. Who goes on an island tour to announce a new immigration policy. His intent is to use this issue to remain in the public eyes to overshadow any other person vying for leadership. I can assure as politicians always do, you will be disappointing sooner or later.

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Cas0072 5 years ago

It is still a valid platform, and locating platforms to drive their campaigns is what politicians do. If he follows through with the will of the majority of the people which is to implement these policies, then he would have earned the success that is sure to follow. If he backs down like others before him, then he backed himself needlessly into a corner. Contrary to what certain parties want us to believe, it is possible to be pro human rights without supporting illegal immigration.

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Emac 5 years ago

I agree! Who cares about what his intentions were before, or even now. The crux of the matter is that the majority of the Bahamian people support these new policies and wish for him to implement them. So no campaign that seeks to disparage the brave minister's name, just because of what he is doing now, is invalid in my eyesight

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DEDDIE 5 years ago

This is what Oswald Brown, an employee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs(Embassy in Washington) wrote about Fred Mitchell several years ago. http://www.weblogbahamas.com/blog_bah...">http://www.weblogbahamas.com/blog_bah...

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Cas0072 5 years ago

So he is an ambitious politician? Gained vocal detractors? We already knew this. His political ambitions at the cost of bringing some order to the chaos of illegal immigration sounds like a fair trade off to me.

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GrassRoot 5 years ago

The unresolved question about children born in the Bahamas to illegal parents is EXACTLY why we have this mess. What a stupid rule. you get born here, but you have to hide for 18 years until you become legal? who will apply for your school permit, your illegal parents? Please!! Whoever came up with this must have smoked some crack. Only in the Bahamas. So everybody is fighting over whether a kid born here to illegal parents is legal or not? shouldn't that be in the law? The reality is if a minor was legal, then you can not sent home the parents w/o the kids , as else you have a guardian problem/social problem of epic proportion etc. If the kid was illegal and being shipped out before 18, how can it ever prove that it was born here? Bahamian government is not able to keep records (that I hope we can all agree on). To Fred Extraordinaire, the whole Government and all MPs: I would not wait until these questions hit the courts. the courts decision may come out of left field and shut down any political leeway. So someone to make a decision, what ever it is, add some humanity to it.

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ispeakthetruth 5 years ago

The question on kids born in the Bahamas to illegal parents is not unresolved. Kids born to Haitian parents are recognized as Haitians by Haiti. The Bahamian law, I'm sure, was crafted with the legal immigrants living and working in the Bahamas who have kids during this time, and possibly moved away. Because of their legal status, they would not have to hide. So the law made sense. This law also has the condition that the application can be denied on issues of national security and public policy. The current crisis with illegal immigrant population was not present at the time and now it's being used against us. Since illegal immigration is a criminal act, and just the sheer number of persons that would have to be granted citizenship stemming from this criminal act - I hope Fred Smith is unsuccessful in his attempts. And that the law is amended to exclude illegal aliens.

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licks2 5 years ago

THE UN TELLS WE THAT WE HAVE TO SEND THEM CHILDREN WITH THEY ILLEGAL PARENTS!! BOY YOU REALLY GATTA LEARN A LOT OF STUFF. . .PLEASE READ THEM TREATIES THEN YOU WILL STOP TALKING LIKE YOON BEEN TO SCHOOL!

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TalRussell 5 years ago

Comrades the idea that they can illegally enter our country and do as they damn well please, came to Haitians after news reached them back in Haiti that, if you can get to Bahamaland, with the help of human smugglers, you will have made it to your new homeland. That you can even build your house on other peoples lands and hook up for free lights. That for $500 you can go to a justice of the peace and obtain fraudulent signatures, documents and name changes. And, every paycheck you can freely remit a potion of you paychecks back to your family in Haiti. When you get sick or it's time have a baby, the medical staff at PMH will welcome you for all the medical treatment you need and won't hand you a bill. We will educate your children and if you need social assistance tide you over to better times, just go see the government. If you are detained by authorities, a man named PM Hubert will order his minister Brent, for you be freed, not to be returned home but to take paychecks from citizens. Yes, Comrades it tis really better in Bahamaland, but only for the illegal. But a word of caution. This tolerance for free land, lights and all the other freebies and welcoming hospitality.... are NOT offered in Long Island.

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TheMadHatter 5 years ago

Man I wanna see your picture on the telephone pole next election. Yoos got my vote.

TheMadHatter

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Economist 5 years ago

You go generalcrazy. Man, I would love to hear how you solve the crime problem at the same time.

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banker 5 years ago

All of this is highly entertaining. And the majority of these comments validate Fweddie's personal opinion of Bahamians in general.

There is an easier and cheaper way to fix the problem, but the enlightenment necessary to see the solution is in short supply.

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Cas0072 5 years ago

Banker, what is his personal opinon on Bahamians? I am not sure which set of comments validate his opinion on Bahamians as the responses have been quite diverse. Is it validating that the majority of Bahamians are on board with curbing the illegal immigration crisis? That is the truth. Also, this quick and easy fix that has eluded all but you, please share. Otherwise, cryptic messages have no value in a forum intended to encourage discussion.

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Economist 5 years ago

This is not a fix at all. This fixes nothing. So you get a few illegals but most probably were born here and are not illegal.

The boat loads continue to come unhindered. The hospital continues to provide services free without the persons first being checked by social services. Immigration is still not dealing with valid applications.

Even non-Haitian legal persons who apply for citizenship or permanent residence have their applications in for 5 and 10 years before being dealt with.

No this is no fix at all.

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Cas0072 5 years ago

It is not a fix for better patrolling the seas, no. More boats and RBDF officers are needed for that. It is not a fix for administration issues at PMH or in social services dept. Nobody said that it was. This is a possible solution to documenting immigrants which is the first step in correcting past errors. I am not psychic, hence I have only offered that I support this policy as ground zero for addressing illegal immigration. The politicians who have been featured in this paper have offered no alternatives, and nor did the poster who claimed to have a "quick and essy" fix.

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Economist 5 years ago

The Defence force has more than enough boats. Instead of being tied up in New Providence, most of the time they need to be sent down to Inagua to cut of the flow of boats carrying illegals.

They can base one of their aircraft there as well to make it easier to guide the Patrol boats to the illegals.

This just distracts people from the dealing with the real problem which is much bigger.

We need to have an inquiry as to how we got into this mess, and who is responsible for letting it get to this point.

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Cas0072 5 years ago

You have said this repeatedly, but do you know for a fact that the boats are simply tied up? They could be disabled or not enough officers, which all tie back to resources. Certainly if they are tied up for no good reason that should be exposed. The problems presented by illegal immigration requires multi-pronged solutions. Documenting those that are already here is important. How else do you identify who is eligible to stay versus those that are not? I dont view any policy aimed at curbing the problem as a distraction, as long as it is implemented. Only then can we assess its success or faiilures.Policies can be ammended, but doing nothing is insane.

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Economist 5 years ago

Here is some of the information on the Defence Force. Next time you pass by the Old Imperial Lighthouse dock next to Prince George Dock you will probably see one, if not both, of our largest 198 Ft. Patrol Boats. It frustrates me every time I see them.

The Force[edit] The RBDF is strictly a naval force, and therefore differs from the rest of its Caribbean counterparts. With about 1,000 members, it is the largest of the Commonwealth Caribbean navies. Several changes in equipment have been seen in the history of the RBDF. In the beginning, the British uniform was worn by RBDF personnel; now U.S. woodland camouflage is worn (as opposed to the U.S. Army universal camouflage worn by The Royal Bahamas Police Force Drug Enforcement Unit).

Unlike other British Commonwealth Land Forces, there are no regular infantry brigades. Instead, there are special forces. These are the Special Operations Unit, which is the seagoing section associated with all ships and small craft, and the Commando Squadron, which acts as an amphibious infantry unit and also performs security duties. The Commando Squadron is a sizable force of at least 500 Special Marine Commandos. Training is conducted with the U.S. Navy SEALs in special naval warfare and also with the British Royal Marines. A common training practice is to have a marine recruit conduct a two-mile swim carrying a forty-pound rucksack.

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Economist 5 years ago

Delivered is the first of the 4 new 138ft patrol boats. http://www.damen.com/en/news/2014/07/...">http://www.damen.com/en/news/2014/07/...

They have the equipment and some of it is brand new.

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Cas0072 5 years ago

Your link supports that efforts are being made to patrol the seas more effectively, not why boats are continually docked. Yet, this is not the only possible solution that should or can be put in place. Again, I support the country's efforts to reign in the illegal chaos that is taking place on land.

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Emac 5 years ago

Anyone can see that one of the posters is a contrarian when it comes to this issue. This person will never accept or see the light even if it shines as bright as daylight in their eyes.

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SP 5 years ago

Only Bahamians of Haitian decent, people profiting from Haitian cheap labour and those involved in human trafficking could not agree with Mr. Mitchell

Mr. Fred Mitchell should not only carry on, but should significantly increase efforts to rid our country of illegal Haitian parasites.

These people are criminals in our country and should be treated as such, relentlessly pursued, apprehended and repatriated with every asset Bahamas can bring to bear.

Good job Mr. Mitchell.....Carry on with purpose and urgency....We are 60 years behind schedule!

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DillyTree 5 years ago

So many fools with foolish comments. This is NOT about illegal immigrants, this is about restricting the ability of children to go to school and receive an education -- something so few Bahamians seem to value. Look at today's article on the nearly 55% of under-educated, illiterate and unemployable BAHAMIANS in this country and tell me again how restricting education to those who want to go to school is such a wonderful idea.

This is the reason why crime has gotten out of hand -- so many without an education that can't find employment. And those who are only qualified to do menial labour don't want the jobs, as it's beneath them. Guess who is doing those jobs????!!!!!! Haitians. Come on, Bahamians, the hypocrisy stinks!

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SP 5 years ago

Get off your high horse, pull your head out of your ass and take a breath of fresh air to clear your head

The myth that those who are only qualified to do menial labour don't want that level of employment is total malarkey by jackass's like you.

Bahamians are on garbage trucks, maintaining roadsides and everywhere else they can find employment.

Low academic achievers are not stupid. These people realize their low potential in the job market and are quite happy to take whatever jobs they can find rather than sit watching their families starve.

What stinks in the poop permanently stuck to your tiny brain from having your head stuck so far up your ass for so long that you prefer to hire foreigners to save a few bucks while your own people suffer......STFU

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bismark 5 years ago

This problem with illegal immigrants has gone on for too long,the Minister Fred Mitchell has made a bold stand and a lot of Bahamians are in support of it,the Bahamas is for Bahamians FIRST,you do not want to follow the laws of our country then get out and go to yours,this has been going on for too long and I applaud the minister for doing something what many have failed to do,his next stop is to weed out all of the corrupt immigration officers who work there,they are the main ingredient in all of this,while we have some honest ones,a few of them has sold this country out,we can no longer sit by and allow this problem to fester any longer before we are strangers in our own country,get all illegals out not just Haitians,get all OUT NOW.

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