By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
FLORIDA State Representative Daphne Campbell said she has filed a formal complaint with the Department of Immigration against a senior immigration officer over the alleged unlawful detention of two men who were arrested last year by immigration officials.
She claimed that one of these men has been deported to Haiti.
In her letter dated January 8 to Director of Immigration William Pratt, Ms Campbell claims that even though the men had provided original legal documents of their identity and Bahamian nationality, the officer in charge refused to release them.
However, when contacted about the complaint yesterday, Mr Pratt said he had not received one, nor did he know about her claims.
One of the men was deported to Haiti in December, and the other is still detained at the Detention Centre, Ms Campbell said.
Ms Campbell is asking Mr Pratt to investigate the matters, involving the reported arrest of Albury Wallace in Fresh Creek, Andros, in August and of Noille Joseph in Nassau on November 19, 2014.
According to Ms Campbell, Mr Wallace, 28, was born at the Princess Margaret Hospital. She said his parents are both Bahamian citizens. His father, Vince Wallace, was born a Bahamian, and his mother, Lovana Charles-Wallace, is a naturalised Bahamian citizen, she said.
“This young man who is a Bahamian as per the Constitution of the Bahamas because his mother and father are both Bahamians, spent the last five months incarcerated for no reason and this was a gross breach of his constitutional rights,” she wrote.
Ms Campbell claimed that his family had supplied all of Albury Wallace’s legal documents to the senior immigration officer in charge of the Detention Centre to prove his nationality. However, he was still deported to Haiti on December 17, 2014.
In addition to submitting his birth certificate, travel documents, passport, clinic card, vaccination record, baptismal certificate, the family also submitted the mother’s passport, her permanent residence certificate, and her citizenship certificate. She said they also turned over his father’s birth certificate and voter’s card, four photographs of Albury Wallace from his early childhood when he was in preschool, kindergarten, and of him at Christmas time. She claimed that the family had also paid $500 cash.
Ms Campbell claims that all of the items were provided to a senior officer.
She is also requesting that Mr Pratt facilitate Mr Wallace’s return to the Bahamas at the earliest possible time at his department’s expense.
“Your officer deported him unjustly and he has every legal right to be in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas because of his Bahamian citizenship granted to him by virtue of the Constitution of the Bahamas. Secondly, his family would like to receive his $500 cash back along with all his original documents,” Ms Campbell said.
Ms Campbell also called for the immediate release of 31-year-old Noille Joseph, who she said is still detained at the Detention Centre.
According to Ms Campbell, Mr Joseph was born in Freeport at the Rand Memorial Hospital on January 22, 1983 to Haitian parents. His mother, Manise Camille, and his father, Emmanuel Joseph, voluntarily left the Bahamas during the “Roker raids” in the mid-1980s. Mr Joseph lived in Haiti for a long time, and has two other brothers who were also born in The Bahamas and are still living there, she said.
Ms Campbell said Mr Joseph has provided all his original legal documents to a senior immigration officer. “These documents included correspondence from your office to him, his birth certificate, an affidavit with the spelling correction of his mother’s name, his Haitian passport, which confirms he was born in The Bahamas, which I am told he was advised to obtain by your office while he awaits the approval of his citizenship,” she said in the letter.
“I write to you to ask that he be released from your Detention Centre immediately, that he be given all his original documents and letters back, and that you investigate why these young men have been adversely affected by your senior immigration officer. . .even when they had all the supporting documentary evidence in his custody,”
“I would also know how many other persons have suffered the same fate by your senior immigration officer,” she said.
Ms Campbell said she filed the complaint on behalf of two of her constituents who are relatives of the men.