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UPDATED WITH VIDEO: Human Rights groups at Washington hearing on immigration policy

http://youtu.be/jA_KNkOnWUI

HUMAN rights groups have been making final preparations ahead of their presentation to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on the government’s new immigration enforcement policy today.

The Robert F Kennedy Human Rights, Caribbean Institute for Human Rights, and the Grand Bahama Human Rights Association (GBHRA) will speak to the autonomous branch of the Organisation of American States (OAS) in Washington, DC, at 11.30am.

Pictured above are Managing Attorney Wade McMullen, of the RFK Human Rights, Fred Smith, the GBHRA president, and Christina Fetterhoff, legal fellow at RFK Human Rights, getting ready this morning.

The Bahamas government will be represented at the hearing by Damian Gomez, the State Minister for Legal Affairs.

The hearing will be broadcast live on the OAS website at http://www.oas.org/es/cidh/

Full story later on tribune242.com

Comments

birdiestrachan 8 years, 11 months ago

The Tribune yesterday said he was addressing the US Senate and Congress. What has happened to that??. has he done so already or does he intends to do so at a later date. The US Congress and Senate has a whole lot on their plates that they same unable to solve., because both parties seems to be at war with each other

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killemwitdakno 8 years, 11 months ago

The OAS stand for Other American States , as in South America and the region. Nothing to do with he US of A. A North American was not represented.

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Economist 8 years, 11 months ago

OAS stands for Organization of American States and includes Canada and the US. Please don't mislead people.

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Economist 8 years, 11 months ago

Now I know you can't be serious...you just get a kick out of writing wild and crazy comments... well,you got me smiling!!

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killemwitdakno 8 years, 11 months ago

The OAS is not America, they are simply a member of the 100+ countries. Did you not hear the committee reprimand America's measures in the vid?

Trying to create an image to persuade now because the cause is moot, didn't even get the big room.

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Economist 8 years, 11 months ago

We are both agreed on that. only it is not 100+ countries it is 35 independent countries in North, Central and South America. The four member to whom the parties spoke were from Trinidad, Mexico, Chile and Jamaica.

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Regardless 8 years, 11 months ago

If Fred Smith really wants to help Haiti, lobby the Vatican to change policy on birth control and have the US Military air drop millions of condoms on the western part of Hispaniola. The out of control breeding in a nation already over populated is where the real human rights abuse is. This may well improve educational prospect there as well. Better educated persons realize that they do not need to breed like rabbits. Maybe this will result in this Haitian loving transplant to The Bahamas curtailing his hell bent crusade to discredit his adopted country. We have enough problems dealing with an inept administration.

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TalRussell 8 years, 11 months ago

Comrade Jesus, let my tongue clings me palate, not call for the Rebels Without a Cause Washington delegates, to have their right to return denied to the land that adopted them. Denied at USA pre clearance, by the nation that adopted them, cuz I am pretty damn sure in they ungrateful hearts, it's a one-way street adoption. Go backs your rightful homes, it was never in ya hearts meant to be our tiny Bahamaland. Calling on Dr. Duane test examine they hearts, for proof during when they appeal their reentry denied, right ups to da Privy Council, over in jolly England.

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killemwitdakno 8 years, 11 months ago

We know this. That's why I don't understand how Bahamians get so offended about their being unpatriotic lol. We should obviously get that they intend to pass through , not stay. Our immigration efforts aren't mainly about the community , it's about trafficking .

Who am I to require that anyone less fortunate must be grateful. Everyone isn't christian. Entitlement, and False accusation for extortion is typical ghetto mentality.

My roommate's not my lifelong friend boo hoo. just pay rent and be out by the deadline bitch. Wasting focus and energy expecting respect and integration.

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mangogirl01 8 years, 11 months ago

Minister Mitchell please revoke the citizenship of these traitors! Louby carry your ass and your fight to Haiti and the DR where the human rights fight is! Mr. Smith too!

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killemwitdakno 8 years, 11 months ago

Citizenship cannot be revoked, which is why illegal migrants want it in their attempt for the west , incase they are returned then government can't revoke their residency for overstaying in another country.

Which is why selling citizenship should be the crime with hard penalty as opposed to harboring.

Path to citizenship where legal residency is required first has pros. Keyword path , not purchase, not pregnancy.

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SP 8 years, 11 months ago

Dominicans set precedence how to deal with Haitian parasites. We need to follow!

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duppyVAT 8 years, 11 months ago

They are two peas in the same NO-GOOD pod ................... take ur pick

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killemwitdakno 8 years, 11 months ago

Don't be radicalized by DR reps. They're banned from Caricom. Obviously stateside zetas lie on them through fake human rights advocates in attempt to attack the economy, but government has handled things differently. It won't come citizen violence, cheating pensions, and a retroactive mass revoking of citizenship.

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Girly 8 years, 11 months ago

Wow. The Bahamas government really did an awesome job. Those activists really looked silly and sheepish after the onslaught of evidence thrown in their faces. LOVE IT.

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Stapedius 8 years, 11 months ago

Fred Smith has some serious issues. He embarked on a course where he appears to want to boost his own image. A so called champion for human rights he wants to be remembered as. Many Bahamians are in agreement that human rights is important and we continue to be open to people from so many cultures dwelling in our country. Mr. Smith appears to be the only one kicking up a fuss and encouraging Haitians to be disobedient and break Bahamian laws. Since he is unable to get the response he wants from Haitians and from the opposition he resorts to bully tactics. We as Bahamians implore the government to be fair but firm in this matter. Immigration is not something new and we all recognize the value in having different cultures in our midst. But to simply ask us to roll over and pretend nothing is happening is foolish and not in the best interest of this country.

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TheMadHatter 8 years, 11 months ago

I agree. There are many Haitians in the Bahamas that make a valuable contribution to society. Many who have lived here for even 30 years or more, who are a true part of our country and would be sorely missed if they were forced to leave. This whole campaign is not at all anti-Haitian. I myself am not anti-Haitian (although some may think so from reading many of my comments on this site). The country is just sick of parasites who come here and breed and do nothing constructive even for their own benefit. Those who come here who want to contribute, and uplift themselves at the same time, are very welcome in my book. But don't come here and breed like rabbits and then cry poor-mouth and expect us to pay your bills. If you want to stay down and out, you can do that just as well back home. Also don't come here with the intention of forming a majority.

TheMadHatter

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killemwitdakno 8 years, 11 months ago

If there's law abiding migrants here for 30 yrs , that's our fault (although there was no resources to do anything about it before). I don't see what exertion senile persons put on society (though something needs to start covering the free insurance). To note, they have a generation or two of adult kids by now that's currently required to apply individually. But even if they qualify for residency, they'd need their home citizenship which Haiti , for example, makes entirely impossible for even natives. 15+ years without visiting home can really make you an alien .

Don't turn al Qaeda at age 40.

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killemwitdakno 8 years, 11 months ago

I'm still very upset about Bimini and the fact the courts made him pay for defending the proper process for dredging but this issue shouldn't be the moment to get back at government. Very bold to go to OAS deliberately ignoring what the Immigration Act states it allows. Taking advantage of our inept electorates. Bullying indeed.

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Girly 8 years, 11 months ago

But what in the world did they accomplish. They did the same talks and Minister Fred Mitchell did not entertain them and the Laws of the Bahamas is still going to be carried out. They might as well had just saved their money. Another thing I keep hearing these Haitian decent saying so emphatically that they cant wait until election time to vote. However it was made clear that they cannot vote. A belongers permit will be given to those born of Foreign parent 's for the right to travel, have a bank account and to go to school etc BUT NOT TO VOTE.So they can just sit small with that one.

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killemwitdakno 8 years, 11 months ago

Don't see why everyone , born here or not, can't get a bank account. The way it is now, a foreigner can call from out of the country and open one. Oh stateless persons refuse to walk into their embassy to get a passport to then open one because ....why again? (Right, Haiti's application is insanely difficult and they can't prove they're Haitian even though the birth certificate has until now said Haitian Bahamian on it) And 14 year olds need bank accounts now? There's such thing as child accounts tied to the parent's ( guardians in their case) or prepaid cards, which was adequate in my school days. But hey, banking could be extended to all, I only need an email to use paypal, just don't expect to borrow without status.

They want to be born Bahamians and won't quit until they can show up 9 months pregnant , then try to claim stay with the child , then claim majority in a decade.

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birdiestrachan 8 years, 11 months ago

Fred Smith should be happy now. I believe he has gone as far as he can go. it was loby George who was sitting behind the man shaking his head. But Fred Smith did lie about addressing the US Congress and the US senate. Fred Smith Will not be allowed to change the Immigration laws of the Bahamas, and any one who enters the Bahamas without the proper documents is doing so illegally and it makes them illegal. Now the man from the Kennedy organization knows that Bahamians must have passports to enter the US so why does he think the Bahamas should be any different.

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TheMadHatter 8 years, 11 months ago

As for people being born here and claiming citizenship, we need to become more proud of our own culture like the people up in a north-east state in the U.S.

"They are proud of their heritage up there in Vermont. They have a saying about transplants who claim to be Vermonters. “Just because a cat has her kittens in the oven don’t make them biscuits.”

TheMadHatter

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Voltaire 8 years, 11 months ago

Girly, did you watch the same video as me? The commissioners seemed to have zero time for what Minister Gomez had to say. They all peppered the government with questions that seem to show their concerns are along the same lines as Fred Smith and his crew. They also warned the government to stop harassing the human rights advocates. I would say Smith won a huge victory. If you don't believe me, go watch other hearings - it is rare where the IAHCR is so stern with a government.

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Cas0072 8 years, 11 months ago

The objective of the hearing was to question the government and not the complainants who I believe absolutely deserved to be questioned. I counted three lies in Fred Smith's communication, and I am sure that is not the sum total. Like you, I observed that they had zero time for the government's response and that is unfortunate, as valid points were made. For example, with regard to the alleged threats, Gomez did point out that the threat may have come from a private citizen likely in response to the incendiary comments that Mr. Smith has been making about the Bahamas. The president of the commission responded later that they did not take those remarks into consideration for the report or hearing. To be fair, the IACHR and other "human rights" organizations should at least be cognizant of the antics of the people they choose to align with so that they are not painted with the same brush. Threatening anyone is not right, but no details were provided as to the alleged threat and all the government can do is have the police investigate it. That is, if it is reported.

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Cas0072 8 years, 11 months ago

Also, some of the "stern comments" were mostly questions for which they wanted a response at a later date. However, some were downright impractical. In response to the rape incident, one of the commissioners said that prosecuting the perpetrator was not good enough and that the government should prevent it. Really, The Bahamas government has a way of predicting and preventing crime? We could use that technology out in the wider Bahamas and indeed the world.

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Voltaire 8 years, 11 months ago

Actually, he said the Bahamas government has a DUTY to prevent it under international law. The point is that the government should not encourage an atmosphere that excuses hate speech and violent messages against activists. Consider this in the context of Mitchell calling them "Social terrorists" and etc. And, as was pointed out in the presentations, someone stationed at our Embassy in Washington actually threatened them on social media the day before the hearing!

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Cas0072 8 years, 11 months ago

A duty to prevent rape, threats, other crimes under local law is and should be imperative enough. Every government is keenly aware of this mandate. However, it was an impractical statement to make as the government cannot predict and/or assure that no criminal action will take place in the detention center or in the country. Due diligence in hiring is always encouraged, but how could they possibly know that the veteran immigration officer would one day turn around and assault somebody?

Consider the context of Mitchell's statement which was in reference to the organized smuggling of people into The Bahamas.

Regarding the embassy officials "threat" - according to the Tribune: "Mr Brown wrote that he intended to use every resource he had to confirm that the Grand Bahama Human Rights Association had made fraudulent claims about their meeting with the members of the United States Senate, and to report the fraud for possible criminal charges." This is not a threat. If he believes that some of the actions bear looking into and reported, that is not a threat.

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ispeakthetruth 8 years, 11 months ago

What is it exactly that the government is doing that is contrary to immigration law? Fred Smith's attempts at pointing toward this point has always been undermined by his intense emotion, lies and exaggerations of isolated incidents in which he implies government complicity. It sounds like you simply took Fred Smith's words as gospel. If not, please shed some light on these illegal acts.

To blame the government for one individual's actions such as the rapist immigration officer shows that this man is not in touch with reality. They did not block officials from entering the dorm of the pregnant woman, her fellow Haitians did that. Harassment of activists? The government does not condone abuse of anyone, and as far as I know did not participate in the KKK like demonstration. If he were truly being harassed he would have sued the government. But of course, like the people he represents, he wants to also be seen as a victim.

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Voltaire 8 years, 11 months ago

Well, in the first instance, the current immigration policy contravenes the Bahamas Constitution, in that it denies suspected illegal immigrants the presumption of innocence, the right to due process. It violates the Immigration Act, in that the Act does not allow stop and search procedures, nor raids and roundups. An Immigration officer must ask a person who he or she suspects of being an illegal, in writing, to submit to an interview to ascertain their status. That is what the Act says. And of course, it violates international law on almost every level, as the commissioners pretty much made clear yesterday.

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Girly 8 years, 11 months ago

You know what Voltaire.I am glad this happened.I am glad these activists showed their true colors.Yes this may have been hard for the Bahamas but you know what this did?1.We are finally doing something with strength to this illegal immigration problem.2. Stricter laws are being put in place.3. The immigration department is becoming more vigilant.4.Undocumented persons are being documented.5.This is sending a message to HAITI and slowly but surely they are getting the stern message Why? because illegal boat arrivals are coming down.6.The Haitian decent man who said that there are more of them than us would have made his last statement about this because guess what? NO MORE SLACKNESS AND THIS WILL BE THE START OF THE LAST SLACK RIDE THEY GETTING IN THIS COUNTRY TO CLAIM TO BE HAITIAN BAHAMIAN.Yes activists you have surely opened a good can of worms.This shows 1. Even though the Bahamas has graciously given these second generation BAHAMIANS a place to stay with Health Care, Education etc they have been taught to hate.loathe,and condemn a country that so willing helped them and only now want to regulate its decaying immigration system.Yes Voltaire anything worth fighting for will be hard but this I can say that we are making steps to change this illegal infiltrative tactic on our land which is to 1.SNEAK IN ILLEGAL2.HAVE MASSIVE AMOUNT OF BABIES and 3.Force the hand of another mans country to give them something as precious as Citizenship.So yes I am glad this happened.

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Voltaire 8 years, 11 months ago

Shouldn't the effort you mention have started at the border? Isn't doing it the way the government has been doing it actually a violation of our immigration laws, not an effort to uphold them? Aren't these exactly the points the activists have been saying all along? It would seem the international community would agree.

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Cas0072 8 years, 11 months ago

Speaking of starting at the border, please note that Fred Smith also raised the prospect of immigration reservists as an issue for contention. For anyone who is genuinely interested in protecting our borders, this should be looked at as a good thing.

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Girly 8 years, 11 months ago

No.The effort should start with Haiti.These activist have either been born in Haiti or have parents that were born in Haiti.They visit HAITI numerous times.So tell me why are they not taking their efforts to HAITI to stop them from coming here.IS IT FEAR OR IS IT JUST THAT HAITI WOULD NOT TOLERATE THEIR FOOLISHNESS.

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Voltaire 8 years, 11 months ago

Girly and Birdie, watch it again objectively. I would say Smith scored a resounding victory. The commission didn't pay attention to any of the minister's criticisms of the activists, simply stating that the government has a responsibility to defend them from and prevent any and all attacks on them. They dismissed the government's complaints about the language used by Smith, saying they had not heard it and were concerned about our immigration policy for their own reasons, not because of what the GBHRA has said. They told the government detention can only be a last resort option, not a first resort as we have it now. They told the government they can't detain children anywhere - safe house or not. They asserted, repeatedly, that all immigrants have a guaranteed right to due process - the presumption of innocence, charges, trial, etc - which the Bahamas does not give them. All this is what Smith has been saying all along. The incredible part was that the Bahamas couldn't answer hardly any of the questions put to them on the spot, and the commission asked for the answers in writing. What are we going to say when we in fact do break all the rules the commissioners mentioned? AND the commissioners want to visit and see for themselves. They will visit the shanty towns and hear first hand that we round up people and deport them without trial. Big score for Fred Smith. I don't see any other way to read what happened yesterday.

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ispeakthetruth 8 years, 11 months ago

You use the term "victory" as loosely as Fred Smith uses the terms "victims" and "xenophobia". It was not a victory, as it does not change anything where it matters. The immigration department has not, and as far as we know will not, change its course. Gomez was dull by comparison to Smith, but it was not a debate contest. He still adequately challenged some of Smith's unfounded and exaggerated assertions.

Pretty soon, even those abroad will realize the lunacy of Fred Smith.

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Cas0072 8 years, 11 months ago

What these people say is not gospel. And they also noted that the hearings concerns, like the report, is prima facie which means essentially that they are taking the GBHRA's word, for now. Ultimately, many of his gripes will not be proven and the only victory Smith would have achieved is providing more evidence that he is an alarmist and a liar.

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Girly 8 years, 11 months ago

Voltaire this is the final analysis. THE LAWS OF THE BAHAMAS WILL STILL BE CARRIED OUT.

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avidreader 8 years, 11 months ago

As an aside to this lively debate I will put forward a simple observation: The surname Darville is intimately associated with Long Island, is it not? If that is the case I should like to point out that many Long Islanders are proud to point out that they do not have an illegal immigrant problem (at least not of the Haitian variety) since they don't allow them to remain on their island if they by chance happen to land there. An interesting point isn't it?

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duppyVAT 8 years, 11 months ago

We find illegals/Haitians where there are lazy Bahamians looking for government hand-outs or kickbacks .................. go figger

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DonAnthony 8 years, 11 months ago

I wonder if these bloggers watched the same hearing I did or have a grasp of what was said. Everything has been a resounding win for Fred Smith and for the rights of illegal immigrants. The government initially housed children in the detention centre, after criticism from Mr. smith they are no longer keep there but in a safe house leased from the Catholic Church - a win. The conditions of the detention centre was roundly criticized by Mr. Smith, now the govt has spent 1 million on upgrades - a win. It was criticised as being overcrowded now less than 200 persons detained there. Smith said Minister Mitchell was operating outside of the law, which he was, now He has been forced to bring legislation to fix this - a win. Most importantly this legislation creates a new class of pseudo citizens with all of the rights of a Bahamian except the right to vote. Those with belonger permits can be educated, have access to healthcare, enter and leave the as they wish, and work without a work permit. This is a HUGE WIN and is a radical change that will lead to tens of thousands of immigrants being regularized.
There is more but Fred Smith has won on every issue and we are better for it. I applaud the govt for trying to finally fix this mess, and after much arm twisting trying to do it humanely.

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ispeakthetruth 8 years, 11 months ago

No country has a perfect record on human rights. It's not an excuse! However, by improving the detention center conditions, the government is showing their willingness to address legitimate human rights concerns. But even a broken clock is right twice per day. It does not change the fact that for the remaining 23.98 hours, it is wrong and absolutely useless.

Smith made his points at this hearing. However, being more animated than your counterpart when most of what you are saying is embellished, unproven or untrue is not a win. Fred Smith continually perpetrates lies of victimization, discrimination and human rights abuses against the country, because the truth does not align with his anti-Bahamas campaign.

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DonAnthony 8 years, 11 months ago

As I I said before both sides of this issue are not as far as their rhetoric would seem. The human rights groups are not for opening our borders, but rather that the issue will be dealt with humanely. Initially, as advocated by Smith, our government failed on this count. Now after intense pressure they are trying to do better, and I applaud our govt even if they have been brought around kicking and screaming. Truth is his one inflammatory comment comparing our govt to nazi Germany's aside, Fred Smith has been right and has won every single substantive issue. I have documented some, there are more, and we as bahamians and the country are all the better for his holding the govt accountable to upholding basic human rights and operating in a more humane way. That is the truth. Now let us work together to implement this new legislation and finally try to address this chronic problem in a humane and substantive way. For that the govt. and Mr. Mitchell deserve a lot of credit.

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ispeakthetruth 8 years, 11 months ago

Fred Smith has made multiple inflammatory remarks about the Bahamas...not just the Nazi Germany claim.

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ispeakthetruth 8 years, 11 months ago

DonAnthony, I have no problem with all sides trying to reach a compromise on illegal immigration. However, we must all be realistic and realize the limited resources of the Bahamas. The department of immigration, and rational thinking Bahamians, have essentially conceded that there will be some give and take...possibly more give than we want. However, for Fred Smith and the Haitian community, there is no compromising. It's always been "give us what we want, or nothing".

I, and many other Bahamians, take offense to being held hostage by this group of instigators. The bulldog approach of Fred Smith only intensifies an already contentious issue and there seems to be no stopping him. Likewise, Fred Mitchell and the government should not stop with their efforts.

Fred Smith has never put forth the notion of using his voice to prevent illegal immigration before it starts. He offered to lighten his tone, if the backlog is cleared, again placing the liability solely on the government, none on the illegal immigrants and their supporters. He could have offered to speak to the Haitian community about their ongoing support of illegal immigrants and their sponsoring of the illegal journeys instead. He could denounce human smuggling and use his access within the Haitian community, to work with the RBDF to prevent this. He could accept that the Bahamas cannot support the cost of providing legal representation to each and every suspected illegal and suggest alternatives that would provide realistic oversight of this process.

The government seems to be listening because clearly it wants to protect the Bahamas' reputation. Fred Smith however, is not having any of it. Like I said, it's all or nothing for him. His only intention seems to stop those who do not condone illegal immigration.

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Cas0072 8 years, 11 months ago

I watched the exact same hearing, which is why classifying the outcome as a victory is quite puzzling to me. This was not like a criminal case in which the judge or jury are expected to be impartial and weigh the evidence as fairly as possible in order to determine guilt or innocence. The IACHR are advocates and they unquestioningly sided with the complainants who are allegedly also "human rights activists." In fact, there was no evidence to weigh, just allegations, the government's response, more questions and concerns based on the allegations made by the GBHRA. There were no declarations and no conclusions, because they have not yet done their own legwork in spite of repeated invitations to do so. I am personally hard pressed to call it a victory except for the fact that his delivery was much better than Mr. Gomez. However, I recognized inaccuracies and contradictions in Mr. Smith's statement, so no victory as far as content. If one could get past the fact of Mr. Gomez's lifeless presentation (reading a transcript perhaps), the government effectively refuted the claims that were thought to be central to the hearing.

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Girly 8 years, 11 months ago

Listen Mr Don.These policies were already being put in place since last year Nov 2014.Mr Smith had nothing to do with it.Mr was just to argumentative to listen.

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Voltaire 8 years, 11 months ago

Exactly DonAnthony. It may be a prima facie case, but WE in The Bahamas know that everything our immigration department is doing contravenes international law as outlined by the commission at the hearing. The will not disprove Smith's assertions,because he is right: we DO deny deny due process to immigrants, we DO detain children, we DO house them in overcrowded and inhumane conditions, we DO criminalize undocumented migration, we DO use detention as the first resort, not the last. These are precisely the things the commissioned asked the government to show it wasn't doing, and the government could not. Time and evidence will only disprove the government's stance.

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duppyVAT 8 years, 11 months ago

This is all a big storm in a teacup .................... nothing will come out of it. We are one of the most immigrant-friendly countries in the world ............. 30% of our post-1973 population is first or second generation immigrant offspring. The USA cannot say that ................ SMH

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Voltaire 8 years, 11 months ago

@duppyVAT - that is what everyone said when Smith first announced he would go to Washington. They said the IACHR would laugh at Fred Smith. Now, we see the Commissioners expressing concern and saying they may be coming to Nassau to investigate. Perhaps you don't understand the influence of this commission when it comes to our international reputation. It is a big big deal. A great deal will come of this if the government cannot answer the questions put to it yesterday. And it can't - unless it changes its current immigration policy to conform with both local and international law.

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ispeakthetruth 8 years, 11 months ago

Most of Fred Smith's accusations have already been answered, repeatedly. The commission would be remiss if they did not investigate themselves and simply took the word of Fred Smith and crew.

Also, for my clarification, what part of our immigration policy does not conform with local and international law? Because that accusation has also been addressed, multiple times.

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Voltaire 8 years, 11 months ago

@ispeakthetruth - Well, in the first instance, the current immigration policy contravenes the Bahamas Constitution, in that it denies suspected illegal immigrants the presumption of innocence and the right to due process. It violates the Immigration Act, in that the Act does not allow stop and search procedures, nor raids and roundups. An Immigration officer must ask a person who he or she suspects of being an illegal, in writing, to submit to an interview to ascertain their status. That is what the Act says. And of course, it violates international law on almost every level, as the commissioners pretty much made clear yesterday - detaining children, no due process, no screening for legitimate refugees, overcrowding, no detention as a last resort... and on and on and on...

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DonAnthony 8 years, 11 months ago

You are so right. Our immigration department has been acting outside the law for a long time. Massive roadblocks have been deemed by our Supreme Court as illegal. There is no basis in law, in fact it is illegal to stop persons indiscriminately and question them. We accept so much nonsense from our authorities that infringe constantly on our rights.

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ispeakthetruth 8 years, 11 months ago

Again, which policy does that?

Determining if someone is in the country illegally is more of an administrative process than a legal one. As lawyer Wayne Munroe confirmed, the immigration minister has the right to sign off on deportations without court proceedings for persons who are determined to be living in the Bahamas illegally.

The costs of providing legal representation for each of the scores of illegals and potentially illegal is not a practical approach for the Bahamas. It is just another tactic to ensure the flow of illegal immigrants will continue. If the government provided representation for all suspected illegals, they would have to do the same for the other criminal and suspected criminals housed at Fox Hill prison. The costs of defending all suspected criminals in the Bahamas is a burden that the country Is unable to provide.

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Voltaire 8 years, 11 months ago

Fred Smith was in the right from the get-go. That is becoming increasingly clear.

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Voltaire 8 years, 11 months ago

And Girly, I must say, you spoke earlier about Smith and his crew looking silly and sheepish - what looked sillier than the minister's phone ringing off with some dumb song and his entourage fumbling to silence it? I mean, really. We have to show up and look third world? And we worrying about the activists making us look bad....

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Girly 8 years, 11 months ago

Well that and the activists looked silly.LOL

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birdiestrachan 8 years, 11 months ago

You must give it to Fred Smith he is the biggest Liar on the face of the earth he was all over the place taking pictures by the senate building and saying he had met with them and he was going to met with the congress. Now those people are only going by the lies Fred Smith told them, They are on the same page. they want to believe what Fred has said. take note those people for the most part are no longer living.. for what ever reason in the land of their birth. We live in the land of our birth, and we know the large amount of illegals that continue to come can not be absorbed in this small Bahamas. that is the bottom line We love the Bahamas and may God continue to bless the Bahamas.

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birdiestrachan 8 years, 11 months ago

Detention is the last resort. who decides that Fred Smith? or IAHCR> ? the Bahamas showed them respect; it is my hope that they will show the Bahamas the same respect, knowing that they can not change the laws of the Bahamas.

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Emac 8 years, 11 months ago

Boy generalcrazy, you raw now! Your words are abrasive, but what you are saying is all true. MOST Haitians are users. They have been using Bahamians for years. While we are trying to present our views in this forum and while Fred "spotlight" Smith is being delusional about fighting for the rights of illegal Haitians ONLY IN THE BAHAMAS, the Haitians themselves could give a shit about all of this. No matter what the outcome is, these people pay no attention to laws or even try to consider changing their ways to benefit society. THERE IS NO COMPROMISE WHEN IT COMES TO HAITIANS./SMITH/GEORGES It is interesting when one looks at the attitude of Fred Smith though. Oh, he may wear a suit and may be a QC, but that Haitian blood is strong in him. He displays all of the traits that are usually seen in the typical Haitian society. You see them trying to burn down the Presidential Palace and or they often threaten their officials on a daily basis. So when Fred Smith and Louby Georges were accused of trying to conjure up the spirit of revolt among the Haitian community I was not a bit surprise. That's just their way of thinking. Although I have not read any statements by DonAnthony, Voltaire,DEDDIE or Economist that speak out against someone that is trying to start a riot in THEIR country, THE BAHAMAS.

I totally agree that when dealing with illegal immigrants, law enforcers should always be professional while carrying out their duties. But. the lopsided views of all those who are siding with Fred Smith are questionable. People who are honest and sincere about human rights care about the rights of ALL HUMANS. not just a select few, unless of course they have some bloodline that is connected to the selected race they so adamantly defend. At least be fair about what's going on. To say that Fred Smith was victorious shows that you are a part of Fred's team or that you are taking sides on this issue.

But folks let me tell you something: I am a realist. If you think Bahamians are angry now about the illegal Haitian problem, keep watching. This whole ordeal will only add more flame to a burning situation. Bahamians, by nature are kind hearted people. But when you try to run them over or try to shine a negative light on them, especially when it is not true, do you know what they are gonna say? "Orr... since dey talkin 'bout we does treat da Haitians dem bad, den lemme show dem what bad treatment is!" Dog eat ya lunch!

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Voltaire 8 years, 11 months ago

ispeakthetruth - I am glad you brought up the issue of policy vs law. The commissioners did as well, as I am sure you saw. Their position is clearly that only in the Bahamas can constitutional rights be infringed because of "policy". Everywhere else, minister's actions are governed by LAW and policy is only the manner in which it is carried out, within the framework of said law. I have a feeling we will be hearing more from the commission about the way "policy" is used in the Bahamas to let ministers act outside the law.

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ispeakthetruth 8 years, 11 months ago

If you read the Bahamian constitution, you will clearly see that the immigration minister has the the right to implement and enforce policy. But even so, I ask again, for the third time in these discussions, which policy is superseding the law?

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SP 8 years, 11 months ago

Amnesty International wants us to cuddle illegal Haitian invaders? Better check Japan!

http://madamenoire.com/520151/do-peop...">http://madamenoire.com/520151/do-peop...

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duppyVAT 8 years, 11 months ago

We went down this same road with capital punishment .................. where has that gotten us?????? Now we going down that same road with illegal immigrants ....... when are we going to learn that HATERS out there wants to see this successful BLACK country FAIL????????

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duppyVAT 8 years, 11 months ago

The truth is somewhere in between the lies of the two Freds .................... and I challenge any foreign human rights group to come here and find it ............... the truth is never uncovered when it involves the Bahamian government.

If we have succeeded in frustrating the UNESCO,WHO, WTO and other organizations on the country's vital statistics, can you imagine getting the truth on illegal immigrants??????????????

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killemwitdakno 8 years, 11 months ago

In response to the QC - Borders are extremely difficult. Rescue boats makes immigration liable for accidental deaths which has often been the case in Australia where boats are turned around. The country is frowned upon for this practice. -Due process in the immigration code IS NOT guaranteed. Reinterpret. There is no right to due process for immigration in the constitution. It is also not fair to seek to obtain more financing from refugees before they are inevitably deported. So he prefers to send them to FOXHILL in addition to the thousands that he has charged clients. Due process for the same case involving thousands of persons requires hundreds more lawyers and resources that we don't have. In America , these persons never show to court. - Timothy was not a Bahamian citizen. Please for everyone's understanding, especially the migrant community, make it clear that it's your argument that they are , not that it has been done this way. -Street checks were to reduce night raids -Does he have any documentation or stats on claims of damaged property, aside from shantytown demolitions? -Immigration handles children with care, children are not afraid of the officers. Although a out of uniform social worker could be used instead. - Children of illegal migrants will be allowed to go to school. -The result is school permits are not to drive kids from school but to inevitably repatriate families. -The Immigration Act does not need to be amended at this time. There's other immigration issues where policy needs to change first. - How is traveling abroad impeded? -Harboring should not be an offense, except Naturalized citizens and permit holders shouldn't harbor. If it is made an offense, there needs to be a proper network for sheltering or volunteering to take in persons until their deadlines. -The terms used to describe was not "an illegal person" but "illegal migrant". Migrant is a noun of an action verb. It is categorization by which laws are applied to a specific action. "Overstayer" is synonymous. -Immigration Administration is sufficient enough for their job. These are not an array of crimes for conviction , there is no crime to be guilty of and therefore court is not needed. Illegal stay has not been treated as a crime before Nov 1st and it was apparently acceptable to human rights groups thus far. I cannot imagine that charging refugees as convicts is any more positive than assisting with assylum applications or transition. -The detention center had a recent case of abuse emerge however with proof taken by immigration staff themselves. There have been no pictures or public commentary of being made to bleed out on the floor. It's known that immigration is lenient on mobile phones or providing detainees with mobile phones. -Homes ramsacked whilst detained. This possibly occurs. In some cases, immigration has escorted persons off the bus to secure their location. - List item

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