EDITOR, The Tribune.
WE have been quick to speak of the constitutional rights the children of illegal immigrants have regarding citizenship in The Bahamas, but one crucial point has been overlooked, the children of illegal Haitians are in fact Haitian citizens.
Article 11 of the Haitian Constitution states that “Any person born of a Haitian father or Haitian mother who are themselves native-born Haitians and have never renounced their nationality possesses Haitian nationality at the time of birth”.
Article 12 states that “any Haitian, except for the privileges reserved to Haitians of origin, is subject to all the right, duties and obligations attached to their Haitian nationality. No Haitian can make their foreign nationality prevail on the territory of the Republic”.
Article 41 states that “No person of Haitian nationality may be deported or forced to leave the national territory for any reason. No one may be deprived for political reasons of his legal capacity and his nationality. (41-1) No Haitian needs a visa to leave or return to the country”.
Every child born to an illegal Haitian should have gotten their passport through the Haitian embassy. The failure to do so does not make them stateless, it makes their parents negligent. That negligence does not entitle them to Bahamian citizenship automatically.
The government of The Bahamas has the right to deport all illegal Haitians and their children back to Haiti and the Haitian constitution constrains that government to accept their citizens. Their failure to do so allows us to use avenues through international law to seek resolution. There are also a variety of economic sanctions that might encourage that government to cooperate in accepting their citizens back. Additionally, the government should amend our Immigration laws to deprive those here illegally of the right to apply for citizenship.
It saddens me that we allow our countries resources and people to be exploited by the burden of illegal immigrants. It is also sad that with the bevy of legal minds in this country, including constitutional lawyers, that our nation finds itself in it current state regarding immigration. It is unfortunate that those elected to serve the people of The Bahamas are not the ones making the information in this letter public and taking the necessary actions in the national interest.
December 15, 2017.