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Haitians Warn Pm Over Exit Deadline

An aerial view of the Mud and Pigeon Peas communities.

An aerial view of the Mud and Pigeon Peas communities.

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Chief Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

BAHAMIANS of Haitian descent in Abaco sent a strong warning to Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis over the new immigration deadline: “Five years will come again”.

Residents of the country’s largest and oldest shanty towns, the Mud and Pigeon Peas, voiced extreme disappointment over the tone struck by Dr Minnis, whom they feel betrayed members of the Haitian community after pandering for their vote ahead of the general elections.

“We as Haitian,” said Bahamian Anne-Rose Jean, “we don’t have no problem with him (Dr Minnis), because we know that five years coming again. We put him there, remember Dr Minnis, we put you where you are today. You reach after four months and we are the same people you throw the rock at, but another five years will come again.

“We don’t put you there forever, after five years you will see what’s going on because Haitian is a nation who don’t scared suffering. We used to that, we used to suffering, and so we will wait another five years because we sure you coming again.”

Although the deadline will not affect her, Ms Jean, 40, said she took strong exception to Dr Minnis’ statement because it signaled that there would be no real change to the government’s futile, costly, and inhumane approach to immigration.

The Tribune canvassed the Mud and its adjacent sister settlement Pigeon Peas to get reaction to Dr Minnis’ deadline on Saturday.

Residents stressed that they were not against the enforcement of immigration laws but against unlawful deportations and detention, irregular processing and subsequent backlogs, and a complete lack of political will to provide meaningful solutions.

A frequent suggestion made to The Tribune was for the Department of Immigration to modernize and clear its backlog before setting off on a crusade similar to the one that became an international spectacle and human rights disaster on November 1, 2014.

Other residents questioned how the new deadline would affect the scores of students unable to attend school due to the existing requirements for school permits under the November 2014 policy.

Last month, Ministers of Immigration and Education Brent Symonette and Jeffrey Lloyd suggested that the policy would be relaxed to allow all school-aged children to be registered in compliance with both Bahamian and international law.

However, Education Direct Lionel Sands confirmed to The Tribune on Friday that the department has not yet received the authorization needed from the Cabinet to direct changes.

Sandra, 16, told The Tribune that she plans to stay with friends if her parents get deported along with her two younger siblings.

She will complete her studies next year and hopes to become a business woman after she applies for her citizenship at 18.

However, she said it was heartbreaking watching other children languish in the community because they cannot attend classes.

Stephanie, Sandra’s younger sister, will turn five next month. It is not expected that she will be able to enter grade 1.

“I don’t feel no type of way (about the deadline), but I feel bad for the kids who aren’t going to school,” Sandra said tearfully.

“I’m graduating next year, I don’t have my passport (but still allowed to go to school). It’s affecting (migrant children) them badly. Some of them don’t know how to count, don’t know their alphabet, don’t know their colours and it’s sad.

“I wanted to be a business woman, have my own business. My mommy is scared and my dad, I don’t know how he feels about it.

While officials have stressed that the new deadline would affect migrants of all nationalities, shanty town residents yesterday highlighted that the coded language made it clear that Haitians were the target given historic prejudices as the largest migrant group in the country.

Many surmised that the move was a desperate attempt to revive plummeting approval ratings for the Minnis administration, and expressed outrage that the Haitian community was still being scapegoated for the nation’s ills.

Ms Jean continued: “I want this message to go into the government’s ears, the Prime Minster, because he spoke to me at the rally here before the election. (Dr Minnis) He said where you from, I said Farm Road, he said you know me well, I said yeah I know you well.

“That Prime Minister job is not Minnis position, Minnis should have stayed where he was, you’re a doctor stay right there. They don’t give no chance to nobody else, the pot only boiling one side some get, some don’t get none, some are dying. Dr Minis catch your sense because you’re dealing with Haitians, remember, that’s a nation that’s not scared of suffering.

“We will have an answer for you in the next five years,” Ms Jean added, “put that to your head and thank you very much.”

Comments

Well_mudda_take_sic 1 month ago

A full blown investigation needs to be conducted surrounding the circumstances in which so many Haitians received citizenship and the right to vote in Abaco. It was an unholy alliance between Edison Key, Hubert Ingraham (better known in Abaco as "Papa") and corrupt immigration officials within the Department of Immigration that resulted in literally thousands and thousands of Haitians in Abaco receiving the right to vote while Edison was in the FNM camp. The same thing went on to a lesser extent while Edison was in the PLP camp under Christie.

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MassExodus 1 month ago

First of all even if the Haitians in Abaco are legal, they are illegally squatting on land. The mud and the Peas needs to be investigated and that land must be reclaimed by the owner of it. There are hundreds of illegal shanty's on there. Crime is out of control and I am sure it does not help disease. Finally we have all seen what Cat 5 Hurricanes can do to displace people. The governement cannot allow these people to remain in these structures, esspecially no the illegal immigrants. When the Abaco's are hit with a strong Cat 5 there will be an extreme problem when the entire Hatian community is left homeless. It is simply unacceptable. Furthermore crime from these two particular Haitian communities has increased over the last several years. Thank you Dr. Minnis! Please go a step further and enforce the laws on these structures that are not built to code, before we have another Irma.

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Emac 1 month ago

So in other words, these ungrateful people want the government to give illegal Haitians a free pass just because they are descendants of this nationality! Way to thank the Bahamian people for opening their doors to you and your family and for granting you citizenship to the Bahamas. The problem with these Mud and Pigeon plum people and the PLP is that they do not realize that right thinking Bahamians have no patience for corruption and underhand illegal activities. People who are squatting and are involved with many illicit activities should sit small and not be seen or heard.

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DEDDIE 1 month ago

The Tribune knows exactly how to stroke passions. They went into those areas with the headline and article already written and needed some fool to help them filled in the blanks. Why couldn't the headline read, "Haitians concern about children not going to school" . Nooo! that headline will be too positive for such a people.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 month ago

If there is one subject of ongoing justifiable major concern among Bahamians, especially Bahamians with decades of ancestry in our country, it is the wrongful Haitianization of the Bahamas. We have a right not to be relegated to second class citizens in our own country by corrupt politicians who are willing to unjustly sell us out for political power, and by equally corrupt immigration officials willing to illegally line their own pockets, no matter the very sad cost to our society and true Bahamian way of life.

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mdaniel2 1 month ago

How do Haitians make you 2nd class here please tell. They no different from you.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 month ago

Haitians wrongfully residing and propagating in my country have no right to do so. That's the difference!

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TheMadHatter 1 month ago

2nd class by Bahamians becoming 2nd majority. They are engaged in a breeding war against Bahamians. Unless Bahamians agree to have 7 children and feed them junk food to eat - then they will lost their own country. It's as simple as that.

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baldbeardedbahamian 1 month ago

JUST LIKE THE WHITE CONCHYJOE Bahamians LOST THEIR BREEDING WAR WITH THE aFRO-bAHAMIANS. Bahamas till here, Ebony and Ivory, we all happy. Relax with this fear of Haitians, it will be fine.

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Cas0072 1 month ago

There is quite a difference and I am sure that you are already aware of this. The now Euro-Bahamians brought the now Afro-Bahamians over with the intent of being outnumbered in order to staff their plantations most effectively, and of course cheaply. And clearly not much has changed. This worked splendidly in a time when black people had to work for free and make do with whatever scraps "Massa" was willing to provide. We now live in a climate where people are expected to provide for themselves and maintain a certain standard of living that is somewhere well above existing in Shanty town dwellings like the slaves had to. You say relax, but tell me, with the current high rate of unemployment and poverty, plus the high rates of unskilled Bahamians and Haitians in one space, where are the jobs and services to maintain all? Or should we resort to the days of slavery or something like that?

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realfreethinker 1 month ago

If you are here legally then there is nothing to fear.There are consequences fornbreaking the law. by the way that vote scare tactic is way overblown and won't be a factor in today's Bahamas.

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sealice 1 month ago

What's inhumane about being here illegally?? You broke the law now GTF out!!

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John 1 month ago

Hubert Minnis ranting was just a cheap imitation of Donald Trump... and it backfired

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My2cents 1 month ago

Their selective concern for the law is disgusting. When both ministers expressed bypassing laws and standard procedures in order to ensure kids are educated, to fast track permits, residency and citizenship applications they were silent. It seems they also expected amnesty for their illegal kin.

They don't even hide the fact that their voting is based strictly on who is best for Haitians/Haiti. And still the government is blindly granting more approvals to regularise these selfish economic refugees. I wouldnt be surprised if both ministers respond to this threat with an apology.

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DDK 1 month ago

Give an inch and a mile is expected! The Government should NOT respond to threats with apologies! Like all Bahamas Government agencies, the law is followed only when it suits. Many of us were hopeful that this Administration would correct that!

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TheMadHatter 1 month ago

You can bet. You won't see two defense force boats in the harbour after Christmas. Not even one you won't see. All talk.

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bogart 1 month ago

This continuous arguement about the children is always emotional. Children should not be used as a PASSPORT

In Haitian culture children are given away as RETYAVEK or some word like that where the child is expected to enjoy a better life raised by more prosperous family. Sadly they wind up as slaves and exploited. Haitians know this that is why the argument is raised by the parents to remain with the children even though they rxpect to do so illegally and without a work permit or any form of legal pspers.

Leaving the children back to essentially raise themselves can be seen in the numbers of criminals with HAITIAN NAMES. RAISING THE CHIDREN WITH ALL THE FREE LUNCHES, UNIFORMS BOOKS RTC COMES BACK TO UN WHEN THEY SHOW UP AT HAITIAN FLAG DAY IN THE GARDENS WEARING THE HAITIAN TEE SHIRT AND FLYING HAITIAN FLAGS ON CARS GOING RIGHT PAST POLICE.

What is a major security concern given the unregulated illegal settlement is that when they can afford boats they will be travelling over to Florida.

Bahamian officials usually depprt say 27 men and 17 women but no children? Investoghations should happen to see if any bribes or phone cards excjsnged to see hpw the children got left behind.

Major security concerns arise when there is a large illegal and unknown unified population within any spverign mation.IRONIC WE SING ABOUT COOKOO SOUP.

MAJOR FLAWS ON OUR ANYIQUATED SYSTEM LIKE THE SMALL NEESPAPER ADS REQUESTING FEEDBACK IF THEY KNOW OF THE PERSON WHOSE NAME APPEARS...AND TO BE LIVING IN SOME P.O. BOX......THE PO BOXES BELONG TO SOME ONE ELSE AS MANY BAHAMIANS SHATE THE SAME PO BOX......NOONE KNOWS TODAY WJE ACTUALLY KNOWS YOU BY A BOX #... ALSO WHO KNOWS YOU BY SOME HAITIAN NAME?..eccept anothet Haitian how can one tell wothout seeing a photo in the ad.?.?......HOW MANY HAITIANS HAVE NOW ADOPTED SOME BAHAMIAN NAME LIKE JOHNSON, MACKEY ETC .....joke the illegal student yried uding LOCKHART and was soon discoveref as all the LOCKHARTS KNOW EACH OTHER.

WHEN SENDING THEM BACK GIVE THEM LECTURES AND BAGS OF CONDOMS AND BIRTH CONTROL STATIDTICALLY HIGH PROBABILITY WE WILL BE SOON COLONIZED WITH PROACTICE MEASIRES.

The records exist and an investigatipn must happen and where fraud is discovered yhey must be punishef

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Greentea 1 month ago

I have been to Haiti a few times. I have had good experiences there but one of the things that always strikes me is how few pregnant women I see there. They are not dumb people. They have children when and where they want to have them - in the Bahamas.

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DDK 1 month ago

I SUGGEST THOSE INCLINED TO THREATEN SHOULD RETURN TO THEIR HOME COUNTRIES, TAKE THEIR CHILDREN WITH THEM AND THREATEN THEIR HOME GOVERNMENTS.

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birdiestrachan 1 month ago

They are threating doc. I dare not. This shows the Bahamas who they are. them and the outspoken QC they have no love for the Bahamas. They are allowed to do as they like and act as they please, . This is not a good sign.

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bogart 1 month ago

We have seen apicture of our Bahamian flag mashed up in the mud.

We have spent 300,000,000 in education budget for some 60,000 students or 1,666 per student per term to educate many children of illegal parents.

We even paid their light bill for those who were left behind when the Farm went bancrupt even when Bahamians were getting their light cut off.

We have seen fellow Bahamians cannot get full medical attention because there is little money.

We have pumped well water for our hygene as we live next to illegal shantytowns with lactrines amd outhouses illegally built

And, and, and and now they threatening our democratically elected Prime Minister os our sovereogn nation.....well mudda tek sic.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 month ago

We need an immigration law that would respect the basic principle set out in the following Q&A:

Question: If my neighbor owns a fruit tree, and the branches hang over my property, can I eat the fruit?

Answer: No. The fruit of the tree belongs to the owner of the tree, so don't pick any of the fruit. [You can however trim back to your property line branches overhanging your property even if they bear fruit - you just can't pick and eat the fruit from those branches!]

Question: If an illegal migrant gives birth to a child in the Bahamas, and the illegal migrant mother has no official papers issued by her stated or obvious country of birth, must the Bahamas keep and bear the social welfare and other costs of either the illegal migrant mother or her child born in the Bahamas?

The Correct Answer Should Be: No. The child of the illegal migrant properly belongs to the country of birth of the mother, so the child should not be entitled to receive Bahamian citizenship simply because the child was born in the Bahamas; accordingly, both mother and child should be deported to the mother's country of birth.

Our constitution should be amended (by national referendum) so that our country, with its limited land area and resources, need not recognize 'anchor children' of any kind, neither at birth nor at age 18. This is particularly important to protect our own national identity and way of life (even our very existence) from the serious threat and dangers of illegal immigration posed by a nearby highly populated and severely impoverished country like Haiti.

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DDK 1 month ago

Agreed, Mudda, but which politician will have the chutzpah to call such referendum and see that it is safely carried out and enacted if call for such constitutional amendment receives the expected majority vote?

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DDK 1 month ago

By the way, WHEN did our constitution reflect that the child of an illegal should be entitled to schooling and citizenship at 18?

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realfreethinker 1 month ago

Wrong answer to #1. If the fruit is hanging over in your yard it is considered your property,and you are free to eat it. If the owner of the tree does not want you to eat it,he/she has the right to cut the limb off

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Sickened 1 month ago

These people will never be grateful for anything. They are takers in life. They are complainers in fact. We have taken in enough of them. Time to enforce the law and get all illegals out. Many Bahamians have children in the U.S. and the children are U.S. citizens. Very nice of the U.S. HOWEVER, just because the children are U.S. citizens that doesn't give either parent any right whatsoever to remain in the U.S.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 month ago

No one would deny that the U.S., unlike the Bahamas, is a vast country with enormous resources. The U.S. is therefore able to absorb and assimilate children born in the U.S. to illegal aliens. In fact, as most of us know, children born on U.S. governed soil are U.S. citizens from the time of their birth and most Americans are content that this entitlement granted by the U.S. Constitution does not jeopardize the U.S. economy or the American way of life. But the same cannot be said for children born in the Bahamas to illegal migrants, mainly because of our massive and still growing illegal migrant problem and the increasing numbers of children being born to them. Our society is being suffocated by the so called "anchor babies" who are entitled under our Constitution to be registered as Bahamian citizens within one year after attaining the age of 18. This entitlement must be removed from our constitution at the earliest possible time because we simply do not have the land area and resources sufficient to sustain these anchor babies without drastic consequences for our standard of living, national identity and Bahamian way of life. The horrendous effects of out-of-control 'illegal' immigration can be seen all around us today and the situation is getting much worse with each passing day.

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BahamasForBahamians 1 month ago

Hahaha.. when ya play with puppy they is lick ya mouth..

Hubert flirted with the Haitian Bahamian community... .. event sent them a half Haitian who's citizenship now has to be decided by the courts.

After he's done with them (got their votes).. he's basically telling them to "cyc" carry they.. c*...and thinks it will end well.

Hubert would've been more genuine by supporting the policy when fred mitchell executed it.

after all he's pretty much doing the same thing the plps left in place.. just ask fred smith. his donor!

The chickens keep coming home to roost!

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sheeprunner12 1 month ago

I blame lazy, greedy Bahamians for this unholy Highshun mess ...... Edison Key will burn in hell for this mess in Abaco

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screwedbahamian 1 month ago

Its a sad day for the Bahamas and all Bahamians when Illegal foreigners can threating the BAHAMAS GOVERNMENT because they were WARNED that unless they are made legal residents before December 31 2017 ( 75 days) and be entitled to all the benefits of the country as a BAHAMIAN born in the Bahamas to LEGAL RESIENTS PARENTS or Born Bahamians Parents they have to leave or be deported back to their homeland. The present day Government must cut off the head of this monster NOW.PERIOD... If not they will write the pages of history to the LOSS COUNTRY OF THE BAHAMAS very quickly. IMPLEMENT THE LAW OF THE LAND TO ALL.!!!!

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TalRussell 1 month ago

Comrades! PM Minnis, and his immigration minister Brent, now own responsibility for curing the decades old Haitian problem. What a stupid political blunder.
Minnis and Brent can threaten the exit of all 150,000 Haitians they want but Haiti's government done says it wants make it crystal clear that Haiti will not receive Bahamaland's undocumented immigrants who are at risk of statelessness.
Nassau alone has 37 Shanty Towns and that alone amounts to some 70,000, and without the thousands out the Abaco's.

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sheeprunner12 1 month ago

Who needs who more??????? ......... Haiti or The Bahamas????????

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SP 1 month ago

WTF? Haitians are warning the Prime Minister and threatening to vote him out? Why the hell are we giving Haitians the right to vote in the first place?

These parasites come to our country illegally, live in shanty's, run a totally parallel economy, engage in drug, arms and human smuggling, deprive legal individuals and Bahamians of jobs, subvert and undermine all government authority at every possible turn, burn and desecrate our flag, overwhelm our school, health and social services, have absolutely no respect for our laws, and couldn't give two pinches of hog poop about the well being of Bahamians or the Bahamas, and we reward them with citizenship and the right to vote? ARE WE FOOKING CRAZY, STUPID OR JUST DUMB?

Obviously, successive lousy, good for nothing, useless, administrations are responsible for allowing these people to illegally remain in our country and we are now faced with this national security issue.

Although regularizing them might be the proper course of action at this juncture. The question still remains. WHY are we giving them voting privileges in our country when WE ALL KNOW Haitians do not care about the future of the Bahamas or Bahamians? Haitians care about Haitians, and they should, just as Bahamians should care about Bahamians!

IF we must give Haitians a status, we should adopt best practices of other countries and give them residency with a right to work or citizenship without the right to vote as they WILL VOTE in the best interest of Haitians NOT BAHAMIANS!

WE CAN NOT have a foreign nationality here in numbers equalling our indigenous citizenry with the right to engage in the political decision-making process. History dictates Haitians will continue illegally flooding into the Bahamas and we simply cannot effectively stop them. This Haitian citizenship issue opens the door for Haitians to possibly becoming the deciding factor in the political outcome of elections.

The Haitian constitution already declares any individual born of Haitian descent as automatically entitled to Haitian citizenship. So WHY are we hurting our heads to give "descendants" of Haitians who already have Haitian citizenship, Bahamian citizenship, when all they really "need" is residency to be regularized?

It is absolutely A-S-I-N-I-N-E to give these people the opportunity to totally disenfranchise and deprive Bahamians out of our own country!

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DEDDIE 1 month ago

Citizenship without the right to vote is a good one. LOL. How many generations do you go back. I hope you don't include the Potiers, Moncurs, Deveaux, Deleveaux. You probably end up with 10% of the population eligible to vote.

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SP 1 month ago

Simpleton. Let us be sensible, not credulously stupid. Anyone entering the Bahamas illegally as of July 10, 1973, and their offspring now seeking regularization should be granted residency, NOT citizenship!

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DDK 1 month ago

WTF is right. The PROBLEM, and it is a HUGE problem, needs to be dealt with and dealt with NOW.

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bogart 1 month ago

Pore Bahamians dont have money an never did to hire no Haitian ONLY those Bahamians with high incomes could.

The end result with 100% debt service ratio from having unfairly dispenced the countrys money for Bahamians it went to provide benefits for illegals

. Huge sums to send fire trucks to put out their illegal shanty town fires, huge sums to buy boats and pay for gas to apprehend them Huge sums for medical care.

It has been madness to take such continuing care election after election at the sacrifice of building the Bahamas.

Bizzare that while there have been some Haitians who have followed the rules and have cherished our Bahamas as their own, they seem to be in the minority. And never seems to have ever spo,ken against their illegal countrymen.

Judging from the mass unity illegsls and those who are straight it os extremely disconcerting and scafy, Mathematically given the size of their populatoon in Haiti 12 million and the anility to those who come to melt into their commjnities we will be taken over. Any Bahamian who reme,bers that 30 years ago the only Hsitian was yhe Gardner...and today?? Govt officials who are responsible should be jailed if any fraud is found. It is lunacy to accept 40 million in fee work permits and see 100 million they earn and send back to their country.

We should also follow advice to introduce income tax to let the rich wjo brought them in pay for the damages.

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SP 1 month ago

Case in point. Every Haitian knows the intricate workings of Haitian human, drug, and arms smuggling. Yet NO HAITIAN with any Bahamian status has EVER stepped forward to assist the government in eradicating their criminal countrymen.

WHY would we grant citizenship to a people that systematically work against the interest of the Bahamas and Bahamians? WHY

Regardless how many decades Haitians have been among us, they have not assimilated and have shown absolutely NO loyalty to the Bahamas and we are rushing to give them citizenship with a right to vote? FOOK NO!!

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My2cents 1 month ago

@Deddie please stop. These are generational Bahamians with acknowledged Haitian ancestry. Most are proud Bahamians who do not speak creole, have no existing connections to Haiti or would threaten to throw elections if illegal Haitians are not accomodated. Stop spinning fantasies as if they are the same as the illegal landers and offspring who still have a legal right to a Haitian passport. The Bahamas really needs to rethink giving away citizenship to people who think Haiti is/should be a priority...this is the thanks it gets.

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Regardless 1 month ago

.....the people from the north of Haiti are historically infamous for killing their liberators and leaders.

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avidreader 1 month ago

Lots of comments here but there are a few basic facts to keep in mind: Haitians do not control all constituencies (yet); the continuously festering problem of Haiti has never been properly addressed by the international community; the likelihood of any significant action being taken by the Bahamas government is dubious at best; those local people in Abaco and other communities who profit from the Haitian presence are short sighted and ignorant of the larger picture of problems caused by illegal immigration on the world stage. Check the political swing to the right in Germany and Austria (to name just two examples) resulting from the invitation extended by Angela Merkel in Germany to millions of so-called "refugees" who are fast becoming an annoyance and expense in western Europe.

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TheMadHatter 1 month ago

The work permit fee for Haitians should be $15,000 The tax on money transfers to any caribbean country or miami (if it is suspected that the family member in miami will simply forward it to caribbean) should be 100%. Want to send your family $200? Then also pay the Bahamas govt $200 at the same time. So come with $400 in your pocket. All of these private plane charters should be stopped cold. Only Bahamasair should be allowed to land here from Haiti or to Haiti. Also make law that no money or monetary instruments or other valuables exceeding $1000 may go with you to Haiti. All sloops going and coming should be searched. Exceeding $1000 results in a fine of 10x the overrage. No person may travel back and forth to Haiti over 3 times per year or fined $10,000 on 4th time and year in jail on 5th time. This is serious business - well, i mean if we wake up and smell the coffee.

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sheeprunner12 1 month ago

Good suggestions ............ How can political relations with Haiti benefit The Bahamas?????? .......... The financial drain is crippling our economy ... just add up the repatriation costs, gross remittances, and social services strain ....... and when you add in the long term national security risks of drugs/guns/human trafficking with the Haitian Mafia, God help us ...... That daunting combination costs The Bahamas at least $300 million a year.

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TheMadHatter 1 month ago

Sheeprunner...your figure is incredibly accurate. If you add up the smuggling lost duty, drug & gun profits lost by former Bahamians in these trades, prostitution income losses, and total in all clinic and schooling costs for 2016 (using online data published by their mafia as well) the total is $297,386,781.09 So, yes, $300M is an accurate figure.

LOL

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