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Fast Track Justice Sends Illegals Home

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis confirmed yesterday that he sent a magistrate to Inagua on Tuesday to convict and facilitate the deportation of more than 200 Haitian migrants who were caught illegally trying to enter the country.

The unprecedented act will now become standard practice, he said, adding: “There’s no reason for them to come to Nassau. Wherever they land, they’ll get a fair hearing and back to Haiti they will go.”

Dr Minnis, as the acting minister of immigration, told The Tribune he “ordered” the vessels the Haitians used to be sunk.

He said: “A magistrate and all necessary tools and equipment was dispatched to Inagua yesterday (Tuesday) and they had a hearing and all 230 pleaded guilty, so they were sent back to Haiti for illegal landing in The Bahamas.”

He added: “A few were complaining that they were sick so I sent a doctor down and the doctor knows through medical practice that if an individual is sick, if they need to be hospitalised, you take them to the nearest health facility. Haiti’s health facility is nearer to Inagua than Nassau’s so they need to be hospitalised in Haiti. Nassau is too far.

“I ordered the vessel be sunk so the vessel was sunk.”

The Immigration Act empowers the government to impose a fine of not more than $300 and/or a prison sentence of 12 months on anyone found guilty of landing in the country illegally.

The act also empowers the director of immigration to order the removal of such people from the country before their sentence expires.

In a statement yesterday, Attorney General Carl Bethel said the 230 people were deported from the country yesterday after what he called an historic exercise.

Forty-three of the deportees were already “awaiting deportation pursuant to a deportation order executed by the substantive Minister of Immigration Brent Symonette,” he said.

“The deportation order made by the prime minister followed the finding by Chief Magistrate Mrs Joyann Ferguson-Pratt, who held court in Mathew Town, that the migrants had illegally landed after they all pleaded guilty. The migrants were conditionally discharged on the condition that they should never enter the Bahamas illegally again.

“This is an historic first in the history of the Immigration Department where judicial oversight and evaluation of the circumstances of each individual immigrant was effectively implemented in the context of a mass immigration event; and sends a clear signal to any intended illegal entrants to the Bahamas, the lawful authorities will move expeditiously in the future in accordance with law to enforce the immigration laws and thereby defend the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.”

The migrants apprehended Sunday came from three separate operations by the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBPF).

The government’s handling of this recent wave of migrants comes against the backdrop of pressure the government has faced from immigration activists who have challenged in court longstanding immigration practices.

Comments

joeblow 11 months, 2 weeks ago

This is the first thing bordering on sensible yet from this administration! I hope there's more to come!

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SP 11 months, 2 weeks ago

The Bahamas has been stuck on stupid for so long that everybody's totally dumbstruck when anything with the slightest common sense is done.

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stillwaters 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Yes, yes, yes, yes!!!!!! Finally, some sensible moves!!!!!! Thank God for pressure. Some tried to get into our hospitals, but were blocked. Haiti's hospital is nearer. Wow..........good move.

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bogart 11 months, 2 weeks ago

EXCELLENT,!!!

Kudos to Roc wid Doc, best most practical common sense ting in all dese decades dis ting go wid sense. Now we needs to give them each a bag with approproate literature on government, family planning .....

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sheeprunner12 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Excellent ........... this is how a sensible, efficient government should operate ..... KUDOS!!!!

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TheMadHatter 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Good stuff. Too bad it took a threat of a no-confidence vote to make it happen, but at least it happened.

Keep it up and quickly introduce long awaited legislation to finally make it a crime to employ illegal persons punishable by a fine of $10,000 per illegal for each director of the company or individual or one year in jail. The "harbouring" law is insufficient. Persons hire illegals and dont care if they are deported. It doesnt affect them. They just hire another one from the unlimited supply line at PMH maternity ward.

Good stuff. Keep it up. Keep ya seat.

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Sickened 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Doc's vision is starting to come together. The positive meter is starting to move.

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joeblow 11 months, 2 weeks ago

After that Oban deal, he's gonna be in the negative for some time, but this is a start!

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TalRussell 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Ma Comrades, in meantime the same Judge has drive by Nassau's shantytowns to reach the airport.....the backlog of cases in the judge's home court will only increase. This is exactly what Trump is doing.... but why not when you're running out logical reasons explain ya self on floor People's House about back room sludge messiness Oban. Minnis, like Trump, has not brought charges against companies for employing illegals at the expense local workers. Its called smoke n mirrors cloud over Oban.

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joeblow 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Yep, his next move should be to send Immigration and a magistrate to the Mud and Pigeon Pea in Abaco! Then deal with Nassau and Grand Bahama!

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stillwaters 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Tal, try.......if just for a sweet minute.....to be positive about this move. I am sensitive to the fact that this might be monumentally difficult for you........

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TalRussell 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Ma Comrade, poor Brent who likes when a Papa Hubert cabinet minister got undermined - this PM waits him be off island before playing the role Super immigration minister? Minnis is super minister environment too, right.... and looks how he gone f##KedUp that portfolio. He did say he would step-in as judge and jury over Cabbage Beach defendants? {You does understand no one is making this stuff up?}.

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by TalRussell

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Jrusssell19 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Keep up the Great Work Mr. PM. Bahamians are watching. We want our country back. Thank you sir but Still plenty more work to be done.

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TalRussell 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Meanwhile Ma Comrades, at some stage there will be no butter cupping the repeated failures prime minister.... likes he did accuse the media making up Fake News (lies) about reassigning environmental portfolio away from Romy - upstairs to PMO. The PMO, also appointed dead people various government boards....how many missed dates have come and gone for the sale Freeport hotel? We got's own citizens who have remained locked at Fox Hill 5-years without being afford their day in court... how would you like be locked up years in pig pen and not found guilty damn thing?

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Well_mudda_take_sic 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Three (3) vessels were interdicted by US Coast Guard and BDF.

Minnis mentions he ordered one sunk. What happened to the other two?

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Porcupine 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I took one. I'm gonna use it to patrol the bank, looking for Dominicans poaching our crawfish.

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OldFort2012 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Feels odd when something which should be as standard as remembering to breathe deserves so much praise. What has government been doing since '73?

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TalRussell 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Ma Comrade OldFort2012, since 1973 and beyond providing free crown lands for expanding Shantytowns. One thing reds mum on is how many illegal workers they met on government's payroll on May 10, 2017? How many Imperial red cabinet ministers and MP's does hold a passport - other than the Bahamaland's. Is there a red cabinet minister holding a diplomatic passport - other than the Bahamaland's?

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TalRussell 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I mean we all knows he's all Imperialism but who in hell justiceified regularised the PM, with the power order sloops be sunkin'?......plus what happens if the ordered by the PM, sunkin's sloops - exceeded a value over $5,000? Hello King's Counsel to ships salvaging - them sunkin' sloops could cost public purse - plenty millions dollar banknotes? Does this mean PM has authority order the destruction your boat, house or vehicle - or business... if not, why hell not... he's all Imperial?

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DDK 11 months, 2 weeks ago

FS must be getting ready to throw a hissy fit!

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stillwaters 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I know, right? ......because he started all this!!!!!!

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John 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Good thinking. Persons have been asking for a Mini Defense Base in the South for decades. Not only because of the Illegals problem but also because of poaching. And now this puts more pressure on human smugglers who may have charged to bring their cargo to New Providence but are now being cut off at the pass without the immigrants even seeing sight of Nassau.

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birdiestrachan 11 months, 2 weeks ago

It made no sense to bring the illegals into Nassau and then send them home on a jet, I always wondered about that. So I give this one to doc.

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avidreader 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I wonder if this way of handling illegal immigrants will make the news in Italy where they are being flooded with illegal migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea with the help of so-called rescue ships. These ships, operated by non governmental organizations (NGOs), pick up the illegal immigrants a few miles off the coast of Libya in North Africa and then, instead of returning them the few miles to the shores of Libya, they transport them hundreds of miles north to the shores of either mainland Italy or the island of Sicily. It is a stupid situation and has resulted in political changes in the Italian election of Sunday, March 4th.

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sheeprunner12 11 months, 2 weeks ago

BETTER SUGGESTION ........... Intercept the smugglers at sea and let the RBDF sink them right there ...... that would lower the costs even more ....... Once the word gets out that the boats will be sunk in the Windward Passage, we will see no more human smugglers taking that risk.

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Emac 11 months, 2 weeks ago

"Haiti’s health facility is nearer to Inagua than Nassau’s so they need to be hospitalised in Haiti. Nassau is too far." I was hoping that I could at least see one could thing from this government that I cast my vote for! It's called fighting fire with fire. Thank you Fred "anti Bahamian" Smith for opening this can of worms!

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avidreader 11 months, 2 weeks ago

PM Minnis needs some solid and popular acts to make up for the errors committed with the OBAN deal. Personally I don't like illegal immigration for a number of reasons and I recall how my papers had to be in order when arriving in North America or Europe so I cannot tolerate the idea of people being allowed into a country without permission and the proper documentation. It is so unfair to the legal residents who pay taxes and try to have some pride in and hope for their country. Some commentators and critics say that the idea behind the promotion of illegal immigration by some liberal politicians is to undermine (in Spanish "socavar") and weaken the concept of nationality and national borders.

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TheMadHatter 11 months, 2 weeks ago

The other thing is ... were any IDs they had photocopied? Were they fingerprinted? Im sure there is a simple device and software that can run from a laptop to not only store fingerprints but also check as they are being stored as to whether they are already in the database. If already in, then those persons should do a year prison time at a make-shift prison in Inagua. Plywood and 2x6 can knock up quick.

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John 11 months, 2 weeks ago

The next step now is to stop looking at Haitians dem as our enemies. They were the ones most active in bringing slavery to an end and helping to set ‘the captives ‘ free even after slavery was abolished. We may not be able to accommodate them flooding into this country but our (The Bahamas) voice can be heard on the world stage demanding they stop be discriminated against and economically blacklisted. Do you realize if countries in the Caribbean and Africa and Mexico and South America was to form a union similar to what was formed by the EU, it would be the most powerful organization in the world. Even Japan and China would be sleeping on our doorsteps to get trade agreements.

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Aegeaon 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Although the case with the Bahamas is with drug cartels making underhanded deals with the PLP in the 80's had an effect on our reputation, the Haitians is where I fully agree with. Can people stop calling Haitians "parasites"? It's degrading and distracting from gangbangers with Russian military weapons. What about having the Bahamian people focus their fury on thugs that are ruling communities in fear? It's so simple.

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My2centz 11 months, 2 weeks ago

At most Haiti's revolution gave enslavers food for thought. They had no direct or significant impact on freeing Bahamian slaves. And even if they did that price has been repaid a million times over.

Bahamian voices go unheard making demands in their own country. Meanwhile, there are millions of Haitians or descent worldwide and in Haiti to lead this cause. Let's stop the mindset that they are owed to infinity and everyone else has to make "it" happen for them.

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TalRussell 11 months, 2 weeks ago

My Comrades, the one other thing I know cause I just looked it up is over 90% of an iceberg's size is underwater hiding what you can't see - same as Oban's Heads of RED MAIL STEAMER Titanic Agreement, which is being steered by Capt PM Minnis.

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SP 11 months, 2 weeks ago

This is a common-sense step in the right direction, but may be too little too late as Haitians possibly already outnumber Bahamians and government have no answer to why they are rewarding Haitians with citizenship because they entered our country illegally!

It is commendable that PM Minnis made this move, however, he will not earn my approval until holistic solutions including fines for people caught hiring illegals, mass repatriations and they stop the stupidity of granting Haitians citizenships with the right to vote is implemented.

We have a very long way to go before declaring even minor victories against the Haitian invasion.

Eastern Europe is under similar threat:

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joeblow 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I have said it before and will say it again,until we can get a grasp of this Haitian problem, we need a moratorium on the granting of citizenship to Haitians who do not have a Bahamian as a parent. And even when the claim of Bahamian parentage is made it should be confirmed with DNA analysis!

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Aegeaon 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Sigh. Focus your anger on gangbangers who are about to kill you, not Haitians.

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Cas0072 11 months, 2 weeks ago

This is too little too late, and considering the FNM government's pro illegal immigration stance, it could just be for show. According to the article, this was done at the behest of the prime minister. Why is this not the standard operating procedure? The immigration act states that illegal landing is a summary offence to which persons are automatically guilty if found. Hence, no need for the mass proceeding, just the deportation order. And what of that Haiti/Bahamas treaty that promised that illegal Haitians would not be treated like criminals? Probably still floating around for when Frederick Smith deems that this process is unconstitutional and that treaty trumps all. The government needs to get rid of the contradictory nonsense and make this process the standard before acting like they did something.

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jackbnimble 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I am actually impressed. Good job, Doc!! Keep it up.

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