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Fred Smith Voices Concerns Over New Immigration Bill Provision

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Attorney Fred Smith QC

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

Attorney Fred Smith, QC, is opposed to a provision in a new immigration bill that would prevent people born in the Bahamas to non-Bahamians from becoming citizens if they are 19 and older.

The bill mandates that such people apply for citizenship at 18.

Mr Smith said: “I am encouraged that the government has engaged with the law reform commission to propose a completely new immigration act, that is sensible. I have not yet had an opportunity to review it at all because it is quite large and detailed. However, there is a provision in the Act which seeks to treat people born in the Bahamas but who did not register between 18 and 19 as aliens and liable to be deported after that time. This is unadulterated savagery of people’s birthrights. I urge the government in its consultative process to rethink this provision and remove it and instead pass a simple section in the Act which would make it simple for everyone in the country: if you are born in the Bahamas you are automatically Bahamian, your birth certificate is your identification as a Bahamian citizen, just as it is for an American citizen in the United States.”

“We should stop fooling around with people who consider themselves Bahamians, who have always lived in the Bahamas and until Fred Mitchell started his nonsense in 2014 were never born with. It would avoid all the corruption in immigration, would dramatically reduce the cost of immigration and would ensure people can live and work and be constructive contributors to society without looking over their shoulders in terror and fear about being picked up and deported all the time or having to be bribed to keep free. Born in the Bahamas, automatically Bahamian, very simple. Just like Bahamians love to go over to Florida to have babies and they walk away with an American birth certificate and their kids have dual nationalities, people born in the Bahamas should automatically be Bahamian. That would be the humane, sensible and modern and rationale thing to do. We need to stop building internal walls, discriminating between people born in the Bahamas. We don’t need immigration walls in the Bahamas. I urge the government to rethink and embrace Bahamian born and bred.”

Comments

rawbahamian 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Of course the Haitian would oppose it because he wants more of his 'Cuntry' men here to topple the gubbermint so he cud be da P.M. Any changes to Bahamian immigration laws directly affects HIS PLANS !!!

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Samy 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Why you have to mention Haitian, you're such an ignorant idiot.

Even the US need to re-thought about their law, imagine someone's been to this country for over a decade and contribute to the society ,they have homes, business, children's etc... US need to do something about that and fix the law not use it for politic only . Its very ashame for US and Canada also . Its a selfishness, because they can go to our caraibeean countries and do whatever and no one can't stop them.

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licks2 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Take it to the Privy Council. . .THEY WILL TELL YOU THAT AFTER 19. . .NO APPLICATION. . .NO CITIZENSHIP!! That's the way it is. . .TAKE OR LEAVE IT. . .next question!

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bahamian242 9 months, 3 weeks ago

This whole Bill needs to be re-though. It contdicts the Contitution, and makes us going backwards into a Fascist Government!

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licks2 9 months, 2 weeks ago

What part of the constitution it contradicts? Either you can't read or you are just lying ya tail off!

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jackbnimble 9 months, 3 weeks ago

This man is determined to saturate this country with these nasty hazz Haitians!

Yes let’s make it automatic so they can keep coming and breeding!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Not just him, but the entire Minnis-led government too!

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joeblow 9 months, 3 weeks ago

The best interests of the country will be served if the government does the opposite of what Fred Smith suggests, we can be assured of that!

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DDK 9 months, 3 weeks ago

"if you are born in the Bahamas you are automatically Bahamian, your birth certificate is your identification as a Bahamian citizen, just as it is for an American citizen in the United States.”

Is he nuts? The U.S. is one of the few countries in the world that grants automatic citizenship to people birthed in its country. Why don't his people go have their babies in the U.S? Perhaps he should apply for citizenship there himself.

The United States and Canada are the only "developed nations" in the world to still offer Birthright Citizenship to tourists and illegal aliens. The following are among the nations repealing Birthright Citizenship in recent years: •Australia (2007) •New Zealand (2005) •Ireland (2005) •France (1993) •India (1987) •Malta (1989) •UK (1983) •Portugal (1981

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Well_mudda_take_sic 9 months, 3 weeks ago

And the U.S. is now seriously contemplating doing away with birthright citizenship, but it will not be easy because it will entail amending their constitution. Trump has this high on his list of priorities if he gets re-elected in 2020 with control of both the House and Senate.

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licks2 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Why did you leave out America? That has been the discussion there for some time now. . .

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licks2 9 months, 2 weeks ago

I did not see that you have the UK in that line up as well. . .THE UK NEVER HAD CITIZENSHIP BY BIRTH!!! Birth right there is done by parentage. . .ya grampa or gramma. . .ya mar or ya par must be British!! Birth in any colony even don't make ya British!! A simple google of Home office rules will show ya that!!

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thephoenix562 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Not that simple Mr Smith and you know it. Any such change goes against the Constitution and would require a referendum to enact.Well we know the history of rererendums in the Bahamas.It wont happen anytime soon.

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licks2 9 months, 2 weeks ago

H eonly MADE SURE BY HIS "HIS IN YA FACE' ATTITUDE CAUSE THE BAHAMIAN PEOPLE WILL NEVER GIVE HIM THAT CHANGE HE WANTS. . .NOT EVEN THE PRIVY COUNCIL WILL GIVE HIM THAT. . .THIS IS THE BEST HE WILL GET!! I TOLD MEMBERS OF RIGHTS BAHAMAS THAT RM. SMITH DUMB BEHAVOUR WILL BRING THEM HERE. . .NOW THE "PEOPLE" HAVE THE BIG STICK!!

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Schemer18 9 months, 3 weeks ago

You could imagine if the Bahamas pass a law on an automatic citizenship? The Haitians are the only illegal migrants abusing the Article #7, & they spawn more than rats. One can imagine them spawning to over populate the Bahamas like Haiti? Haiti is of poverty because of an over population, & you can imagine Haitians bringing down the fabric of the Bahamas the way they did their country? Bahamians will be a fool to allow Haitians to spawn - over populate their country, to take away their Bahamian Culture. How could Fred Smith fix his mouth on a Bahamian woman having a child in America? It doesn't come before him, it is America & the Bahamas; not the Bahamas & Haiti. If Fred Smith wants a change to legalized his Haitian people, go home Fred to make changes in your mother land Haiti, for you & your Haitian people. To leave us Bahamians alone, & we never ever ask you or your Haitian people to come to our country. Enough is Enough, Go Home.

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licks2 9 months, 2 weeks ago

IDIOT RACIST OR IGNORANT OF THE LAW WAS THE THING THAT MESSED UP THE PLACE FOR HAITIAN IMMIGRANTS? I PUT IT TO YOU THAT YOUR DUPLICITY CAUSE YOU TO GET YASEF IN THIS MESS. . .STUPIDITY WILL NOT GET YOU OUT. . .IN FACT THERE IS NO WAY OUT OF THIS FOR YOU. . .EXCEPT THE BAHAMIAN PEOPLE GIVE YOU AN OUT!!

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Trent 9 months, 3 weeks ago

We all should be proud of our heritage, all of us should feel welcomed making us proud of our forefathers and mothers homelands.

Critical points raised in the recent Foreign Affairs Committee report which some in the media/press and locally elected politicians/leaders are either ignoring or not giving enough coverage too, perhaps because the “hot-button” issues in the report are overshadowing and drowning it out? It’s a pity because contained in this report is a significant issue that BOT governments’ should be very concerned about the issue and get behind it. 

It mentions the present day & historical unfair & unequal treatment of its people. The denial of British [OT] citizenship right’s to children, now adults of descent, born abroad, outside of marriage. While the same category of children, now adults, with mainland UK fathers, got give a retrospective right to register for their father's nationality under Sec 65 Immigration Act 2014. The same category of children, now adults of BOT descent, were intentionally left out due there being “No time to consult” the territories before the implementation of these amendments (per Home Office Minister Lord Taylor of Holbeach and Lord Ahmad). The same historical discrimination does not apply to BOT mothers, or anyone born to a father or mother after 1 July 2016

Page 3 (Summary): “the UK Government needs to ensure that those who should be able to claim British Overseas Territories citizenship can do so.”

Paragraph 4, Pages 58: “The issue of citizenship by descent stems from an anomaly in the British Nationality Act, which means that fathers with British Overseas Territories Citizenship cannot pass it on to children born outside the OTs between 1948 and 2006 if they were not married to the child’s mother at the time of birth. In May 2018, the Joint Committee on Human Rights described this anomaly as an unacceptable form of discrimination, while Montserrat’s representative, Janice Panton, said it “has caused a lot of anguish among some parents.” Lord Ahmad is not able to indicate when the matter would be resolved. He said that “discussions are ongoing across Government on this.”

Paragraph 4, Point 60: “The Government should urgently address concerns in the OTs about the issue of citizenship by descent and anomalies in the British Nationality Act that have taken too long to resolve.”

The people of the OTs have a right to be fully informed and engaged on the issue. We hope this post will raise the conversation and get people to demand their OT Elected leaders & Governors have a hand in fixing this demeaning and hurtful piece of legislation which places our flesh & blood

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TheMadHatter 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Maybe a huge jail should be built in Andros and ALL Bahamians should be given life sentences there and the whole country be turned over to Haitians? That would be fair and humane and non-racist.

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CatIslandBoy 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Are some of you that evil-hearted and mean-spirited? or are your emotions just getting the better part of you? Of course Mr. Smith is right again! The Bahamas should allow Birther Citizenship and thus simplify a major part of the immigration process, which would deal a major blow to the undergound trading of documents for large bribes. Probably we would see less immigration officers building large homes in certain areas of New Providence.

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TheMadHatter 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Would Haiti be willing to trade countries with us? ALL Haitians come here and ALL Bahamians go there. I assure you in less than 5 years the "Bahamian" sloops will be heading south toward Haiti looking for "a better life".

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licks2 9 months, 2 weeks ago

And are all persons of Haitian decent so dense that they CANNOT UNDERSTAND OR RESPECT LAWS OF A COUNTRY?? Further. . .if we just round-up ALL HAITIANS (not Bahamians of HAITIAN DECENT) on work permits, illegal or any other document except citizenship and deport them and never allow them to return for no reason. . .THE BRIBE PROBLEM SOLVED ALSO!

But. . .that suggestion is so stupid. . .you say! Exactly, THAT HOW FOOLISH YOUR JUVENILE CONTRIBUTIONS ABOVE ARE!

You need to sit this one out it seems. . .yoon making much sense with these over the top childish postings. . .get ya tail in gear or just go sit down in one Conner and let common sense rule here!!

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My2centz 9 months, 2 weeks ago

You once said you saw firsthand the devastating impact of illegal immigration on public services. But your solution is to provide an added incentive and add hundreds of thousands more poor undecated Haitians into the mix? Does that sound rational to you? I think youre the one speaking from emotion here. If we want to pretend to be humanitarians, then show some concern for all people concerned, not just Haitains. Birthright citizenship for a country as small, and struggling, as The Bahamas is not beneficial to the Bahamas in any way. Even the US and Canada are seeking to step away from this. To suggest this, shows no genuine concern for Bahamas or the poor Bahamians.

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The_Oracle 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Firstly, We have successfully ignored the Constitution in many areas of our behavior, in both spirit and letter of the law. Pindling, Roker, et al started the move towards populist xenophobia and personal power, still the overarching "policy" it seems. Layering more legislation atop existing and ignored laws/rules is pointless. Often wondered if Pindling had been allegedly Haitian as opposed to Jamaican, would Jamaicans have been the Bahamian Bogey man? In fact, look at so many Surnames in Bahamian politics, looks to be a classic "closing of the Barn doors but after we're in" as a national policy!

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licks2 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Are you able to read and understand? Yoon get the "jist" of this matter yet if you ger run on with this kind of reasoning!!

What the heck you talking about? You eve een close to the ball park here! You need to go get somebody to better explain what is going on here to you. . .YOON GAT A CLUE ABOUT WHAT YA TALKING ABOUT!!

The supreme law of the land says that ya have till 19 years old. . .NO COURT IN THIS LAND OR PC OF THE WORLD COURT WILL CHANGE THAT!! You need to understand the difference between constitution, laws and policy!! There is where you are so lost. . .yoon gat a clue it seems about those concepts!!

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Sincerecontributor 9 months, 1 week ago

We must stop reacting out of fear .... and truly focus on the future of this country. It take a major evaluation of what's going on to determine what actions is best to take. Whatever we do there will be consequences. We have to dig deep our future is act stake.

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preciousk23@msn.com 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Generally, if you are born in the United States, or born to US citizens, you are considered to be a US citizen. Unless you are born to a foreign diplomat. You are also considered to be a US citizen at birth. f its not only Haitians in the Bahamas others are also voicing there concerns on these matters so why it is only Haitians oh you dont see it is prob when 5,000 Chinese was suppose to be granted automatic. Citizenship but it is a problem when someone born here try to claim the birth rights you'll should be ashame stop reading because you can read also read understand beside its not only haitians being deported if you did not register at age 18 or 19 and you were born to Bahamian parents. In the 1973 or 1960 and failed to apply your ass gets deported to where but you born here so its not only to foreigner ppl read to understand not just read cause you can lets read bahamas

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