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Set Free Illegals? No Chance

FINANCE Minister K Peter Turnquest.

FINANCE Minister K Peter Turnquest.

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Deputy Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

THE suggestion that this country should “fling” open its doors to undocumented migrants is dangerous and reckless, Deputy Prime Minister K Peter Turnquest said yesterday, insisting limited resources among other things would not allow it.

The finance minister was responding to attorney and human rights advocate Fred Smith’s recent controversial comments calling on the government to turn from detaining undocumented people and instead allowing them to work.

The QC made this appeal during the 172nd session of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Kingston, Jamaica on Friday. The hearing focused on the treatment of migrants in the Bahamas.

“I saw a statement this morning by a constituent that said we have somewhere in the neighbourhood of 10 percent unemployment,” Mr Turnquest told reporters outside Cabinet. “How do we absorb illegals into the work force? And if we pay them low wages there is another implication and consequence of that.

“The fact of the matter is that we cannot absorb any and everybody into this economy. We are a small nation. Our resources are limited. Any suggestion that we ought to just fling open the doors and any and everybody can come is inherently disadvantageous, dangerous and reckless to the Bahamian people.

“It amazes me quite frankly that somebody would make such a suggestion. It just isn’t reasonable.”

When he made the remarks on Friday, Mr Smith said detention should not apply to immigrants.

He said: “So the reality is, just as the government for hundreds of Cubans years ago bailed them out and allowed them to go into the community on condition that other members of the community would return them, many Haitian migrants or those waiting for documentation can live and be constructive and productive members of the society instead of it costing the government hundreds of millions of dollars, as you say, to keep them in an illegal detention centre.

“Let them out and let them work in the community.”

He told those gathered that despite the Bahamas being a small country, it needed hundreds of thousands of more people to make it grow and produce.

However, he said geographically, the country was huge and there should not be a focus on the fact that the population here is small, adding that immigrants were not criminals.

Mr Smith said the mentality, visceral hatred and xenophobia that exists in the Bahamas had to be done away with.

Comments

joeblow 5 days, 6 hours ago

Can we see them for what they really are, an invading army, and sink their boats?

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birdiestrachan 5 days, 4 hours ago

The Drama King is at it again, he does not seem to speak with much common sense. How it is he wins so many cases in the courts is a mystery within it self,

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licks2 5 days, 3 hours ago

He wins because we tend to do whatever the heck we feel like and not according to laws. Those people whom he made such suggestion to can only see him for what he tends to be. . .extreme and unreasonable!! NO NATION WILL DO WHAT HE ASKED!! Rights Bahamas continues again to let this man make them look like a bunch of stupid thinking persons to the intelligent world. . .they process and ship out. . .there are many detention centers in developing nations. The commission can only see him as a loose cannon and unreasonable advocate for his people. . .not the Bahamian!!

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DDK 5 days, 3 hours ago

Right behind Mr. Turnquest on this one.

Mr. Smith, for a man who appears, at times, to be quite intelligent, can at others be unbelievably stupid in his utterances. He is becoming out of control and treasonous to the country he likes to call his own. He should not expect to have it both ways. Why does he not simply arrange a huge flotilla to Haiti, take his people with him and find them jobs in their own country?

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TalRussell 5 days, 3 hours ago

Oh yes indeed if it were not for Imperial red shirts finance minister KP's lucky draw saw a constituent that said, we Colony of Out Islands have somewhere in "the neighbourhood of 10 percent (more likes 15.75%) unemployment,” KP, wouldn't have had damn clue so many thousands Out Islanders are slipping join poverty ranks, yes, no...... how dangerous is it have such "out touch and out reach populace" Imperial red shirts comrades in charge governing over affairs Colony of Out Islands, yes, no...... And, where are KP's "scare tactics statistics" to point to the undocumented being any more dangerous towards populace than we own Out Islanders, yes, no?

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OldFort2012 5 days, 2 hours ago

Have the Haitians made a success of Haiti? Are they successful in Miami? Have they been successful in Abaco or anywhere else in the Bahamas? Or this planet? If we truly need "hundreds of thousands of more people to make the Bahamas grow and produce" let's get some Swiss. They seem productive.

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DDK 5 days, 1 hour ago

...........and not in the biological sense!

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joeblow 5 days ago

... better looking too!

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ThisIsOurs 4 days, 23 hours ago

Turnquest said the unemployment rate is too high to import workers wholesale

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ThisIsOurs 4 days, 23 hours ago

I don't see any difference between Haitians taking jobs vs other foreign nationals taking jobs. So Mr Turnquest's point about not setting the doors wide open when unemployment is so high is very interesting considering CEB and the new Indian visa policy.

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hrysippus 4 days, 8 hours ago

For a.nation that claims to be a Christian Nation, we seem to have very few Good Samaritans. Sink their boats? Really? You want to drown women and children? Some of the comments are just simply disturbing.

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joeblow 4 days, 6 hours ago

It is obviously lost on you just how good we have been, to our own detriment, but the waves just keep coming. There are none so blind as those who will not see!

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SP 3 days, 22 hours ago

YES! Sink their boats and allow them all to drown a few times and the rest will soon get the message that it's not worth the risk. The Dominican's finally had to put their feet down before the illegal Haitians destroyed their country and the Bahamas needs to get tough with ALL illegals before our country is completely destroyed!!

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