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CUBAN MIGRANTS LEAD NEW WAVE OF REFUGEES: Pinder warns numbers now heading our way is ‘through the roof’

Part of a group of 13 Cuban migrants who were brought to Grand Bahama earlier this month after being detained by US Coast Guard officials near Cay Sal Bank.

Part of a group of 13 Cuban migrants who were brought to Grand Bahama earlier this month after being detained by US Coast Guard officials near Cay Sal Bank.

By EARYEL BOWLEG

Tribune Staff Reporter

ebowleg@tribunemedia.net

ATTORNEY General Ryan Pinder said officials are seeing an influx of Cuban migrants into the country in higher numbers than before.

Mr Pinder made the revelation in the senate yesterday in response to Senator Maxine Seymour’s concern about an $800,000 allocation for rent/living accommodations for the Department of Immigration in the 2022/2023 Budget.

Senator Seymour said: “Rent, living accommodations in general, I noticed that we’ve allocated $800,000. Last year would’ve been $270,000 actually spent and then before that $610,000.

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ATTORNEY General Ryan Pinder. (File photo)

Mr Pinder replied: “As we see an increase in illegal migrants coming in, we would want to put immigration officers on-site. We would want to better operationalise officers based in Iguana for plans that we have in the Office of the Attorney General to ensure that the remote court facilities are adequate there to be able to have magistrates come in, but you do need immigration officers there.”

 He then quoted from The Miami Herald on Cuban migrants.

 “If you’ve noticed The Miami Herald actually a couple days ago, said the Cuban migrants coming into South Florida this last year is larger than the Mariel boat lift number. I think they’ve had some 180,000 thousand Cubans.

 “We’re seeing illegal migrants,” he continued, “Typically you would see them primarily leave from Haiti, but we’re seeing a significant amount of Cuban migrants coming in now and we think that we have to redeploy immigration officers throughout the archipelago to better fight this.

 “Our numbers of illegal migrants, seizures, and repatriations is through the roof, frankly and much higher than we’ve ever seen before and so this is an effort to try to mitigate that activity and in part of that you have to redeploy immigration officers throughout the archipelago and this is going to be the living expense to be able to house them.”

 Earlier this month, Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis expressed concern about Cuba’s absence from the 2022 Summit of the Americas, saying sanctions on the island nation have sparked desperation among residents posing an “existential threat” to the national security of The Bahamas.

 The situation, Mr Davis said at the time, had left the country to grapple with irregular migrants from Cuba.

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CUBAN detainees pictured earlier this month after being detained and brought to Grand Bahama.

 In May, The Tribune reported that the Royal Bahamas Defence Force had seen a marked increase in illegal migration activity over the last three months, with nearly 1,500 migrants arrested in Bahamian waters within that time frame.

 The statistics at the time showed there had been 1,892 migrants apprehended by local authorities since the beginning of the year, with most of those arrests taking place in March.

 January and February saw 329 and 253 apprehensions. In March, 741 migrants were apprehended, while 491 foreign nationals were arrested in April. So far in May, 78 migrants have been arrested in Bahamian waters.

 Apprehensions of Haitians were the highest at 1,688 followed by Cubans at 192, Columbians and Ecuadorians at four each, three Hondurians and one African, according to the latest RBDF report. There were also 30 interdictions.

The Budget was passed in the Senate.

Comments

John 1 year, 12 months ago

The conditions in Cuba are unbearable and getting worse. Hardly any tourists and everything is being rationed.

tribanon 1 year, 12 months ago

Meanwhile Davis, Mitchell and others like them are always travelling abroad without a care in the world, living the high life at great cost to our nation and the Bahamian people.

This corrupt and completely incompetent Davis led PLP administration is either oblivious to or deliberately dismissive of the fact that the greatest single threat posed to our nation is not climate change, but rather the near complete invasion of our small under-resourced country by illegal foreign nationals. And this has been the case for several decades now with the dire consequences finally coming home to roost for all of us Bahamians in the worst possible way at the worst possible time.

alleycat 1 year, 12 months ago

“...officers based in IGUANA...”??? Yeah, that’ll work.

realfreethinker 1 year, 12 months ago

You noticed that spelling error also LOL

avidreader 1 year, 12 months ago

Not only is Inagua spelled incorrectly, but also the word Colombian. There is no "U" in the word. By the way, Inagua is a fine place. So different from the northwest islands.

JokeyJack 1 year, 12 months ago

Cubans as not as dark skinned as Haitians, so they can't hide in the crowd so easy. Bahamians just live hiring Haitians and giving them free food and medicines while their cousins starve and die.

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