Categorized | News, Regional

Bahamas minister highlights persistent immigration woes

By Juan McCartney
Nassau Guardian Senior Reporter

NASSAU, Bahamas — Complicated deportation processes, fraudulent immigration documents and Bahamians harbouring illegal migrants are just a few of the issues that continue to plague the Department of Immigration in The Bahamas, acting prime minister and minister of foreign affairs Brent Symonette has said.

Symonette said when the 2010-2011 budgetary period closed at the end of June, the Carmichael Road Detention Centre was populated by “a number of nationals” who are difficult to repatriate.

“In one case I think we had to pay $6,000 [or so] for the ticket to send that person home,” Symonette said at a press conference last Thursday.

“We have a budget of $1,000,000 [or so]. Obviously a large percentage of that is [to repatriate] persons in the immediate area in the Caribbean. But we are seeing a number of Nigerians [and] a number of persons from the African continent coming in.

“[And those people] are very difficult to get home because they have to get visas for the countries that they pass through.”

Symonette said repatriating people to Cuba is also “a difficult issue.”

“If you’ve been outside Cuba more than 11 months, there comes some difficulty [with] deporting persons back to Cuba,” he said.

Symonette said even though the population at the detention centre is relatively low at the moment, there is still a lot to be done to get those detainees home.

He also said that forged papers are continually submitted to immigration officials.

“I came across a file (Wednesday) with a letter written in [a particular] year that looked neater than this paper that was done (Wednesday),” said Symonette as he pointed to an actual immigration file.

“The stamps even felt wet. It’s a serious issue. Immigration reports them to police and then the police take over.”

He also noted that immigration officials continue to find Bahamians helping illegal immigrants evade the law.

“We may have to look at the laws regarding harbouring of illegals and start charging people who harbour illegal immigrants,” he said.

 

Note: He is not PM but Deputy…

Photo Caption: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Brent Symonette

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

By Juan McCartney
Nassau Guardian Senior Reporter

NASSAU, Bahamas — Complicated deportation processes, fraudulent immigration documents and Bahamians harbouring illegal migrants are just a few of the issues that continue to plague the Department of Immigration in The Bahamas, acting prime minister and minister of foreign affairs Brent Symonette has said.

Symonette said when the 2010-2011 budgetary period closed at the end of June, the Carmichael Road Detention Centre was populated by “a number of nationals” who are difficult to repatriate.

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“In one case I think we had to pay $6,000 [or so] for the ticket to send that person home,” Symonette said at a press conference last Thursday.

“We have a budget of $1,000,000 [or so]. Obviously a large percentage of that is [to repatriate] persons in the immediate area in the Caribbean. But we are seeing a number of Nigerians [and] a number of persons from the African continent coming in.

“[And those people] are very difficult to get home because they have to get visas for the countries that they pass through.”

Symonette said repatriating people to Cuba is also “a difficult issue.”

“If you’ve been outside Cuba more than 11 months, there comes some difficulty [with] deporting persons back to Cuba,” he said.

Symonette said even though the population at the detention centre is relatively low at the moment, there is still a lot to be done to get those detainees home.

He also said that forged papers are continually submitted to immigration officials.

“I came across a file (Wednesday) with a letter written in [a particular] year that looked neater than this paper that was done (Wednesday),” said Symonette as he pointed to an actual immigration file.

“The stamps even felt wet. It’s a serious issue. Immigration reports them to police and then the police take over.”

He also noted that immigration officials continue to find Bahamians helping illegal immigrants evade the law.

“We may have to look at the laws regarding harbouring of illegals and start charging people who harbour illegal immigrants,” he said.

 

Note: He is not PM but Deputy…

Photo Caption: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Brent Symonette