Categorized | Featured, National News

200 Arrested In Surprise Roundup

Immigration Raids (3)

A surprise immigration roundup in communities throughout the Bains Town and Grants Town constituencies resulted in nearly 200 migrants being picked up and taken to the Carmichael Road Detention Centre for processing.

Officer-In-Charge of the Department of Immigration’s Enforcement Unit Kirklyn Neely said the operation started from as early as 7:00 a.m. Tuesday and swept a number of neighbourhoods in central New Providence.

“What we did was we swept areas in Nassau Street, the Fish Fry and East Street,” he said. “We are about cleaning the whole Bahamas up. There is nobody above the law and once you are breaking those immigration laws we will bring you to justice.

“It’s easier for them to turn themselves in than for us to come looking for them because we will find them.”

Traffic slowed to a crawl on East and Finlayson streets as motorists watched and recorded the officers arresting the immigrants and piling them onto four separate buses; two yellow school buses and two police buses.

Mr. Neely said the operation was a joint effort between the Department of Immigration, the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) and the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF).

Some family members of those captured attempted to present documents to the officers on the sites, but they were turned away and told that proper processing would take place at the Detention Centre.

“Once we rounded up we were not releasing anyone on to the streets,” he added. “If they do or don’t have documents we have to take them to the Detention Centre for a full intense processing because we cannot take any risks.”

“We have to make sure that the documents are legal and if so then they will be released, if not then deportation will take place.”

Meanwhile, Minister of Immigration Fred Mitchell told The Journal yesterday that the roundup operations should not come as a surprise.

“We have always been doing this and this is something we promised,” he said.

“Obviously as part of our campaign to make sure people abide by the laws of the country, we will continue to do these things. I am not always aware of when the department is going to carry out these operations but I know they have been successful since I became the minister.”

A resident of Bain and Grants Town called into The Journal and said he did not mind the roundup taking place but had a problem with the behavior of some of the officers.

“These officers are trained and know of the civil liberties involved when they conduct this kind of work,” Minister Mitchell said.

“If anyone has a complaint they can forward them to me and I will make sure it is dealt with. But all our police officers, no matter whether they are police, defence force or otherwise should treat people with the greatest respect at all times.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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