Categorized | Featured, National News

Bahamas Being Invaded, Says Minister

Minister of Immigration and Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell said The Bahamas is being invaded, following the apprehension of approximately 80 illegal migrants yesterday.

During a press conference, Mr. Mitchell said 78 illegal migrants including 67 males, 10 females, and one 5-year-old child were interdicted in the Port New Providence area early Thursday morning.

“Our intelligence people will be interviewing these people to find out where they came from and share the intelligence with our U.S friends. The child is to be held at a hostel. Repatriation is to be arranged by Saturday with his father,” Mr. Mitchell said.

Mr. Mitchell’s comments were made just a day after his announcement that mass interdictions were declining. However, he maintained that the Department of Immigration will remain committed to engaging in continuous enforcement action.

He also reiterated the government’s stern commitment to resolving the country’s immigration issues.

“This is a very sophisticated criminal enterprise that is dealing with this. You can’t put it pass them that they would say, if we overwhelm them with numbers that’s a propitious time for us to act because we know that if we overwhelm them with numbers they may have a capacity problem,” Mr. Mitchell said.

“I want to warn them, don’t try us. Because we mean to defeat this,” he added.

Mr. Mitchell also mentioned reports about illegal migrants in Abaco and indicated that there are approximately 1,000 illegal migrants on the island.

He noted that although it is difficult to secure the island due to its make-up, his ministry is working on investigating and resolving this ongoing issue.

“Yesterday we had information that there may have been a landing in Abaco with approximately 60 people on board who may have melted into the Abaco community. Investigations into this report are continuing,” Mr. Mitchell said.

He added, “The issue with Abaco is that geographically it’s difficult to navigate because between swamps and pine barren forest and bad roads and remoteness from populated centers all of those are issues we have to take into account.”

Mr. Mitchell noted that the Immigration Amendment Act, which is currently in the committee stage in the House of Assembly, calls for penalties to increase for those who hire and harbour illegal immigrants as well as those involved in illegal landings and even fraudulent marriages.

He said more community support is required for law enforcement and that the department will do what is necessary to resolve this long-standing issue while minimizing friction with the Bahamian community.

“This is a relentless onslaught and invasion of our country. It is important that all Bahamians be vigilant and watchful. We mean to put the resources, which this state can employ, to stop this and to break this. That’s the intention. If it’s war that they wish, then war they will get,” Mr. Mitchell said.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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