Categorized | National News

DNA Applauds, But Questions Immigration Crackdown

Democratic National Alliance (DNA) Leader Branville McCartney said he knows all too well the issues The Bahamas faces with immigration and as a former minister in that office, he said he has had a bird’s eye view into how this vexing issue had scarred the country.

During a press conference at his Village Road offices on Thursday, Mr. McCartney said while his party agrees, in principle, with the new measures the government has taken to tackle illegal immigration, he now has to question the motive and ask whether or not this is this something the Christie administration is doing for the good of the country or are they being pressured to act.

“We are the backdoor and the backyard to the United States,” he said. “Many people use The Bahamas as a stepping stone to get to the US and people are aware of the infiltration of the illegal immigrants in this country from the education aspect, the health aspect, social services and national security and that could certainly spill over elsewhere.”

Sweeping changes were introduced to the country’s immigration policies last week, in a bid to clamp down on foreigners seeking to live and work here.

But the DNA leader said although the government has finally taken a stance on the issue, they must ensure that their efforts are not in vain, are done in tandem with moving this country forward and has a lasting impact on this decades’ long dilemma.

He said he thinks to a certain extent The Bahamas is being pressured by other countries to get a grip on the issue because of the economical and social strains it has on them.

“It didn’t have to come to this,” he added. “It’s this way because our previous governments allowed it to get to this. It didn’t have to come to this.

“If we were doing our job, carrying out our laws like we started to do when I was there, or if we had listened to Loftus Roker we wouldn’t have been in this problem. If we had listened to him many years ago, we wouldn’t be here talking about little children being taken away and we probably wouldn’t have this illegal immigration problem.”

The DNA leader suggested that the government, among other things, continue these routine exercises, fingerprint those who are repatriated, and also sweep in on shanty towns that usually house these immigrants.

On Saturday some 77 illegal immigrants were picked up in a massive crackdown.

While this move has gotten some cheers and some jeers, Mr. McCartney leader said he wonders if this is just another strategic move by the government in a big game they are playing.

“The bottom line is this, both administrations used the Haitian community, both legal and illegal, as political pawns and I can tell you this is happening today,” the DNA leader said.

He added that he wants to make it clear to those in the international and Haitian communities, that he is no way suggesting that we do not want them here, but that if they are here they have to come here legally and live by our rules.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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