Categorized | National News

Gov’t to Table Tougher Immigration Laws

In the wake of the implementation of new immigration policies to clamp down on those persons living and working illegally in The Bahamas, Deputy Prime Minister Phillip Davis revealed that tougher immigration laws are set to be tabled in parliament soon.
Those new laws are expected to toughen penalties and to improve the overall transparency at the Carmichael Road Detention Centre.
Given that the government has already spent $1.2 million of its $1.5 million budget for repatriations this year, the deputy prime minister emphasised the need to have those tougher penalties implemented as soon as possible.
“It is extremely important to foreshadow that changes will be coming in the immigration laws that will toughen the penalties for smuggling and for employing people without a work permit,” he said.

“While all of these initiatives will strengthen our security, new regulations are proposed to bring transparency to the Detention Centre and make it more accessible, when parliament resumes on November 19, those initiatives will be tabled before members and senators for their approval.”

Mr. Davis’ comments came while speaking to the Immigration Department’s 2014 graduation ceremony held at the Police Training College on Wednesday evening where 44 men and women officially completed their recruitment process.

In fact it was the first graduation of immigration recruits since 2009.

Mr. Davis told the graduates that the government is committed to ensuring that they are able to do their work efficiently and effectively.

“The Ministry of Finance will supply the resources needed for you to do your work, this includes a new border control system which is in the final stages of its acquisition and the acquisition of items like computers and transportation which you have been seeking for some time,” he said.

“We know that our country is resource challenged but this government is committed to finding the resources so that you can do your work.”

Acting Director of Immigration William Pratt touted the implementation of this new border control system, he said that it will dramatically improve security measures.

He added that it this new system would cost the government over $18 million to implement.

“The border control system would better facilitate entry at the airport and also at the detention so we will be able to have better control and cross check with Interpol and other agencies, the system will help us to better safeguard our borders,” he said.

Statistics also revealed that 3,419 foreign nationals were repatriated from January 1 to November 1 and 2,852 Haitian nationals accounted for the majority of those repatriations.

Following Saturday’s immigration crackdown, 230 illegal migrants were repatriated on Tuesday and the Immigration Department is looking to carry out another repatriation exercise next week Tuesday as well.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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