Categorized | National News

Illegal Migrants Pose Security Threat

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Darren Henfield, says unfettered and unchecked immigration is impacting the country on many fronts and that Bahamians have been tolerant so far. 

 Mr. Henfield made his comments  eight days into the new year as  more than 160 migrants have been apprehended in Bahamian waters. 

Speaking with reporters outside  the Cabinet,  the Minister said, “You saw the Prime Minister lead a large contingent of his Cabinet ministers to Haiti where we sat and had good fruitful discussions with the Haitian government.

“Since then,  not much has happened because in Haiti there have been quite a number of disturbances which sort of distracted the government.

“Ultimately we are working  on all fronts  to mitigate and alleviate this issue of unfettered Haitian migration into The Bahamas,” Mr. Henfield said. 

He added that the issue cannot be stopped just by enforcement and more must be done on the diplomatic level and with help of countries where illegal migrants flow from.  

Mr. Henfield acknowledged that the influx of migrants poses a threat, begging the need for an investment in security. 

“We have to invest in security and then the social aspects of it. There is a threat to our national security along the lines of our economy as well.  

“Socially, people come in and they have to go to school.  That impacts us; they have to have healthcare, that impacts us.

“There are other issues where you have to focus your law enforcement in that particular area which is a challenge for us. 

“We’re a small developing country, but we will not stand idly by and allow us to be overtaken by any country,” Mr. Henfield said. 

He added that the issue of illegal migration is not only a problem in The Bahamas, but a global phenomenon. 

“The issue of illegal migration is such a ripe topic all across the globe. Everywhere you go,  people are talking about it, because there has to be controlled migration. 

“A government does not plan for illicit migration or illegal migration into its territories. We plan for what we know and so we are going to have to find more ways in which to mitigate and to stem the flow,” he said. 

Mr. Henfield also said the ministry is doing what it can to reach out to Haitian officials, despite futile calls to the newly appointed Minister responsible for foreign affairs in Haiti. 

Mr. Henfield said the goal is to get them to understand the implications mass migration is having on The Bahamas. 

“The Haitian government has appointed a new Foreign Minister, Minister Bocchit.. I have been trying to reach him, but to no avail. 

“We will continue to speak with the Embassy officials here, locally, to see how we can begin to revitalize the talks,” Mr. Henfield said.

As for the quick response to apprehension, Mr. Henfield commended the Royal Bahamas Defence Force for their efforts.   


“I think the Defence Force is doing a good job. I think we are going to work as assiduously as we can on the diplomatic front to cause the Haitian government to come to the table and appreciate the efforts we are trying to make,” he said.  


Written by Jones Bahamas

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