Categorized | National News

Immigration Officers told to “Ignore Idle Propaganda”

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Fred Mitchell urged new immigration officers to avoid being deterred by the ‘idle propaganda’ that seeks to defame the work of the Immigration Department.

Mr. Mitchell’s comments came on the heels of the government’s enforcement of those new and controversial immigration policies that seek to crack down on illegal migrants in the country.

“You join at an exciting time, when all eyes are on you and how you will deport yourselves,” he said.

“There is a lot of idle propaganda going around which is designed to defame the work that has been done by your colleagues in immigration to be but let that not deter you from the central job and focus, which is to enforce the law without fear or favour and to help keep the peace and good order in The Bahamas.”

During a graduation ceremony for immigration recruits at the Police Training College on Wednesday, Mr. Mitchell maintained that it is not inhumane or unlawful to deport illegal migrants who avoid the proper channels for citizenship and continue to breach immigration laws by working and living in The Bahamas illegally.
“Please do not be deterred by the false imagery that is being portrayed of your soon to be colleagues,” he said.
“There is a saying in law: audi alterem partem, hear the other side. Know that some people will use fair means or foul to discredit your work because they have their own agendas. In the meantime, you must stick to your remit, the protection of The Bahamas.”
On Tuesday, Mr. Mitchell engaged in teleconference with Haitian Ambassador Antonio Rodrigue.

The meeting was held a day after the Haitian ambassador made controversial comments when he said that the government should use the “Christian spirit” as it conduct immigration raids.

The ambassador expressed concerns to the media over the apprehension of children and recommended that the government avoid housing the youngsters at the crowded detention centre.

A brief statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs acknowledged that a meeting was held and it read: “There was an exchange of views with the ambassador on the matter and it is hoped in light of that exchange that the necessity for such interventions by the ambassador will in the future be at a minimum,”
When asked if the ambassador crossed the line, Mr. Mitchell did not specifically answer, he also continued to remain tight lipped on the details that were discussed during the meeting.

“I think the statement will have to stand on its own, when those statements are issued they are confined to what is said in those statements so I can’t share what I said in the conversation except that there was an exchange of views and there was a complete understanding on how one should conduct oneself going forward,” he said.

“We saw what happened, the matter as far as I am concerned with is dealt with.”

As of November 1 those new immigration policies came into effect.

The passport office will no longer issue certificates of identity to those persons born of non-nationals in The Bahamas and special residency permits for those with the right to apply for citizenships will only be given to those whose parents are lawfully residing in The Bahamas.

In addition, among other measures, all persons who live in The Bahamas must have a passport from the country of their nationality

Written by Jones Bahamas

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