Categorized | National News

IOM Conducts Study On Illegal Migration

Despite countless repatriation exercises conducted annually, migrants continue to risk the treacherous sea voyage to The Bahamas and for this reason the government is adopting a different approach toward addressing this vexing issue by supporting a study by an international organisation on the illegal migration woes affecting The Bahamas and the neighbouring Turks and Caicos islands (TCI).

“Considering the proximity of our countries to the United States of America, The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands have been prime targets of illegal migration from the south,” said Deputy Prime Minister Philip Davis during a meeting with delegates from TCI at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday.

“Migration statistics show that there are between 20,000 – 50,000 undocumented Haitians living in The Bahamas. As neighbours of the TCI, The Bahamas recognises the importance of cooperation in formulating an integrated response to combating irregular migration. For this reason The Bahamas looks forward to collaborating with TCI and Haiti in conjunction with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) to prevent irregular migration. As part of this collaboration, The Bahamas intends to help facilitate a preliminary study to be conducted by the IOM on Haitian migration from the North Coast of Haiti to The Bahamas and TCI.”

He added that this preliminary study will help to support the formulation of migration polices and allow for enhanced regional communication.

During the bi-lateral meeting, TCI’s Governor Peter Beckingham said that his government has implemented a number of measures to tighten its grip on illegal migration.

“It’s costing human lives and its costing our government money and for those reasons and others we want to do more about it, we believe that by meeting jointly with the government of Haiti, there may be areas where we can insert some persuasion to encourage them to do more about the problem that they face and we face jointly,” he said.

“I think by showing that we are united in this enterprise and in this discussion, we will underline the seriousness of the problem and the hope that we can do something about it.”

A tri-lateral meeting between Haiti, The Bahamas and TCI is scheduled to take place on Tuesday.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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