Categorized | National News

Lawyers want Gov’t to pay For Jean-Charles’ Return

Since Jean Rony Jean-Charles was found in a Haitian Village in Haiti over the weekend, his lawyers, Queens Counsel Fred Smith and Damian Gomez have filed for the next step, which is to have him returned back to The Bahamas, with full expenses  paid.

They say  that the Department of Immigration unlawfully expelled  Jean-Charles to Haiti in September of last year, but until his recent discovery, Immigration officers were not transparent on  whether   Jean-Charles was in fact sent to Haiti or   remained  in the Bahamas in the Detention Center.

Mr. Gomez explained  to The Bahama Journal what they are waiting on. He said, “well, we’re waiting on a decision on this.  The Judge should give us ruling hopefully on Friday (tomorrow).

“We have been able to report that we have confirmed where he is and we’ve already made the submissions in relation to the constitution,  relief that we’re seeking in relation to him.

“We had assumed two things; either he was in custody or he was in Haiti. And if he was in Haiti,  we ask that under Article 28, we invoke or facilitate his return to The Bahamas,” Mr. Gomez, QC said outside Supreme Court.

Lead Counsel Fred Smith,  expressed his happiness that  Jean Charles was found,  but he is very much concerned still  about the process.

Mr. Smith is working  to have the Department of Immigration incur all expenses for flying  his client  back to The Bahamas.

Additionally, Mr. Smith told The Bahama Journal that he blames the former administration for allowing the Department of Immigration to go on such daily searches for illegal Haitians living in the Bahamas.

Although Mr. Smith does not agree with Immigration officers performing their job duties, he wishes more due process would take place when seeking out illegal migrants.

As it relates to the time it takes for the application for citizenship, Mr. Smith said ,“let them apply for their citizenship and give it to him.  In the meantime, release all the other people you have in the detention center who are born here. They’re making it as if you are committing a criminal offense.

“They’re picking up not just people who have committed offenses, but people who have committed no offense.  If you don’t have a paper, they’re making it as if you’ve committed a criminal offense,” Mr. Smith lambasted.

He  said  that such unlawfulness by Immigration Officers is considered ‘Gestapo and Fascist’ .

“This is all from Fred Mitchell in November 2014,  when he started requiring people to have identification; Haitian passports.

“What a crazy, perverse idea.  If I was born in the Bahamas, I apply for Bahamian citizenship, why should I have to go and get a Haitian passport,”said the lawyer.

Mr. Smith implored the department of immigration to follow the law.

During Mr. Smith’s visit to Haiti, he encountered other Haitians who were deported from the Bahamas and had no access to communicate  with  their loved ones in the Bahamas.

Mr. Smith said, “a  group of lawyers are working with Rights Bahamas and we will be traveling to Haiti to set up a facility where people who have been unlawfully expelled by immigration will be invited to register their names so the group of lawyers can work towards their return back to the Bahamas.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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