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Bahamian Man Claims He Was Wrongfully Held By Immigration

A man who describes himself as a “hardworking Bahamian” and his family are outraged after they claimed he was picked up during an immigration raid turning a peaceful Tuesday afternoon into an embarrassing and unbelievable nightmare.

Forty-four-year-old Jonathan Meadows who was born and raised in The Bahamas to Bahamian said he is not only embarrassed but highly upset after being accused of being an illegal immigrant and thrown onto an immigration bus earlier this week.

Mr. Meadows, who is a painter, said as he was riding the bus heading to a job, at the junction of Ross Corner and East Street, immigration officers stopped the bus.

He said after asking for his name, officers demanded he presented some form of identification and after he was unable to, things turned into what he described as a ‘nightmare’.

“They put me on a big yellow bus, the immigration bus and they took me for a long ride out east while they picked up other foreigners,” Mr. Meadows said. “We got into a big argument on the bus after I told them that they had captured the wrong man. I told them that they knew I wasn’t a foreigner. One of the men that threw me on the bus almost had a physical encounter with me. They had to actually hold him down.”

Mr. Meadows said as he was trying to explain himself, one of the officers began to lose control and tried to hit him. He said after the officer finally calmed down, he and other officers continued to speak to him and the foreigners on the bus in a derogatory and demeaning manner and he alleges that they were pushed around.
“It was really like a nightmare because I feel like they were being too rough to some of the people on the bus. The way they were pushing them around, the way they were talking to them, it wasn’t called for. They really need to be more humane. They are too rough with those guys. They need to realize that everyone has a family” he said.
Mr. Meadows said after hours of being held captive and witnessing the ill-manner in which the people were being handled and spoken to, officers finally threw him off of the bus and left him in the Winton area.

He said one officer even told him, with a smirk on his face “this is the power of the immigration”.

“It’s not a good experience and I’m a Bahamian so imagine a foreigner. No one should have to go through that. Like I said they left me out Winton. They left me out there” he said.

Mr. Meadows said that although the experience was horrifying for him he is glad that he witnessed it so that he can now share this ordeal.

He said that since the incident Tuesday he has been trying to contact officials at the Ministry of Immigration but hasn’t received a call back as yet.

The tougher immigration policies that came into effect on November 1st have called for increased raids and crackdowns island wide.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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