Categorized | National News

Gov’t Spends $450K On Repatriations

The government has spent nearly $450,000 repatriating illegal immigrants during the first part of the year.

According to statistics from the Department of Immigration obtained by the Bahama Journal, a total of $446,249.01 has been spent up to June 2012.

Last year, the government spent a total of $929,005.47.

For the first six months of 2012, 1,285 immigrants have been repatriated.

Haitians make up the largest group of immigrants. Officials said 1,032 were repatriated this year.

Minister of Immigration Fred Mitchell told the Bahama Journal last month that a joint commission between The Bahamas and Haiti may solve the human smuggling problem and illegal immigration between the two countries.

“Moving forward I spoke to the Haitian ambassador and I indicated to him that at an early opportunity we need to sit and revive the issue of a joint commission between Haiti and ourselves which would meet every six month,” he said at the time.

In January, 402 Haitians were repatriated while 99, 196, 155, 152 and 28 were sent home in February, March, April, May and June respectively.

Seventy-eight Jamaicans were repatriated between January and June while 61 Dominicans were sent home over the same period.

Twenty-three Columbians were also repatriated over the first six months of the year while 17 Brazilians and Americans were each repatriated.

Twelve Cubans, 11 Indian, six Guyanese, five Bolivians and four Canadians have also been repatriated so far for 2012.

Also making up the repatriation numbers are three Sri Lankans and three individuals from Turkey.

The government also repatriated one person each to Trinidad and Tobago, South Africa, Russia, Peru, the Netherlands, Georgia, the Philippians, Ecuador and Britain.

Minister Mitchell told the Bahama Journal yesterday that $1 million has been allocated in this year’s budget for repatriation exercises.

In 2010, the government spent $867,176.21 on repatriation exercises – a significant decrease from 2009 where it spent $2,987,316.24.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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