Categorized | National News

Gov’t To Appoint Commission For Citizenship Approval

Amid public outcry in the aftermath of the government’s immigration ultimatum, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced yesterday that his government will establish an independent Commission to approve citizenship applications. Since independence citizenship applications were approved by the Cabinet.

Dr. Minnis’ comments came while he and Minister of Transport Frankie Campbell attended a church service at the Haitian Metropolitan Church of the Nazarene.


“We must be fair and just toward those who have contributed in so many ways to The Bahamas.


“This means that we must be fair in terms of our immigration practices and policies. It is not fear, nor just, for so many of our young people to be marginalized, isolated or placed in no man’s land. Many cannot open bank accounts, attend universities, or travel in spite of finishing our high schools and in some instances performing at the top of the class.


“My Government will act in accordance with our Constitution, and the demands of human dignity and social justice, to grant residency and citizenship for eligible individuals, who qualify for such status.


“To the press, “No, I am not opening flood gates, but I will, and all of The Bahamas will respect and enforce the laws of our country. Too many people have been waiting a long time to be granted permanent residency,” Dr. Minnis said.



Pundits have also questioned how the government will deal with the large amount of cases that have been backlogged or remain “in limbo” The Prime Minister also revealed that a commission will be established to address this.



“There are also questions about the grant of citizenship. My Government will create an independent commission to approve applications for citizenship in accordance with the Constitution and our laws. There must not and will not be any political interference in our constitution.


“Except for cases of national security, we will remove the approval of applications for citizenship from the Cabinet.


“A few weeks ago, I made an announcement about illegal migration to The Bahamas. The FNM’s immigration policy is not a policy about individuals from any one country.


“It is not a policy solely about individuals from the Republic of Haiti, people of Haitian descent will not be especially targeted.


“The policy is about individuals from any country who are not legally in The Bahamas. The policy is also concerned with Bahamians who illegally employ individuals from anywhere in the world.


“The Bahamas must be a country that upholds the law. We must uphold the law in terms of the grant of permanent residency and citizenship,” Dr. Minnis said.


Last week Immigration Minister Brent Symonette and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest said they are looking at how to fund the increased repatriation exercises that will come in response to Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis’ goal of more stringently enforcing the country’s immigration laws.




Written by Jones Bahamas

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