Categorized | National News

Jean Rony Back In Court

The Immigration case in the Supreme Court of Jean Rony Jean Charles which was scheduled to be heard yesterday will now be heard this morning before Justice Gregory Hilton.

Attorney for Charles, Queen’s Counsel Fred Smith, said that the matter was adjourned for the team in the Attorney General’s office to come to some type of agreement as to how they will proceed.

“As Mr. Loren Klien, the lead counsel for the A.G has indicated, we are trying to work out the terms of an agreement to get Jean Rony’s case heard by the Court of Appeals as quickly as possible, because it is very important for these issues to be determined by the courts as oppose to Immigration right now.
“Jean Rony’s case was adjourned because as the A.G mentioned, I think on Monday, Jean Rony’s case raises a very important issue about the potential status of people born in The Bahamas to non citizen parents who don’t register before the ages of 18 and 19; and what is their status in the Bahamas after 19.

“Our position is of course, if you are born in The Bahamas, you belong in The Bahamas. They can’t up and kick you out,” Mr. Smith said.

“Their position is we don’t know really what the law is and we would like the court of appeals and maybe the privy council to give an indication to the court,” he said.

As for migrants being stopped and asked to show proof of citizenship and then being held for long periods of time, Mr. Smith made a public appeal to the government to have Immigration Officers desist the practice.

“What I urge the government in the meantime, in particular, Mr. Brent Symonette, Minister of Immigration, please control your Immigration Department to stop picking people up who are born in The Bahamas or who are married to Bahamians or children of any of those people.
“Leave people alone who have not committed any offence under the Immigration Act; and this is proven by the fact that none of these people are ever taken before a court,” Mr. Smith said.

Mr. Smith further stated that the process should be carried out like any other process if persons are arrested.

“This is like anybody charged with murder or rape or armed robbery or theft or possession of dangerous drugs. The police always take people to court, within 48-hours at least, and so Immigration is not above the law,” Mr. Smith said.

Mr. Smith further stressed that the Department of Immigration is neither judge, jury or executioner; but has an Immigration Act with a criminal procedure code and a Constitution that governs.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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