Categorized | Featured, National News

Minister Reports Major Immigration Influx

Passport Press Conference

Passport Press ConferenceRevealing the numbers in the latest immigration statistics, Minster of Immigration Fred Mitchell noted that the year 2016 saw a significant increase in the number of immigrants in all categories, from those arrested to those repatriated.

In revealing the statistics, Mr. Mitchell compared 2015 numbers with last year’s numbers.

“The general categories are in 2015 – 4,957 people were arrested; 3,379 were repatriated; and 571 were released.

“Compare and contrast the figures from 2015 to those of 2016: 7,357 were arrested; 6,869 were repatriated; and 488 people were released,” Mr. Mitchell stated.

Mr. Mitchell also noted an important point with persons released in 2015 that among them were immigrants who owed work permit fees.

He added that in the major categories of immigrants were Cubans and Haitians.

Giving the stats on Cuban and Haitian immigrants, Mr. Mitchell noted that there was a substantial increase.

“I give these figures for comparison year to year – 2015 as compared to 2016: Cubans 1,287 in 2016 repatriated compared to 153 in 2015. Haitians, 3,183 in 2015 and 5,241 in 2016.

He noted that the increase in the Cuban immigrants could be because the recent announcement by the Obama administration that the Cuban migrants had anticipated, which allowed them to land on US soil without any ramifications.

“You will see a substantial jump in the figures of Cubans. We believe that this was largely driven by Cubans anticipating the end of the so called wet foot/dry foot policy,” Mr. Mitchell said.

He noted that the government welcomed the end of the policy; however, Mr. Mitchell further noted that the government will wait to see if the policy remains in effect.

“The Bahamas government welcomes this decision, particularly as it is believed that this policy was believed to be driving the rise in Cuban landings in The Bahamas.

“The government is mindful however that the decision is taken just as the political administration in the United States is about to change. The government waits to see whether the policy will continue beyond the current administration before the government can determine what the policy’s full effects are,” Mr. Mitchell said.


Written by Jones Bahamas

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