Categorized | National News

Mitchell Urges Gov’t to Pass Immigration Bill

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Fred Mitchell said yesterday that it is time for the government to pass the Immigration Amendment Bill.

During his address in the House of Assembly, Minister Mitchell said the bill is simple, clear, and uncomplicated and since the successful implementation of the immigration policy last year, the government should move quickly and pass the bill.

“If there is ever a time, it is now,” he said. “Today is the time to act. We are never going to get it perfectly right, but we have to start. Many people seem to forget that this policy started last year when day after day hundreds at a time, people were arriving at the south of us swamping our country of its resources.”

The minister said the immigration board and the government has all right to say who can and cannot land in The Bahamas, especially when it comes to obtaining work permits and permanent residency.

He said the people of this country need to realize how important the bill really is.

“The message is that everyone in the country must be documented to be here, nothing more, nothing less,” he added.

“Many people have been negative regarding this legislation. This policy is designed to help the very people that critics say need the help, those born in The Bahamas that have no documents of identity or status. Under this legislation, they would be able to get some status. That’s what this policy is designed to accomplish and people have been rolling and ranting and carrying on which blocks the people they say need help.”

Minister Mitchell said people have the wrong idea of the legislation because its purpose is to offer help and ensure the security of the country.

“We pledged to work for Bahamians first, as this bill and these policies, as they are designed to, do just that,” he said.

“The Bahamian people were fed up and the government had to act so this is about one thing and one thing alone, making our country secure. It is about securing our boarders and putting Bahamians first. It is my honour to move this bill and put this matter in context. I hope the bill has the support of the house.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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