NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The Department of Immigration yesterday deported 113 Haitian migrants.
“A joint team of law enforcement officers departed Lynden Pindling International Airport at 8:08 a.m. en route to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, with a total of 113 convicted Haitian nationals under Deportation Order onboard a Bahamasair flight,” the department said in a statement.
“This group included 97 males and 13 females and 3 minors.
“…The department will continue its commitment to carrying out the mandates of our agency to combat illegal migration by establishing effective border control management in compliance with the Statute Laws of our country.”
The deportations come on the heels of the apprehension of nearly 90 Haitian migrants in the waters on the southeastern end of Great Inagua on Wednesday.
According to the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, an Operations Turks and Caicos (OPBAT) helicopter on routine patrol responded to a detected vessel in the area.
A total of 97 migrants, inclusive of 26 females, 59 males and two minors were arrested on board the 30-foot wooden low-profile vessel and from nearby bushes on the coastline.
The search and rescue mission continued throughout yesterday, due to reports of migrants who escaped the vessel and were stranded on the East End Point sandbank in Inagua.
This is the second reported illegal landing this month.
Fifty-six Haitian migrants were arrested near Deadman’s Cay, Long Island on Saturday.
The group included 50 men and six women.
They were charged and convicted in a magistrate’s court this week for illegal landing, with 10 repeat offenders remanded to the Department of Correctional Services for one year in addition to a $3,000 fine.
Meanwhile in Haiti, the ongoing political and humanitarian crisis in the country deepens.
Haitians have continuously protested corruption, inequality and economic hardship over the past year.
The latest round of demonstrations began in the streets of the capital, Port-au-prince, on September 15.
Since then, the United Nations reported 42 people have died, and 86 have been injured in escalated tensions.
The Bahamas government has deported more than 300 Haitian migrants in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.
Dorian displaced thousands as it ripped through parts of Grand Bahama and Abaco on September 1-3.
The Category 5 storm decimated two of the largest shantytowns on Abaco, The Mudd and Peas, where the majority of the respondents to the government’s 2018 survey were self-reportedly undocumented Haitian migrants.