113 Haitians repatriated

113 Haitians repatriated
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NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Department of Immigration repatriated 113 Haitians to Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, yesterday morning.

The repatriated group included 80 men, 28 women and five minors.

They were deported via Bahamasair around 10:10 a.m.

Included in the group were 38 undocumented Haitian migrants who were detained on a cay off the southern coast of Great Inagua on Saturday.

The arrests were the joint result of the combined efforts of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, the police force, Operation Bahamas Turks and Caicos Island and the United States Coast Guard.

While the group was spotted a week before, rocky terrain complicated the effort.

A U.S. helicopter was dispatched to assist in intercepting the migrants, authorities said.

There have been at least four large groups of migrants caught in Bahamian waters within the past couple of months.

In November, 58 undocumented Haitian migrants were detained near Deadman’s Cay in Long Island after they were found on board a 40-foot sloop.

That group was charged before the courts and have since been repatriated.

In a recent interview with Eyewitness News Online, Director of Immigration Clarence Russell said the government has deported hundreds of undocumented Haitian migrants since Dorian barreled its way across the northwest islands, though he did not provide an exact number.

Over 113 Haitian migrants were repatriated to Haiti last week, Russell confirmed.

The repatriation exercises have garnered criticisms from various United Nations agencies as tensions continue over the matter.

As 112 migrants were repatriated last month, Russell said: “While we share great empathy for such persons, particularly post Hurricane Dorian, The Bahamas remains a sovereign nation of laws which we as an agency are obligated to enforce without fear; favor; malice; or ill will, in a humane, but effective manner having great regard for the “rule of law”. We wish them a safe and well flight.