Former PM calls for audit of work permits

Former PM calls for audit of work permits

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Former Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis yesterday suggested that there be an audit of all work permits issued, noting that concerns over illegal migration, inflation, and the fear of crime are fuelling anger across the country.

Minnis yesterday referenced comments made by Labour and Immigration Minister Keith Bell who last month confirmed that a genuine work permit had been found in the possession of a Haitian migrant who was apprehended after a sloop ran aground on Andros. 

Minnis said: “The Minister himself said that an individual who had probably just recently arrived had his work permit with them. What we need to do is an audit of the work permits. They’re all online. Recall all work permits and reissue them in an orderly fashion with an additional security feature to it. Deal with the matter, show that you are serious about it. Until that is done this anger will continue and I don’t want to see the anger spill over into something else.”

Last month, Bell announced the implementation of stricter measures regarding the granting of work permits and permits to reside to Haitian citizens with immediate effect. Bell noted that all existing work permit applications and renewals for work permits will be subjected to the most vigorous review and scrutiny.

Minnis added: “We must put the fire out that is making the people angry. There are three things that are making people angry and one is inflation. This is a tax government. I went in the supermarket just the other day and walked out with one bag. I was shocked that my bill was $138 dollars. How many people can do that? I don’t live a lavish life.”

Minnis accused the Davis administration of introducing “taxes upon taxes” on the Bahamian people.

“They are tired and that causes anger and unrest and violence. They must deal with that. Then there is immigration and crime. People are angry because they don’t feel safe,” he added.