Haitian migrant: ‘I don’t want to be here anymore’

Haitian migrant: ‘I don’t want to be here anymore’
Elison Nelson, 46, broke his arms after he fell off his bike attempting to flee from law enforcement officers in Abaco.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – A Haitian migrant is in hospital with two broken arms after he fell from his bicycle attempting to flee armed officers in Abaco.

Elison Nelson, 46, said he hasn’t held a work permit in more than 10 years but has lived in The Bahamas since he was 14 years old.

He said he was chased by officers with “long guns” as he was returning from Green Turtle Cay on Tuesday.

“I don’t know why I run,” he told Eyewitness News Online from his bed at the Princess Margaret Hospital yesterday.

“In my mind I say I’ll never run from them because I don’t want them to beat me. I always say that.

He continued: “But when they point gun at me, I don’t know what happened. I just moved. I tried to get away from them.”

Nelson was airlifted to the capital shortly after 1am on Wednesday.

He said he was unsure whether the officers were from the immigration department or the Royal Bahamas Defence Force.

Nelson said he works as a construction helper in GTC and is paid daily.

He said he was riding his bicycle from the dock when he saw two trucks parked further down the road.

When he got closer, several officers allegedly came out of the bush with “big long guns” in their hands, pointed at him.

He said three officers began chasing after him on foot, along with other officers in a truck.

Nelson claimed he could hear someone screaming “shoot him” as he fled.

He said he felt a breeze blow him, then he hit a rock and fell on top of several large rocks.

Nelson claimed while he was on the ground, one officer told him, “you see, if I was going to shoot you, I would shoot you. Why you run?”

He continued: “I say because I scared of y’all.  Y’all point big gun on me.”

Nelson said he was afraid for his life.

The father of four said he could feel his arms were broken and he informed the officers of his injuries, but one of them told him, “I don’t care, you is garbage”.

Nelson said he was placed on the back of the truck, and further claimed the officers rode around for about two hours before taking him to the clinic.

“I was suffering in the back of the truck, so I start crying because I [couldn’t] take that pain no more,” he said.

“The pain really hurt me and I just start crying.”

Nelson has one Bahamas-born son and one son living in the United States.

His wife and two other sons live in Haiti.

“I would say I’ll never run from them but I don’t know yesterday what happen to me,” he said repeatedly during the interview.

“…I was not supposed to run for me to kill myself like that.”

Nelson said his life in The Bahamas has only gotten worse in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.

The Category 5 storm devastated parts of Abaco and Grand Bahama between September 1-3, claiming the lives of a confirmed 67 people — and displacing thousands, many of whom resided in shantytown communities in Abaco.

The Mudd and the Peas – the two largest of the six shantytowns on the island were flattened.

Additionally, the government issued a cease order with immediate effect for The Mudd, The Peas, Sandbanks and The Farm in order to prevent anyone from building or developing in those communities.

While there was a temporary hold on repatriations following the storm, the government has since resumed enforcement and deportations. 

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis has warned “illegals” to leave or be forced to leave, and Attorney General Carl Bethel advised work permit holders, who no longer held jobs as a result of the storm, to “go home”.

Immigration Minister Elsworth Johnson has maintained The Bahamas is a country of laws, adding the government will follow those laws as outlined in the Immigration Act.

Yesterday, Nelson described a tense climate in The Bahamas, and said he knew he was not wanted in the country.

He said he made plans to go back to Haiti in December.

“I see I can’t make it because life too tough,” Nelson said.

“I can’t manage that no more so I say I have to go home. I 46, so as I get old, I say I don’t want to be here anymore.”

However, Nelson said his plans to leave the country may have to be delayed due to medical bills he has incurred.

He said he has to find a way to pay expenses – including the air ambulance and whatever further care he will need.

“I can’t just leave now,” Nelson added.

“I have to pay that. As soon as I finish pay that, I go home.”

6 comments

Unna, you are to love your neighbor as you love yourself. Nobody has it easy in life and we should all look out for one another. If we all worked together, not one would suffer. The trials we experience here are a test to build good character, love, mercy and kindness. GOD has allowed these things to see who people really are and how they react. When you show no mercy, you will receive no mercy. Be greater than that do the opposite of what the nasty world does to people and your reward in the afterlife will be greater than anything this life would give you. He is a fellow human, have mercy.

I”m so sorry for him. He is a hard worker and he and others do jobs no one else will. He was just born in the wrong place.

No, he was not born in the wrong place. His country is rich with minerals and agriculture. So much so that haiti once was the place where we got our food. FRANCE N AMERICA IS RESPONSIBLE FOR HAITI’S DECLINE.. And it’s not like you very same bleeding hearts don’t know the score. who did Haiti have to pay 159billion in gold to? Just to be recognised as a republic. Something they fought and won the right to have just as did France..

For 50 or more years the Bahamas has been the only best friend to Haiti’s plight. we simple cannot take on anymore. which part of that common sense are you and others like you void of??

Enough of this crap our country cannot help every Haitian that illegally come here. 11 million Haitians in Haiti do you think it’s fair to let them all come to our little islands . We have more Haitians in our country then any one in the world , yet that’s not enough. You are a bunch of ungrateful people that takes and takes and still complain. We only can do some much , because we have our own people to worry about . Then the Haitian women need to stop having 2 children every year, bringing these children in the world when you don’t have a home or food or money to take care of them , our government cannot take care of illegal immigrants by the thousands , The Haitian people need to be upset with the Haitian government not with the Bahamian people . So if you come here illegally you must go back home law is law .

Tout tan dirijan ayiti yo pa pran konsyans nap toujou tonbe nan move eta konsa sa fem mal pou ayisyen parey mwen ki ap soufri konsa
mwen swete ou repran fòs kouraj ou Nelson Elison ke Bondye geri vit e map tou swetew kouraj se te Bendjy Tertulien

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