Illegal migrants deported in record time

Pictured are some of the 200 illegal migrants who were deported to Haiti Tuesday via a Bahamasair Jet.

A ruling handed down by Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt sent nearly 200 illegal Haitian migrants on a swift return to Haiti. The group pleaded guilty to charges of illegal landing.

The 183 illegal migrants were arrested off Inagua March 11 and were deported from Inagua on Tuesday night.

Eyewitness News Online has learnt that the proceedings, to send these migrants with their packing orders, were quite expeditious.

Ferguson-Pratt apparently flew to Inagua Tuesday morning. The arraignments were held Tuesday evening and late Tuesday night the illegal migrants were sent back to Haiti.

The hundreds of illegal migrants luckily escaped jail time, thanks to the leniency of Ferguson-Pratt. She advised the group that she could have sent them to prison, but she chose to grant them a discharge instead.

The Chief Magistrate also sought to educate the illegal migrants that illegal landings continue to drain the public purse of its resources. She warned them not to make further illegal attempts to return to The Bahamas.

Ferguson-Pratt cautioned that if they failed to heed her warning, they could themselves imprisoned if they returned illegally.

According to Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) officers, nearly 300 illegal Haitian migrants were captured in three separate incidents waters surrounding Inagua over the weekend.

The Bahamas spends millions of dollars annually in the apprehension, arraignment and deportation of illegal migrants.


Two set for deportation in Grand Bahama

Two men were also charged in court in Grand Bahama for illegal landing and overstaying Wednesday.

The Haitian and New Zealander both pleaded guilty to the charges. They were fined $300 and $2,500 respectively.

The men are expected to be deported today.