Inagua residents stage protest over intercepted migrants

Inagua residents stage protest over intercepted migrants

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — A group of Inagua residents staged a demonstration yesterday against the transport of 23 Haitian migrants, intercepted by the United States Coast Guard, to the island.

Royal Bahamas Defence Force Commander Raymond King told Eyewitness News that an RBDF vessel will meet the Coast Guard at a location off Grand Bahama or the coast of Bimini to receive the migrants, who were detained about two days ago while attempting to enter Florida.

Those migrants will then be transported to Inagua by the RBDF and detained at its maritime facility, according to King.

Immigration officers landing in Inagua yesterday spiked concerns the island could be exposed to potential cases of COVID-19. There has not been a confirmed case on Inagua to date.

Some residents demonstrated on the island yesterday, echoing concerns over the risk of importing cases of the coronavirus to the island.

They held signs and displayed them on their vehicles as they drove through parts of the island.

Some of the messages on the signs read, ‘Have a heart Mr. PM’, ‘Someone hear our cry, please don’t bring them here’, and ‘We don’t want them here, it is our island, please help us keep it COVID free’.”

Another sign read: “We have no doctor, We have one nurse, We have no test kits. We have zero tolerance for s**t”.

One resident, Flavio Cox told Eyewitness News that residents were strongly against the decision and feel aggrieved that they were given no warning.

“We don’t like it,” said Cox.

“We do not appreciate it because the people of Inagua were COVID free from this incident first started in the world, and we’d like to keep it that way and we are saying they need to go somewhere else.

“We don’t want them here.”

Residents on the island said they could see tents being erected behind the facility yesterday.

King said he could not confirm the extent of COVID-19 testing performed by the Coast Guard but noted they were confident that none of the migrants have displayed any signs of the virus.

He stressed there will be no contact with the wider community, adding efforts were being made to time the transport to ensure that a repatriation flight is ready upon the vessel’s landing in Inagua or shortly thereafter.

There are nearly 1,200 people living on the island.

Earlier this week, health officials revealed that a 20-year-old migrant had tested positive for COVID-19.

The migrant was reportedly apprehended by the US Coast Guard during an attempt to enter the United States and turned over to Bahamian authorities on July 5, and tested for the virus the following day.

13 comments

Good morning they should let the American people send them back because it cost our government alot off money

I stand with the residents of Inagua. As a Bahamian, I take grave exception to such actions. Why is it that when the Americans intercept these immigrants, trying to enter their country they bring them to us?? they are not Bahamians and we should not except them.

I AGREE TOTALLY, WE TOO SLACK, THEY FOUND THEM, THEN SEND THEM WHERE THEY BELING…. WE THEY HAVE TO BRING THEM TO THE BAHAMAS IF THEY FIND THEM IN THEIR WATERS.? 😡😡

The bahamian govt need to stop letting other countries shove things down their throat.. the American coastguard caught the Haitian immigrants therefore they are responsible for them…they themselves should’ve taken the immigrants back to Haiti…have a backbone for once..protect our people our nation…smh

Once us coast guide catch immigrants in their waters RBDF should not accept anyone from other countries and if the immigrants claims to be Bahamian our goverment should have something in place for RBDF to check to make sure their claims are accurate before accepting immigrants from US coast guard.

As a life long supporter of this government I have never been so disappointed. From one event to the next, they can’t seem to make a sensible decision and 2021 seems so far away.

Why ship them to Inagua YES we have plenty Donkey in our beautiful island, but we refuse to be treated as AN ASS.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
FIX IT NOW.
Thanks in advance.

The article failed to mention that there is according to a Ses Rider agreement any migrants caught being smuggled across from the areas of Bimini, West End, Grand Bahamas and in a Bahamian registered vessel, Bahamas is obligated to receive the migrants from the US.

The reason the cases are low in the Bahamas is because they are not giving out free test. Don’t be fooled more people in the Bahamas have Covid than is been reported; The was wrong about the death total and they are wrong about this. Not many are being tested so no one knows how many people have.

Theres no free test here in the bahamas i personally now of 3 individuals that had all the signs of corvid 19 that visit the doctor office and was send home with prescriptions and died within a week period. These individuals never had asthma and was struggling to breathe with temperture over 100 ,headache and etc.

I am a life time supporter of the FNM . But this is the lousiest ever every thing is against the Bahamian people

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