MIGRANTS CAUGHT ON YACHT: Police investigate smuggling of mixed bag of nationals into The Bahamas

Bahamian man in police custody suspected of being the smuggler NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Minister of Labour and Immigration Keith Bell said yesterday that an investigation has been launched into the most recent interdiction of dozens of undocumented migrants from Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba, Ecuador, Romania and Turkey on one boat. Bell’s comments follow weeks of apprehensions […]

HELPING THY NEIGHBOR: Church prepared to provide supplies to assist with southern migrant development

“We know the minister has pledged to be humane and [the] diaspora of the church continues to pray for the migrants” NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Bahamas Christian Council (BCC) President Bishop Delton Fernander said yesterday that the church stands ready to provide whatever assistance it can amid the “unprecedented” influx of migrants in the southern Bahamas. […]

THE LAW IS THE KEY: HRB urges govt to pass immigration bill in light of undocumented migrant influx

“Criminalizing migrants is unnecessarily punitive, harsh, degrading and dehumanizing” Human Rights Bahamas believes passing Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Bill will help address many issues surrounding undocumented migration  NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The “immigration crisis” in Inagua shows the need for legal reform in The Bahamas, according to Human Rights Bahamas (HRB) President Stephanie St Fleur. The […]

‘HUMANELY’ DETAINED: Govt considers Inagua holding facility after more than 700 Haitian migrants apprehended in past week

Delegation traveled to Inagua over the weekend to ensure there was not a “humanitarian incident” Haiti’s PM calls for respectful treatment of refugees  NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Deputy Prime Minister Chester Cooper said over the weekend that in the long term, the government hopes to implement a holding facility on Inagua to temporarily house migrants who […]

IMMIGRATION CONUNDRUM: AG to review court intervention in repatriation of undocumented migrants

“A mistake was made by the last admin by agreeing that everybody has to go to court…before they can be deported” Another 400+ undocumented migrants apprehended late last night NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Public Service Fred Mitchell said yesterday that the government has requested the attorney general to review the […]

INFLUX: More than 300 Haitian migrants apprehended in 48 hours

MATTHEW TOWN, INAGUA — More than 300 Haitian migrants were apprehended within the past 48-hours and are being detained at the police station in Inagua, according to the Royal Bahamas Defense Force (RBDF). The increase in apprehensions comes amidst large-scale migration from Haiti after compounded challenges across the country, including political unrest, the COVID-19 pandemic […]

Seven migrants charged with illegal landing; Bahamian charged with harboring them

GRAND BAHAMA, BAHAMAS — The Department of Immigration said yesterday that seven Haitian migrants were charged with illegal landing and one Bahamian man was charged with harboring them on Wednesday, January 13. The group of migrants, including six men and one woman, was apprehended onboard a motor vessel by immigration officials on Sunday, January 10, […]

44 Cuban migrants repatriated

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Forty-four Cuban migrants, including 40 men and four women, were repatriated to Havana, Cuba, via Bahamassair shortly after 9am today. The migrants were being detained at the Carmichael Road Detention Center, and the repatriation was carried out “in accordance with UNHCR guidelines and collaborating with Cuban Authorities”, a Department of Immigration statement […]

Survey finds strong support for equal rights and women’s ability to pass on citizenship

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Nearly 90 percent of Bahamians support the granting of equal rights to Bahamian men and women and equal rights in passing on citizenship, a recent survey has revealed. The Voice of the People Survey conducted by Bahamian information and research company Intel Cay had more than 4,300 respondents. Queswell Ferguson, who heads […]

Immigration Bill: “We need committed loyal persons who are prepared to build”

Minister Johnson says United Nations has provisions for stateless people Immigration overhaul bill still being reviewed NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The government is seeking to wrap up the revised draft Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Bill, 2018, said Minister of Immigration Elsworth Johnson yesterday. Speaking to reporters outside Cabinet, Johnson noted that officials are feverishly going through the bill, […]

Immigration minister says nothing amiss with transfer of immigration officers

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Amid speculation surrounding the transfers of several immigration officers within the department, Immigration Minister Elsworth Johnson yesterday said the decisions were not based on suspicions of corruption. Johnson was referring to rumors that more than 20 officers who were transferred from the Monarch House building, including Bahamas Customs, Immigration, and Allied Workers […]

Scores of immigration officers test positive for COVID-19

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Immigration minister Elsworth Johnson yesterday confirmed “no less than 30” Immigration officers have tested positive for COVID-19. Johnson declined further comment when pressed for more details ahead of a Cabinet meeting. Director of Immigration Clarence Russell yesterday confirmed some 29 immigration officers have have had to quarantine during the pandemic. Russell declined […]

No funds for constant repatriations

Immigration minister urges Bahamians to take COVID-19 seriously NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Immigration Minister Elsworth Johnson yesterday said the country could not afford constant repatriations of undocumented migrants apprehended in Bahamian waters. Johnson underscored the cost was not only financial, pointing to risks to livelihood as the country grapples with rising coronavirus cases. His comments come […]

No new work permits, says Immigration minister

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Immigration Minister Elsworth Johnson advised today that the department will not be approving any new work permits – except in “extreme circumstances”. Johnson told reporters outside Cabinet that as the country goes through its second wave of COVID-19 cases, the government is seeking to enforce protections for Bahamian workers “We are not […]

MOFA: No position yet on U.S./Bahamas travel

Bahamas Miami Consul General warns against non-essential travel to Florida NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Minister of Foreign Affairs Darren Henfield said yesterday that the government has yet to determine an official position on travel to COVID-19 hotspots in the United States. Henfield noted that the prime minister chaired a meeting yesterday with the Minister of Tourism, […]

Smith: Proposed Immigration Bill “a step in the right direction but not enough”

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Activist and lawyer Fred smith, QC, yesterday described the government’s proposed Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Bill 2018 as “a step in the right direction but not enough”. The new bill seeks to finally address the long-standing problem of statelessness and the rights of Bahamians to pass on their citizenship. In an interview with […]