“WE DON’T RESPOND TO U.S. REPORTS”: OPM PS says the gov’t is committed to addressing immigration issues irrespective of American’s criticisms

“WE DON’T RESPOND TO U.S. REPORTS”: OPM PS says the gov’t is committed to addressing immigration issues irrespective of American’s criticisms

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Press Secretary in The Office of the Prime Minister Clint Watson advised yesterday that the government is working hard to address the backlog of citizen applications at the Department of Immigration.

While he declined to respond to a US report that asserted the government had not effectively implemented law to provide long-term residents the change to Bahamian citizenship in a “timely manner”, Watson said The Bahamas’ comrades to the north sometimes “don’t get it right”.

Attorney General Ryan Pinder has said the government intends to address citizenship, immigration and other matters in a compendium of bills to be presented to Cabinet shortly.

Several versions of a draft bill have been done by the Law Reform Commission — headed in 2018 by Dame Anita Allen — that would repeal the Bahamas Nationality Act and the Immigration Act.

“I’ll say as far as the citizenship bill is coming to Parliament,” Watson said during the Office of the Prime Minister’s weekly briefing.

“We expect that according to the attorney general it will be sometime around the summertime.

“…So, look for that to happen around that time.

“We won’t respond to their view at this time, the American embassy.

“Our response is simply that the citizenship bill is coming and you can expect it during the summer.”

Asked if the Davis administration intended to review laws paving the way to Bahamian citizenship, Watson said the government continues to concern itself with issues that affect The Bahamas’ citizenry.

“We don’t respond to the US reports,” he said.

“We are a sovereign nation and we are concerned about ensuring that what we do in The Bahamas is effective for Bahamians, and not because a report by our comrades says something means the government is just going to jump and address it because sometimes they don’t get it right.

“What I would want to say though in regard to what is happening is we are putting in place right now, the Department of Immigration measures to ensure that backlog is eliminated.

“We recognize for the people, permanent residents who are here, and people who have been using the services of immigration that they deserve a little bit better treatment than they have been getting.”

Watson said the issue is under review at current and progress has been made.

About Royston Jones Jr.

Royston Jones Jr. is a senior digital reporter and occasional TV news anchor at Eyewitness News. Since joining Eyewitness News as a digital reporter in 2018, he has done both digital and broadcast reporting, notably providing the electoral analysis for Eyewitness News’ inaugural election night coverage, “Decision Now 2021”.


America is the last to talk immigration. Their southern ” border” is open and they encourage illegal immigration not citizenship.

Hello. We need a immigration bill pass because are nation suffer from immigration matters for me today make me 21 years within I suffer,my family please help us, please help us right now thank you for understanding and god bless government in the Bahamas states

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