True to a commitment given by Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis regarding illegal immigrants, the Bahamas has deported 112 Haitians.
Minnis had warned illegal migrants they should either leave the country voluntarily or be “forced to leave” following the passage of Hurricane Dorian last month
According to the New York Times, it was unclear how many storm survivors were among 112 Haitians deported.
The publication said while the deportation of Haitians is not uncommon, the matter has been contentious in the aftermath of the monster hurricane.
CMC News reported that the human rights group, Rights Bahamas, has criticised the decision of the government saying it has alerted its international human rights partners to the “government’s savage, cold-hearted and illegal plan”.
Attorney General Carl Bethel said migrants who have lost their jobs as a result of the hurricane “need to go home” even if their work permits have not yet expired.
Amid the controversy that has arisen over the government policy, former Bahamas Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson questioned whether the country’s immigration policy is racist.
“How could it be fair to round up and deport people who have been for 10, 15, 20 years living and working amongst us?” Maynard-Gibson said in a letter, noting that Bahamians have become bystanders on the immigration issue, according to the Bahamas Herald.
Haitians have long been the victims of stigma in the Bahamas with illegal migration from Haiti to the Bahamas being a sore issue for Bahamian authorities.