By Pierre V.L. Dupuch
August 5, 2011
Every red blooded Bahamian should be alarmed at the Government’s actions!
Some years ago a PLP member of the House of Assembly employed a large number of Haitian Nationals and every five years, it was alleged, he saw that they got citizenship so that they could vote for him.
The FNM, then run by Sir Kendal Issacs and Sir Cecil Wallace Whitfield, expressed concern that this was creating a dangerous precedent. Based on the Constitution we all accept that a child born of a Bahamian father is a Bahamian, and that a child born abroad of an unwed Bahamian woman is also a Bahamian.
It was also recognized that the section of the Constitution that provided that a child born of a Bahamian woman who is married to a foreign man carried the Nationality of the father should be changed.
There was no cynical reason for this provision; it had been modeled after many other countries where the bread winner was the father and the wife followed her husband.
This is no longer the case. Women are often, especially in The Bahamas, the sole bread winners in the family. It only makes sense, therefore, that the child should be entitled to take the Nationality of the father or mother. A simple law could fix this discrepancy.
With the FNM Government’s naturalization of Haitian nationals, it seems as though the Government is trying to muddle legal with illegal and conclude that their recent immigration actions are “humanitarian”. Being humanitarian is utter hogwash, and Brent Symonette knows so. He should be ashamed of himself. What is going on now is raw, nasty politics being played just before an election hoping that it will give them victory.
Any red blooded Bahamian should be alarmed at the Governments actions. Almost everyone knows that birth certificates are easy to come by. I am told that a number of JPs, especially one somewhere in Hawkins Hill (not in Immigration) are prepared to supply the witnesses and sign birth certificates for the right price in order to facilitate a citizenship application for an undocumented foreign national. While I am not certain that this is true, I assume that members of the Government are aware of it.
So, as it stands any government, the FNM, the PLP or some government twenty years from now could do this. It could test the waters and if found wanting it could grant citizenship to the irregulars here so they can vote, and then visit a downtrodden country and invite thousands more to come here with the promise of a better life and grant them citizenship so that they also can vote. And no matter what a bad job the government has done and no matter how the real Bahamians want to get rid of them at the polls, the government will win. And there goes democracy!!!
It is said that this can’t happen because this will get out and somebody will end up in trouble. Not true. The government that has just won unfairly could have Immigration arrest those very people that were granted citizenship on the grounds that their documentation was fraudulent, confiscate their Bahamian passports and deport them. Voila!!! By the government winning, the deed has been done, and the evidence has been sent out of town!!!!
It becomes a revolving door!!!
It cant happen? Why not?
The Government can’t be allowed to do with Immigration what they are now doing. Brent Symonette says that it is hard in many cases to get proper information on applicants because of the devastation in Haiti which at the best of times did not have good records.
But he says that he has ways of finding out the background of a person even if the earthquake in Haiti destroyed the individual’s papers. Again, hogwash, utter hogwash!! If he has a way, tell us how. Or does he think the Bahamian people are not mature enough to understand?
Especially since the earthquake in Haiti has destroyed most personal identifications the process of giving citizenship should be slowed down, not speeded up. In fact, it should be put on hold until after the elections.
The government seems to forget that there is a category in The Bahamas called “Permanent Residency”. This gives a person the right to reside and work here, but does not extend the right to vote. In fact, most people get Permanent Residency before they get citizenship.
If they’re interested in being “humanitarian” why don’t they grant Permanent Residency rather than Citizenship?
Ah, the Government believes we’re stupid.
Brent, cover yourself … your tail is showing!!!!