Thousands to get regularized by the Foreign National Movement Government

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By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Staff Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

THE Government will seek to implement changes to immigration policy in its bid to reduce the “significant” number of persons over the age of 18 who are living without citizenship.

Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham highlighted “disincentives” within the current regularisation process for persons born in the Bahamas to foreign nationals during the 2011/2012 budget debate yesterday.

The majority of persons in this category were said to be of Haitian and Jamaican descent.

“The number is huge,” said Antoine St Louis, president of the United Association of Haitian Bahamians.

“Can you imagine, those who finish school, and at 18 you don’t have proper documentation? You can’t get a good job, open a bank account, you are discriminated against.

“It affects the social status of the country, these young people have no self value because they are stateless, so instead of doing positive things they will end up doing negative stuff.

“The sooner the better for all concerned,” he added.

Amendments will provide regularisation opportunities for persons who have passed the age limit required by the current process, and allow for relaxed documentation requirements.

Mr Ingraham said: “There are persons who have lived here all their lives who have gone to school here etc, and they are scattered throughout the Bahamas. We have requested Immigration to bring forward to us a list of such persons.

“If we have to amend the regulations to discontinue them having to advertise in the newspapers, once they would have satisfied that they were born here, went to school here, have connections here – then we will treat them as though they applied between 18 and 19.”

He added: “We also have some rules that are disincentive to such persons, who are required to produce their [parents’] birth certificate, and Haiti has known challenges with that.”

During yesterday’s debate, Minister of Foreign Affairs Brent Symonette challenged the use of the term “stateless” to describe persons born in the Bahamas to foreign nationals who are without citizenship. Mr Symonette explained the term was inaccurate as it neglected the individual’s right to apply for citizenship with their parent’s country.

He said: “A person in that category should they so wish has the right to apply for a Haitian passport or Jamaican passport. Those are the major categories that they’re in – they can go to the embassy here and apply for a Haitian or Jamaican passport, so they are not stateless.

“The laws of Haiti and of Jamaica protect that, so those people have the right to apply. While we say they are stateless that is not actually the case.”

Mr Ingraham also noted that although persons in this category were allowed to pay the same rate for college tuition as Bahamians, discrimination still existed in the health sector.

“It [college tuition] has been dealt with, so that they receive the same fees as Bahamians. Where it hasn’t been dealt with yet is in health. When they go to the clinic they are treated as foreigners so we gotta make sure we get the policy across the board,” the PM added.

13 COMMENTS

  1. @ kibster – treating someone like a human being does not mean you have to give them citizenship. They may be among us but they are NOT of us. Too many of them don’t respect this country and have no gratitude for what it has given them. If we give them the same rights as you and me – we’re doomed. The already breed like rodents. Look, I can understand giving those who commit to this country some sort of residence and then after some years considering making them permanent residents but NOT citizens. What is that? The problem we’re going to have is when people like me who have never had so much as a traffic ticket are so sick of them and their large numbers that we want to get rid of them by any means necessary. That’s when you have a problem because we’re not about to roll over and let them overrun this land of ours. They fly their Haitian flag and speak their language so get the hell out. That’s the point. NO CITIZENSHIP – not here.

  2. Here’s another point of view: if you don’t treat those Haitian children who have grown up in our Bahamian society properly, when they get older (and they will still be living here – they’re not going anywhere), we could have a problem on our hands. Yes, we need better border control and people should respect our laws, but we also need to treat those who are “Bahamian” through upbringing like human beings.

  3. Dr Elwood Domaldson is on “STRAIGHT TALK” right now talking about the Foreign National Movement’s published statement in Friday’s Tribune regarding their plan to give the huge Haitian population over 18 years old, Bahamian citizenship rights.

    Call Tel: 326-8255 to voice your concerns and thoughts.

  4. the fnm is clearly out off touch with realty one would think with all this crime going on this so call pm will make it his number #1 focus but yet again he f-ing with the haitians. would someone plz tell the pm to take his head out of his ass. so he can see the bahamians screaming for help but then againg this jackass say crime is not out off control wel monkey ass. hopefully a dead body will end up on the pm door step soon.

  5. It’s no wonder this admninistration doesn’t care what Bahamians think and feel. It is clearly their intent to use the next 12 months to try to give citizenship to thousands of persons who shouldn’t have been here in the FIRST PLACE! It is absolutely sickening! This place is already overrun with Haitians at every turn. While the US is trying to limit the number of immigrants in their country, these lunatics are trying to increase the numbers here. What will it take for Bahamians to hit to the streets? This man has already started plans to give away the land to Haitians now citizenship to them – what will it take for Bahamians to realize what’s happening right in their faces?

  6. Yea Ingraham,there are many persons who have lived here all of their lives illegally; got educated at the expense of the Bahamian tax-payers, their parents was here illegal and made little or no contributions to the forward progress of our country.Now,Ingraham, after breaking the laws of our country, by releasing illegal immigrants in our midst seeks to have them regularized by law;we have a right to be intolerant toward anyone want raise their flag above the Bahamian own.I don;t know any other nation having a flag day in the Bahamas: many times am baffled by our political leaders.

    • Clearly, Hubert Ingraham is not a BAHAMIAN! We must demand that he produces documentation to prove his citizenship!

      Next, we must make immediate changes to the Constitution to ensure that only persons born of Bahamian parents may serve in the Office of Prime Minister!

  7. I would rather see more Chinese, Indians and Europeans get regularised than Hatian and Jamaican – those who can contribute, dilute and enhance our sinking position.

  8. Quite frankly, this come as no surprise. Mr. Ingraham and Mr. Brent Symonette, seem to be in such haste to carry out their regularization of these foreign nationals living here. They have been in power for four years why now, what’s the rush? Could it be that election time is drawing near and they are now seeing the handwriting on the wall that the Bahamians are fed up with being marginalized in their own country and are now ready to vote them out?
    Could they be that desperate for power that they would allow foreigners to interfere and tamper in something so sacred as our democracy? I pray not.
    Bahamians please keep your eyes and ears open if, you want preserve this country for our future generations. I feel that anyone being granted status should at least, be able to speak and understand the country’s language unlike, a lady paying her water bill she couldn’t communicate with the clerk but she pulled out a Bahamian passport for identification. Yes, Mr. leaders our eyes and our ears are wide open remember the saying: what is done in the dark will be brought to light.

    • The reason why most of these immigrants registration and or naturalization for citizenship has not yet been forward for approval is because they are unable to comply with the required document request from the Immigration Department. This is mostly because the document in question is not that of subject and has been aquired through theif or purchased, either way it was obtain through fraud. There are thousands of application at the Immigration Office for Haitians who claim that they don’t know where there mommy or daddy is or that their parents die or the school in Haiti won’t give them their school records. Well rather than giving away the country the government needs to simly send these people back to Haiti; especial the ones who came by boat and speak no english who claim that they were born in the Bahamas. The thing is many Haitian families migrate to the united states and many times they sell or give their travel documents to their family members or friends back in Haiti who suddenly appear in our country with the most rediculous excuse as to why several years of their life exsistance in the bahamas is not documented whether in the hospitals, at the local schools or with national insurance. But yet the government is prepared to award these peolpe with citizenship, what a f#@$ing joke. The boats that come in with the little children are the same children who go to immigration at 18 with all these excuses and complain to the government that they can’t get their papers. Someone need to go to jail if this goes down and for what, votes this shit is crazy.

    • I can understand where your coming from because I am one of those Haitian-Bahamian and if you could see just what we go thru. I mean an Haitain freshly here has more rights and say so than I do. I mean I have grown so tired of being here that I dont care which passport I get I’m going where we are welcome and can advance. I love it here but too much black on black hate for me.

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