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Bahamas: Government Launches New Effort to Stem Illegal Immigration

(Sept. 17, 2010) https://ww
(last visited Sept. 14, 2010).)

Nevertheless, the Bahamas' long-standing problem with illegal immigration has not abated over the past couple of years. The country is located near a number of jurisdictions that many persons have sought to flee, including Haiti and Cuba. Other persons have illegally entered the country from the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, South and Central America, as well as from other countries in Africa and Asia. Some of these persons have sought shelter in several of the less-populated islands that are not heavily policed, and some of them landed in the Bahamas after originally setting out for the United States. Employment of illegal immigrants in the tourism industry appears to be fairly common, despite the prohibitions on both illegal hiring and working contained in the Immigration Act. (Ch. 191, BAH. REV. LAWS,
Press Release, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Minister of Foreign Affairs & Immigration Makes Statement on Illegal Immigrants from the Republic of Haiti (Aug. 26, 2010), al”>

On August 16, 2010, the Bahamian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, T. Brent Symonette, called on all persons living in the Bahamas illegally to leave the country by August 31 and announced that the government would renew its efforts to apprehend, arrest, and deport illegal immigrants at the beginning of September 2010. Symonette noted that the government had temporarily suspended the deportation of Haitians following the earthquake in that country in January 2010, but over the previous six months had deported 772 Haitians, along with 183 Jamaicans. (Press Release, supra.) Since the crackdown was announced, the government has reportedly arrested more than 100 Haitians and at least 45 other nationals and placed these persons in its Detention Centre for deportation. (Bahamas to Deport More Than 100 Illegal Haitians, BBC WORLDWIDE MONITORING (Sept. 8, 2010), Lexis/Nexis, NEWS Library, BBCMIR File.) The Immigration Act gives the police broad powers to detain persons they “reasonably” suspect of being in the country illegally. (Immigration Act, s. 8).