Separate detention centers to be legally mandated under proposed law
The proposed Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Bill 2018, seeks to establish in law a separate facility for unaccompanied minors who arrive in the country illegally and mothers accompanied by their minor children who arrive in the country illegally.
These individuals would then be in the custody and care of the minister responsible for social services.
Fathers who enter the country illegally with minors would be housed with other adults at the detention center.
The government now does this as a matter of policy, not statute.
“Where unaccompanied minors are to be removed or deported from The Bahamas, arrangements shall be made by the minister of foreign affairs with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the relevant country of origin of such persons to ensure they are met by responsible adults on their landing in that country following removal or deportation from The Bahamas,” the bill reads.
The clause in the bill also designates several areas as places of detention for the purpose of detaining individuals reasonably suspected or convicted of entering the country illegally.
Those areas include the Carmichael Road Detention Centre, any place specially provided for the purposes of detention, any police station, any prison, or any other place designated by the minister by order published in the gazette.