Haitian pastor says he misspoke on support for draft bill
President of the League of Haitian Pastors Dr. Jean Paul Charles yesterday admitted that he made a mistake in saying that his organization supported the government’s new proposed immigration laws.
“I retract what I said,” Charles said.
He added, “It was a mistake.”
Charles said that he misspoke in saying that the league supported the proposed laws.
However, he maintains that he still supports the laws that are being proposed by the government.
The president said there is a team of individuals carrying out consultations on the proposed laws in the Haitian community throughout The Bahamas.
“When the time has come, they will give all the details,” he said.
He added, “But for right now, they are not finished yet with their consultations.”
Last week, Charles told The Nassau Guardian that the League of Haitian Pastors supported the government’s proposed new immigration laws but wanted to see an extension of the timeline to register for status after the law takes effect.
When asked last week if the league supported the proposed laws, Charles said, “Oh, yes, we are. We are supporting.”
Under the government’s proposed new immigration laws, those who were born in The Bahamas after July 9, 1973 to parents who were not Bahamian, and failed to apply to be registered as citizens by their 19th birthday, would lose that right and would have six months after the law takes effect to apply for some form of status or risk being deported.
Currently, Article 7 of The Bahamas constitution states that a person born in The Bahamas after independence, “neither of whose parents is a citizen of The Bahamas shall be entitled, upon making application on his attaining the age of eighteen years or within twelve months thereafter to be registered as a citizen of The Bahamas”.
The constitution is silent on what happens to these individuals before their 18th birthday, or after their 19th birthday.