Sunday, Dec 15, 2019
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Illegal immigration

Dear Editor,

During the decades of the ‘70s and ‘80s I was an assistant commissioner of police. The police force held an Annual General Meeting in which crime, etc. were discussed. Recommendations were made to governments on various matters. I recall, that in each year illegal immigration, in particular the large number of Haitian nationals, was of security concern.

The fact that we did not know who was here or anything about them, was of security concern.

There were two major prison breaks in Haiti, including escapes during the earthquake. We were never given information about the escapees. Many were stopped at the border of Santo Domingo and sent back to their country. We are not aware of any that came here, but we know that among the escapees were: murderers, rapists and other violent criminals. We also know that political prisoners were among the escapees.

According to U.S. Intelligence, there are 60,000 Haitian nationals residing here. The number should be of security concern to governments. I have a great respect for the Haitian people for what they were able to accomplish in abolishing slavery in their country, their culture of hard work and family life. Their contribution to our country is greatly appreciated. The problem we now face is due to governments and politicians ignoring advice on illegal immigration, including the shantytowns over the past decades.

Talk show hosts should be aware of the following information:

1. Persons born of Haitian parents are constitutionally CITIZENS OF HAITI.

2. Haitian governments have made no effort to stop illegal immigration and human trafficking to The Bahamas or any other country. The Haitian Police Intelligence are aware of the human trafficking, the traffickers and the locations of departure and could stop it if directed to do so.

3. Government erred when the problem was put in the hands of a committee, involving politicians, church leaders and others. The nation’s laws are being contravened. The commissioner of police, commodore of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force and director of immigration should have been told to deal with the crimes, which would have included: the stealing of electricity and shops without licenses, etc. The shantytowns pose a health threat and a security concern.

A total of 97 persons left Tatotue, Haiti, on a boat in February, 2019. That boat capsized and sank in waters off Abaco. The Haitian government has shown no real concern about the lives lost. There were only 18 survivors. We are yet to hear from law enforcement the results of investigations. With 18 survivors and 21 Haitian residents identifying bodies recovered, investigators by interrogation should have been able to get evidence that would expose this group of smugglers. Who were the captain and crew? Who was paid for the voyage (in New Providence or Haiti) and how much was paid? Were the persons’ identifying bodies involved in the trafficking by making payments to traffickers and what was the cause of the accident?

– Paul Thompson Sr.

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