The government has suspended the deportation of immigrants living in areas impacted by Hurricane Dorian, Minister of Immigration Elsworth Johnson said today.
“Having regard that we’re now facing a humanitarian crisis, the government is taking the decision that those immigration policies or enforcement measures suspended forthwith in the affected areas, that’s the Abacos and Freeport, Grand Bahama,” Johnson told reporters outside Cabinet.
He said immigration officers on other Family Islands still have “strict instructions” to carry out the law as it relates to apprehensions.
“We still have the constitutional right to safeguard our boarders,” he said.
However, Johnson added that individuals affected by Dorian “have nothing to worry about”.
He encouraged all impacted residents to take advantage of the relief being offered.
However, he noted that this policy decision does not apply to migrants living on unaffected islands.
“But for those areas that are unaffected, the immigration officers know what they ought to do,” he said.
As it relates to giving asylum to the undocumented migrants impacted by the storm, Johnson said that is not in the works.
“At this time, there are no instructions given to me by the most honorable prime minister and his Cabinet that any asylum should be given to anybody,” Johnson continued.