A magistrate ordered the deportation of Jamaican security guard Omar Walford after he pleaded guilty to overstaying.
Walford, 42, was arrested on March 6, days after a “diss video” about Bahamians went viral on social media.
Walford was wearing a shirt imprinted with his country’s national colors when he admitted to the immigration violation at his arraignment before Senior Magistrate Carolyn Vogt-Evans.
Immigration officers detained Walford at the Carmichael Road Detention Centre after he could not show he was here legally when they performed a status check on his home at Martin’s Close, off Cowpen Road, the court heard.
Checks of the immigration system revealed that Walford’s spousal permit had expired since January 30, 2018, and there were no pending applications for renewal.
The court heard that Walford applied for permanent residence in 2017, but the application was canceled because he had failed to submit additional documents.
Vogt-Evans asked Walford, “Do you accept the facts?”
He replied, “Yes ma’am.”
Vogt-Evans asked, “Do you have anything to say?”
Walford replied, “No ma’am.”
Vogt-Evans said that she had taken Walford’s lack of remorse and early guilty plea into account before ordering him to pay a $3,000 fine to avoid serving eight months in prison. After he pays the fine or serves his sentence, Walford will be turned over to immigration for deportation.
The magistrate asked Walford if he had anyone to pay his fine.
Walford’s Bahamian wife stood, but said that she didn’t have enough money.
Vogt-Evans said, “He’s in custody until you pay it.”
Vogt-Evans told the convict, “Mr. Walford, the charge of overstaying is a very serious offense. [T]his country is able to sustain itself by its taxes.
“We take care of our people, our roads, our hospitals, our public institutions.
“When persons refuse to pay those taxes, they are robbing the country at large. So, if you intend to live here and remain here in this Bahamas, you have to pay your taxes like every other Bahamian.”