SOME of the migrants who were detained yesterday. Photo: Vandyke Hepburn
As of Wednesday, March 9, 2022
By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
ONE hundred and twenty-three Haitian migrants, including children, who were picked up at sea were brought to Grand Bahama yesterday morning.
It is the single largest group of migrants brought to Grand Bahama so far this year.
The group of 50 men, 34 women and 39 minors were turned over to Bahamian authorities by the US Coast Guard offshore near Freeport Harbour.
When The Tribune and other press arrived at the port, a USCG Cutter was spotted several miles offshore sometime after 9am. Police vessels, with Bahamian law enforcement officials, were dispatched to the location to receive the migrants.
According to an official press statement issued by Bahamas immigration officials, the migrants were interdicted by the US Coast Guard Cutter Harriet Lane at Cay Sal Bank on Friday, March 4.
It stated that at 9am the migrants were handed over to a joint law enforcement team consisting of local immigration and customs officers, as well as Royal Bahamas Defence Force, and officers from the Royal Bahamas Police Force at the Lucayan Harbour.
The migrants were bused to the Grand Bahama Taxi Union Hall at the Old Airport Road, shortly after noon for processing. Four buses arrived: one with only women, a second with women and their children, a third with men and their children, and the fourth with only men.
RBDF officers, along with the K-9 unit, and immigration officers were on standby as the migrants were directed inside the hall. One woman appeared to have suffered a leg injury and was using a crutch. Her right ankle was bandaged, and she was being assisted by an officer.
According to the press statement, all migrants appeared to be in good health.
“However, out of abundance of caution, and in keeping with the COVID- 19 protocols set forth by the department’s health and safety committee, the group is presently being examined by the Disease and Surveillance Unit,” according to the statement.
The department said normal processing of migrants in accordance with statute laws and its policies will follow completion of the required health checks.
Haitians continue to leave their homeland by risking their lives to get to The Bahamas and the United States.
A group of about 200 Haitian migrants were seen swimming to shore at Ocean Reef Club in North Key Largo, Florida, on Sunday after their vessel ran aground.
A final tally by American officials said more than 300 Haitians were on that boat.
Where will GB house all of these people? It seems as if they are in the Bahamas before they are seen. Is it possible that larger vessels are bringing them into the Bahamas and then offloading them?
This matter should be investigated also persons giving aid to illegals should be charged, They are coming to some people to live.
The seas have been very rough and it has been very windy. they could not survive in those small boats.
The population of the Bahamas would be in the 150,000 range without illegal Haitians! There would be no unemployment, crime would be less, gang activity would be less, the country’s health, social, and education services would be SIGNIFICANTLY more efficient.
So what are we doing??
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