Bahamas begins crackdown on illegal migrants
Crackdown on illegal migrants begins
The Bahamas government confirmed that 76 people had been arrested over the last weekend after they failed to meet the new requirements for staying legally in the country.
Immigration Minister Fred Mitchell also denied reports that children were detained and placed in the Carmichael Road detention centre during the exercise on the weekend.
"Some people have expressed concern about children, and I would only say that we are seeking the intervention of the Department of Social Services where this is necessary," Mitchell told a news conference on his return to the country from the United Arab Emirates on the weekend.
He told reporters that the administrative measures announced by the department on work permits, certificates of identity, and residency permits had gone into effect, and on the weekend "there was a routine interdiction exercise ... which resulted in some 76 arrests".
Mitchell accused "some elements in the community" of transforming the exercise "into something which it is not".
He said that there have been interdictions every day, every week, and last weekend's
exercise "was no different from what the department ordinarily does and should not be used to inflame passions.
"It appears now that some political operatives have
gotten into the matter with a view to seeking to sow the seeds of division. I ask them to desist. I ask the leaders of the opposition parties to speak to trolls on social media to resist the temptation to sow seeds of discord. I have asked our supporters to do the same."