Statement by Fred Mitchell MP On Migration

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viagra sale order times;”>Statement by Fred Mitchell MP
viagra usa times;”>On Migration to the Foreign Ministers of the Commonwealth
Malta Heads of Government Meeting
26 November 2015

Let me join those who have thanked the Foreign Minister of Malta for the excellent arrangements in hosting us at this important meeting.

I wish to put on the record some observations about migration from The Bahamas’s point of view.

We are a receiving country for irregular migrants. Last year we repatriated nearly 5000 migrants to their home countries. So far this year, the number is close to 4000. Most of them are from Haiti.

The Bahamas is not a difficult country to which to migrate lawfully. There are job categories in the country were the skills are not available locally and the result is there is significant lawful migration.

The issue we face is the unlawful or irregular migration in numbers that threaten to destabilize the country. It has become a question of cultural clashes and more recently a question of national security.

There are various interests in our country and abroad who seek to portray many of the migrants as helpless victims and many are. But more recently this is a pattern of a sophisticated criminal enterprise that accepts up to 5000 dollars a head depending on whether the journey is to the United States or to us in the Bahamas, using not the old fashioned sloops crowded with people but modern vessels.

The activist community often both at home and abroad stands unwittingly( we hope )as a convenient cover for those who seek to break the laws on immigration and exploit human suffering for selfish ends.

The issue of unlawful migration has now in some cases surpassed the drug trade as a legal and security problem. Tied up with the smuggling of people, is the smuggling of drugs and trafficking in persons.

All of this impacts a population of 350,000 souls and ties up resources which we can scarcely afford.

My statement today is simply to sensitize the Commonwealth at large to this issue in the Caribbean. We thank the International Organization for Migration for their work in our area.

It is important to say however that unless the underlying issues of poverty and economic underdevelopment are resolved in Haiti, this pattern will continue. We believe that is the larger issue and are working to sensitize our trading partners to the responsibility which they have not
to pursue policies which create further underdevelopment in Haiti.

It is a real shame to see the flower of Haiti’s youth being exported, mainly males, 18 to 25 years old, fleeing poverty which further reinforce the underdevelopment.

We urge the Commonwealth to carry this message as well.

Thank you very much indeed Mr. Chairman.