AN IDLE DEBATE ABOUT HOW MANY HAITIANS ARE HERE

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on reddit
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

So a Haitian diplomat, the Charge of the Haitian Embassy Anthony Brutus got into the press last week to tell us that he thinks that there are 150,000 Haitians living in The Bahamas.  No proof was offered but that is his guess. The census is now being done of the country and we should know more or less what the facts are on the ground.  What we know is when the International Organization for Migration did its study here last, it reported that on any given day there about 75,000 Haitians in some state of being in The Bahamas. They said that most of them are on their way to the United States.  Bahamians of course are interested in the subject because some 17 people mainly Haitians drowned trying to get illegally into the United States two weeks ago.  After the shock of that wears off, you will not hear anything more about it.  The press has been trying to draw Foreign Minister  Fred Mitchell into it and he has refused to comment at all.  We don’t blame him. The discussion around immigration is impatient of debate, idle, and useless. The Bahamian population does not want to deal with the facts of immigration but just row and display ignorance and prejudice.  One half hates Haitians that they want them thrown out of the country.  The reality is of course that the labouring class in the country that builds the buildings, fixes the roads, pumps the gas, and takes care of the old would collapse if we did that.  The other half thinks that we ought to amend the constitution to make it even more difficult to give citizenship to people born here. Then there are some who say if the country is to remain black, you had better hope the Haitians keep coming because Bahamians are not having any children. Never the twain shall meet. So what we will continue to have is studied amusement and with the pattern of migration from Haiti to The Bahamas since the 18th century continuing undisturbed.  Nicolette Bethel once said that if you want immigration from Haiti to stop then make The Bahamas a poorer country than Haiti and it will stop. There you have it.