Nassau, Bahamas: The Bahamas government is planning to repatriate over 1,000 Haitian migrants who entered the island via boat in the past weeks.
In recent weeks, the Bahamas government noted that it airlifted over 500 Haitians from southeastern Inagua Island to Cap-Haïtien in Haiti, and additional flights are being arranged to cater for the remainder.
Bahamas Government authorities expressed their fear that more will come in the near future despite the fact that they are not welcomed.
Government statement cited, “The number one priority of the government is to defend the territorial sovereignty of the Bahamas while assuring that the Bahamian people are safeguarded. To this end, no resources would be spared as all involved agencies work towards addressing this situation.”
“In the face of unparalleled levels of Haitian migrant activity that has inundated nations across the region, the government has taken a decisive action to scale up the operations. These measures have led to the interception of migrant vessels in the southern waters of the Bahamas, preventing passage into the central Bahamas near – New Providence, where they were typically intercepted in past years.”
“The routes to New Providence and other islands have effectively been cordoned off,” the statement added.
Over a quarter of the Bahamas’ population of about – 300,000 is made up of Haitian immigrants who entered the island in past decades.
Previously, Guyana has revoked visa-free travel for Haitians. Guyanese government cited the reason that the island nation was being used as a human trafficking and smuggling destination for Haitians heading to neighbouring South American nations such as – Brazil and French Guiana, where they remain temporarily before making the dangerous land and sea trek north to Mexico and the United States.
Besides this, Mexico has also sent back around 130 Haitian migrants back to the island nation.
Haiti is the most impoverished nation in the Caribbean region and is currently battling with several issues such as – political chaos, COVID-19 outbreak, gang violence, and various other crisis.