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Undocumented Immigrants in Shelters to be Deported in 15 Days says Bahamas

World

Staff

The Bahamian government gave the island's undocumented communities 20 days, on October 3, 2017, to recover from Hurricane Dorian before it will begin deportations. For migrants who had no choice but to stay in government shelters after their homes were destroyed, there are no more safe havens.

Advocacy groups and community activists gathered in Miami, Florida to denounce the Bahamian government's decision in an event organized by the Little Haiti-based, Family Action Network Movement (FANM).

"It was like a bucket of ice water falling onto our heads," FANM executive director Marleine Bastien said of the news. "It is unconscionable for the Bahamas to plan to deport people after they've gone through such a tragic, horrible crisis... This is no time for the Bahamas government to deport people."

Days after Dorian struck the Bahamas, FANM wrote a public letter to Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis requesting the government place a moratorium on immigration enforcement until residents could fully recover. The plea seemed to work: On September 10, four days after the letter was released, the Bahamian government announced it would indefinitely suspend deportations of immigrants affected by the hurricane. Weeks passed, and then, suddenly, the indefinite became finite.

This past Monday, Bahamian Immigration Minister Elsworth Johnson told the Nassau Guardian that undocumented people taking refuge in government shelters were now subject to repatriation.

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Undocumented Immigrants in Shelters to be Deported in 15 Days says Bahamas