The Department of Immigration says it is working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to repatriate “as quickly as possible” more than 100 Haitians who were rescued in the Bahamas on Sunday.
In a statement, the Ministry of Immigration said that on Friday, an overloaded boat with several migrants had been spotted off the island of Andros as it sought to “avoid the interception in the waters of the Bahamas, which was heading towards the United States.
“However, on Sunday, March 5, another surveillance plane reported the ship with people in distress seeking help heading for the coast of Andros.”.
The statement said that the crew of the “Royal Bahamas Defense Force” and agents of the Department of Immigration went to the area and detained 127 Haitian immigrants including nine women and two children “ in an irregular migratory situation, following their illegal landing on the west coast of Andros.
”All Haitians, safe and sound, were taken by the “Royal Bahamas Defense Force” to New Providence. The Department of Immigration is working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to ensure that these illegal migrants are repatriated as quickly as possible to Haiti.,” the statement said.
Last month, Prime Minister Phillip Davis says while Bahamians are “a compassionate people” they cannot afford to “shoulder any more burdens” as he reiterated Nassau’s position regarding illegal migration as well as the ongoing situation in the neighbouring French country of Haiti.
Davis has since announced the launch of “Operation Secure,” a collaborative security operation between the Royal Bahamas Police Force, The Defence Force, and the Department of Immigration, to address security and migration-related issues in unregulated and unlawful communities.