Saturday, February 21, 2015

Common Sense Immigration Law Under Fire By Activist-Laced Panel In Bahamas


Bahamas Bristles at OAS Criticism over Treatment of Migrants

SAN JUAN – The Bahamas reacted negatively on Friday to criticism from the Organization of American States of the treatment of undocumented immigrants at a Bahamian detention center.

In a resolution issued Feb. 13, the OAS’ Inter-American Commission on Human Rights urged the Bahamian government to protect the human rights and integrity of more than 100 detainees housed in the Carmichael Road Detention Center.

“At first blush, it is unfortunate that the report appears to have adopted the narrative of the various human rights groups and press-based advocates that are not based in fact,” the Bahamian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The Commission report “is being more fully reviewed and a diplomatic note will be dispatched shortly giving the considered response of the Bahamas government to these allegations and recommendations,” the ministry said.

“Many of its assertions are based on untested tendentious, anecdotal material. In the face of these inaccuracies, it is difficult to accept any conclusions which flow from this decision of the Commission,” the statement added.

Under a new law that took effect Nov. 1, the Bahamian government does not accept applications for work permits from persons residing illegally in the country and legal immigrants must carry their passports at all times.

The legislation has been criticized for allegedly targeting Haitians, a charge the Bahamian government denies.


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