Bahamas, Haiti Join in Combating Illegal Migration

To tackle the problem of stopping illegal migration from Haiti to The Bahamas, the Haitian and Bahamian governments met to discuss solutions. Fred Mitchell, U.S. Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (FAI), and his representatives attended the bi-lateral meeting as observers. The dual purpose of the meeting was to reduce numbers of illegal immigrants traveling to The Bahamas and encourage more trade.


One strategy the two governments decided to put into practice is to implement a citizens' awareness program in northern Haiti. It will inform people, if they are discovered engaging in human trafficking activities, they will be arrested and returned to Haiti. To strengthen the two governments' resolve in reducing illegal migration from Haiti to The Bahamas, they are ramping up their military intelligence capacity.

Another topic under discussion was what steps can The Bahamas and Haiti take to grow the economy in northern Haiti. A solution being acted on without delay is an understanding, permitting Haiti to export their fruit crops to The Bahamas.

Mitchell wants to believe the government of Haiti is serious about stopping the illegal migration of Haitians to The Bahamas. But he says, the Haitian government is going to have to show political will in order for efforts to be successful.

Statistics on illegal migrations shows in 2013 the Department of Immigration used $1 million of its budget to return 3,500 immigrants to their countries of origin. And the stats also revealed the majority of them were Haitian.

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Read more: immigration, Bahamas, Haitian Diaspora, immigration

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