A political blog about Bahamian politics in The Bahamas, Bahamian Politicans - and the entire Bahamas political lot. Bahamian Blogger Dennis Dames keeps you updated on the political news and views throughout the islands of The Bahamas without fear or favor.
Bahamian Politicians and the Bahamian Political Arena: Updates one Post at a time on Bahamas Politics and Bahamas Politicans.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Haitian Children Born in The Bahamas Should Get Bahamian Citizenship
Key: Haitian Descendents Born In Bahamas Should Get Citizenship
By AVA TURNQUEST
Tribune Staff Reporter
PEOPLE born in the
Bahamas of Haitian descent are Bahamians and should have citizenship,
according to Central and South Abaco MP Edison Key.
an interview with The Tribune, Mr Key slammed successive governments
for failing to address the long-standing immigration issue that has led
to the marginalisation of a large group of people as “scapegoats of
called on the government to move quickly and humanely to address the
growing problem that he feels will soon become unmanageable.
Key said: “These people, particularly the people that live in the Mud
and Pigeon Peas, that’s my constituency. These are people that have
children born there now who are doctors, lawyers, defense force
officers, police, nurses.”
make a contribution and I blame all the governments for the situation
they have to live in. They are human just like me and you and everybody
should be a more humane approach,” he said, “you’re born in a country,
you don’t have no passport, and when you’re 18 you can only apply and
they don’t have to give you any consideration for citizenship. But yet
you are Bahamian if you look at it by your birth certificate.”
this year, an official from the Haitian Embassy urged the government to
address practices regarding the process of regularising persons of
Nobert, first secretary of Legal Affairs at the Haitian Embassy, said
the “real problem” faced by the Haitian-Bahamian community in the
Bahamas stems from the absence of a clear legal framework to process
response to a panel discussion hosted by the College of the Bahamas on
the complex issue of statelessness within the Bahamian context, Mr
Nobert said the use of the term “stateless” to describe unregularised
persons of Haitian descent was “inappropriate” given Haiti’s citizenship
he said, there was an inherent “hypocrisy” in the Bahamas’ handling of
citizenship that allowed for a peculiar stratification of rights, adding
“either you’re a part of a country, or you’re not”.
the House of Assembly on Wednesday, Mr Key said: “I think the
government should look at these people and sort this situation out.
Let’s say it’s 60,000 foreign women in this country in this same
situation and they each have five children – that’s 300,000 people. One
day, it’s going to catch up with us. We need to deal with this situation
now and don’t let it get any further.”
Mr Key referred to the recent spate of fires that have negatively affected shanty town populations in Abaco.
year, a mother and her year-old son were killed in a fire in the Pigeon
Pea area in Marsh Harbour. More than 80 homes were burned to the ground
on that occasion, leaving more than 500 people homeless.
the December 31 fire, Deputy Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis told
Abaco residents the government would do all that it could to ensure a
situation like that did not happen again, adding that members of such
communities must make certain their homes are up to standard.
month in another shanty town on the island, more than 70 homes were
wiped out in a blaze that consumed the Sand Banks area, and which police
believe was arson.
Key said consideration should also be given to regularise the parents
of Bahamas-born children, who have worked in the country for more than
asked whether or not he had a solution to the issue, Mr Key said: “I
don’t really know, but I know if I was in charge of the country or
Immigration I would sort this out, especially with the children, but not
only that, the parents. Some of them have been here 40, 50 years.
added: “They’ve worked hard, they’ve helped to build every building,
every house, every road. Why are we using these people that have made
such a contribution and then at the end of the day say we don’t need
to Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell, senior Bahamian and Haitian
government officials are in bilateral talks this week covering trade,
technical co-operation and illegal migration. Negotiations in Nassau
were said to have been fruitful in advancing the draft texts to be
signed this summer.