Prime Minister, the Hon. Philip Davis along with the Minister of Labour and Immigration, the Hon. Keith Bell met with local Haitian pastors at the National Training Agency this week.
After the meeting Minister Bell told reporters, “they were very understanding in respect to the challenges that we have as a country and I think that it was apparent and they accepted that The Bahamas is unable to absorb the number of persons. Haiti is a country of twelve million people and so they want to ensure that anyone coming to The Bahamas and they understood that person would have to come the right way that is the legal means. And that if there are persons who come here by boat or irregular means then there ought to be swift repatriation, that was accepted by them.”
For his part, Prime Minister Davis said that the Pastors “have committed to doing their part to assist in dealing with the challenges we’re having, the acknowledge it. All of them are Bahamians except one or two who are permanent residents in The Bahamas and they see The Bahamas as their home and they want to protect their home just as we who are here not from Bahamian-Haitian descent to protect our shores, our people and our livelihoods.”
Davis also said, “they acknowledge that what I said to them we can’t deal with one problem to create another problem. I think all they are concerned about is that due process and humane approach is taken.”
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Public Service, the Hon. Fred Mitchell was also in the attendance.