Minister of Labour and Immigration and Member of Parliament for Carmichael, the Hon. Keith Bell informed Parliament of what is being discovered during the vetting process for applications at the Department of Immigration.

Bell told parliamentarians, “last month a Bahamian, a Bahamian, submitted an application for a work permit, upon review, it was discovered that the perspective employee was in the custody of the immigration department at the Carmichael Road Detention Center. The review of the application also highlighted concerning documentation namely a medical certificate, a medical certificate from a Bahamian medical practitioner in which the physician confirmed that he had examined the individual and found that person to be medically fit. This declaration was of significant concern to us as the applicant, as I said, was in the custody of the immigration department at the time. To give the physician the benefit of the doubt the visitor log book at the Carmichael Road Detention Center was reviewed and there is no record of physician having visited the center. It was therefore impossible for the physician to have examined this individual as stated in his declaration.

The minister also highlighted a case where a physician declared a person medically fit who had already been deported.

Bell issued a warning to professionals saying, “it takes a very long time to become a physician or an attorney, a notary public. Making false declarations to the Department of Immigration is a criminal offense. The Department of Immigration is prepared and will prosecute such offense. To any professional providing false information to the Department of Immigration, I warn you to stop.