Minister Sears meets with GB Immigration and National Insurance staff

The Hon. Alfred Sears, Minister for Immigration and National Insurance, met with staff of both agencies in Grand Bahama on Friday, October 27. While on the island, the Minister participated in a swearing in ceremony at Immigration and toured the proposed compound for the Immigration Detention Center. The Minister was accompanied by senior government officials from Immigration, Ministry of Works, and the Ministry for Grand Bahama. (BIS Photos/Andrew Miller)

Minister of Immigration and National Insurance, the Hon. Alfred Sears met with members of both agencies while in Grand Bahama on Friday, October 27.

Accompanied by staff of Immigration, National Insurance, and the Ministry of Works, he began by attending a swearing in ceremony at the CA Smith Building, where 15 people were sworn in as new Bahamian citizens.
The Minister addressed the group describing them as being inspiring and ambitious as before being sworn in, they each gave their names and what they aspire to do.

Stating that it does not matter where you start in life but where you finish, Minister Sears shared that he grew up in Eight Mile Rock and was sent to the Boys Industrial School in Nassau. He said who would have thought with his start, he would end up becoming a Member of Parliament and a cabinet minister.

He told them, “You represent the new group of pioneers who will make this country great.”

Following this, he toured the detention area at Immigration and then went to meet with the staff at the National Insurance Board. The group shared their concerns and offered some solutions during their hour-long meeting before the Minister and the delegation then went down to the proposed Detention Site on Peel Street.

According to the Minister, the site has been identified as the location for the detention facility where illegal immigrants will be processed, taken before the courts and detained.

The project is a collaboration between Immigration and Works and the contractor who will produce a scope of work suitable for a detention facility according to international standards.

This compound will be fully equipped to house around 90 immigrants.
Giving details on the site was Senior Immigration Officer Andrew Gittens who said it is expected that work completing the compound will begin in approximately four weeks.

The compound will consist of seven structures consisting of a kitchen, an area for the officers to process the immigrants, a medical dorm, female dorms, two buildings for male dorms and an area for the K-9 unit.

Minister Sears then met with the Immigration staff at the Harbour and the rest of the staff in a meeting room at Pier One Restaurant.

The Minister and his delegation were scheduled to leave Grand Bahama on Friday evening.

By ROBYN ADDERLEY/Bahamas Information Services

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