Flanked by the ministers responsible for immigration and national security, the Commissioner of Police and the Commodore of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, the Prime Minister delivered a national address on illegal immigration this past Sunday.
In the prime time speech, the Hon. Philip Davis announced Operation Secure as his administration’s initiative to tackle illegal immigration. Davis said, “Operation Secure is a collaborative security operation between the Royal Bahamas Police Force, the Defense Force and the Department of Immigration to address security and migration related issues in unregulated and unlawful communities. The operation is focused on identifying irregular migrants, documented migrants and Bahamians living in these communities and addressing their status in a comprehensive and coordinated manner. We cannot have shanty towns on our islands. They are unsafe, a hazard to public health, they are against the law and they directly impact our way of life.”
Davis went further stating, “through Operation Secure we’ll prevent the exploitation and abuse of migrants by unscrupulous land owners and businesses holding accountable those with a reckless disregard for our laws. Operation Secure targets those entering our borders illegal as well as any Bahamian citizen or legal resident who is breaking our laws. If you are a crown land holder who is unlawfully leasing land you will be prosecuted. If you are engaged in human smuggling you will be prosecuted and if you are employing migrants illegally you will be prosecuted. We’ll have a zero tolerance policy for anyone seeking to break or circumvent the laws of The Bahamas.”
The Prime Minister also stated in his message that 4,478 persons were repatriated in 2022, which is the largest number in history and thus far this year 1,024 illegal immigrants have been repatriated.