Jan 18, 2023

For decades the Commonwealth of the Bahamas has been grappling with the illegal immigration problem.

In the past eight months we have heard from Bahamians across the country as well as government MPs in

Abaco and Eleuthera, deeply concerned about the dire illegal immigration problem we face. We have an

illegal immigration crisis and the government has a duty to act for country and for the Bahamian people.

The Bahamian people have been very concerned about the state of affairs regarding illegal immigration and specifically the build up of shantytowns across the country. This is not about xenophobia or hatred. Our nation has been built by the inclusion of the legal movement of people, particularly those from our sister Caribbean nations. It is about protecting the sovereignty of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas and protecting the national interest of the Bahamian people. As stated in a prior statement, we are hearing a growing chorus of fear about Bahamians being left to fend for themselves as far as economic opportunities and housing in their own country. For many people there is a basic sense of unfair competition in The Bahamas for those who play by the rules. We acknowledge that there are no immediate solutions to the problem. But we must all acknowledge that a crisis exists.

The government must get more serious about enforcing our immigration laws and those laws are being broken to facilitate the illegal occupation of land. As government MPs lament the inaction of the government on the immigration crisis, Bahamians remain frustrated and disadvantaged. We emphasize again that we are all aware that the shantytown issue on Abaco is before the courts, but there are apparently many other laws being violated that do not pertain to the buildings in those communities. We call upon Bahamians complicit in employing and housing illegal migrants to cease. Government must get serious about enforcing our labor laws.

If illegal migrants could not find employment from Bahamian employers, the influx of illegal migrants would slow. The Bahamian people are demanding that the government act as the illegal immigration crisis

threatens the national interest of the Bahamian people.

Shanendon E. Cartwright M.P
Deputy Leader Free National Movement/Shadow Minister for National Security January 15, 2023

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