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Bahamas Fends Off Critics Over New Migrant Rules | BlackPressUSA


On the first day new immigration rules took effect this month in the Bahamas, officers in green fatigues swept through poor sections of the capital filling two yellow school buses with dozens of people who couldn’t document their right to be in the island chain.The government, amid fierce criticism of the raid, later insisted the timing of the operation was coincidence. Still, the message of the surprise morning raid, in which the officers were accompanied by local media, couldn’t be clearer: The Bahamas aims to become less hospitable to its swelling population of migrants lacking legal status.“The fact is that illegal migration is a huge problem for us,” Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell said in a recent interview. “We spend enormous resources for it. It is a drain on our social services, health care and education and we need to get the matter under control.”The island chain of about 360,000 has a foreign-born population of more than 18 percent, according to an official report released last month. While the precise number of those who migrated illegally is unclear, the islands long have drawn migrants sailing from nearby Haiti. Census figures from 2010 show more than one out of 10 people in the Bahamas is Haitian, up from 3.6 percent in 1970. via | BlackPressUSA

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