47 HAITIANS PICKED UP AS SLOOP COMES IN
(Nassau Guardian) - By Royston Jones
Defence Force and immigration officers apprehended 47 undocumented Haitian migrants in the Marshall Road area after they landed on a wooden sloop early yesterday, according to Director of Immigration Jack Thompson.
Thompson said authorities received reports about the illegal landing in the early hours of the morning and acted immediately, conducting searches from the Baillou Hill Road coastal area up to Lazarette Road.
"Officers combed the bushy areas, as well as the shoreline for suspected illegal immigrants", he said.
"Once we get information that there has been an illegal landing we normally come up, as you've seen, immediately to comb the areas and do our search, and carry out our apprehensions accordingly."
A total of 36 men, 5 women and 6 children were apprehended between 6:00am and 2:00pm according to Thompson.
Officials are not sure how many Haitians came in aboard the vessel.
Thompson reiterated that since the cholera outbreak in Haiti last year, the Department of Immigration has vigilantly screened all immigrants.
The apprehended migrants were examined and no cases of cholera were found, according to Thompson.
"They were examined and I just wanted to state for the record, they were examined for dehydration and any signs of cholera and the all clear was given", he said.
He said that based on information gathered from the migrants, they left Haiti aboard a wooden sloop on Sunday.
The Department of Immigration remains committed and resolute in its efforts to apprehend all persons attempting to enter The Bahamas illegally, Thompson said.
He said the 47 Haitians were transported to the Carmichael Road Detention Centre for further processing.
"We would normally process them and follow the established protocol for repatriation and that is normally done within days", Thompson said.