Over 300 Haitians Deported From The Bahamas

Some of the Haitian migrants returned by the government of Bahamas. Photo: IOM/Bernard Lami

News Americas, Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, Mon. Nov. 18, 2019: Over 300 Haitian immigrants have been deported from The Bahamas since Oct. 10th.

That’s according to the UN’s International Organization for Migration, (IOM) and the Haitian National Office of Migration (ONM). IOM said 153 were interviewed by ONM upon their arrival at the Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haitian airports. The persons repatriated indicated being mainly from the northern areas of Haiti – Nord-Ouest, Nord, and Nord-Est departments. 

Most of the returnees have indicated that they resided in the Island of Abaco, in the Bahamas and were evacuees from Hurricane Dorian. “We lost everything in the Bahamas because of Dorian. And now they bring us back to Haiti. What will we do?” said one of the returned migrants. 

Returnees reported they were mostly apprehended on the streets, in their place of employment, or while in their homes during raids usually carried out in the middle of the night by immigration officials. The returning migrants also indicated that they remained in detention for 10 to 30 days. 

After Hurricane Dorian hit The Bahamas on September 5th, deportation was halted but the government started the repatriation procedures restarted on October 10th. 

Category 5 Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas on September 5, causing widespread destruction in the Islands of Grand Bahama, Eleuthera and Abaco. Many among the affected population in Abaco was Haitian.  

The Bahamas 2010 census estimated that 39,000 of the total 351,000 Bahamian population is made up of Haitians or of persons of Haitian descent.