Thursday, October 10, 2019

Bahamas ramps it up against immigrants, housing pressure to blame after Dorian

CBP Air and Marine Operations agents conduct search and rescue operations in Abaco Island and Marsh Harbour Bahamas on Sept. 5, 2019. The islands were devastated by Hurricane Dorian. CBP PHOTO KRIS GROGAN

Under pressure to provide housing for the displaced following the pounding the nation took from Hurricane Dorian last month, Bahamaian authorities have begun to suggest that immigrants who previously lived even legally in devastated areas should leave the country until living conditions improve.

The suggestion is aimed at foreigners who were either working or living in Abaco and Grand Bahama, the two hardest hit areas. Officials said in the past week that migrant workers who have lost their jobs because of the storm “need to go home.” If they insist on remaining, employers must be able to show that acceptable living conditions exist or their right to remain will be denied, Attorney General Carl Bethel said.

The cabinet of Prime Minister Hubert Minnis fears that too many may become dependent on a system that is already struggling to provide accommodation and other forms of relief to locals, most of whom lost everything when one of the most powerful Atlantic storms on record stalled itself over Abaco and Grand Bahama for more than a day, leveling the islands, Abaco in particular. Officials have recovered close to 60 bodies amid fears that the death toll will rise as clean-up efforts intensify.  Read more >>