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Bahamas: Bahamas-Born Not The Same As Bahamian-Born

Mr Jean Rony Jean-Charles is only the latest person to be ushered into our constitutional waiting room in the hope of getting a prognosis on his immigration fever.

It is doubtful that the fever will break soon. And it has nothing to do with the recent ruling from the Court of Appeals which had everything to do with upholding due process and the rule of law and nothing to do with whether Mr Jean-Charles has a constitutional off-ramp that would allow him to stay here legally, permanently.

The legal facts do not stack in his favour. His immediate recourse is to the court of public opinion. He should give up his legal pursuit and throw himself on the mercy of the Bahamian people. The people can ask the government to show him some leniency.

Mr Jean-Charles might also want to reconsider what are the new favourite letters in his legal alphabet soup because the last time he called on a Q and C, he was merely pulled from the heat of the front flames and left to simmer on a back burner.

Fred Smith, QC, was dealt a crushing defeat by the learned Appeals Court judges when they ruled only on a point of law and scolded the trial judge for erring in ordering the execution of a habeas corpus writ for a body, presumably the real Mr Jean-Charles (the court couldn’t establish if he was the real McCoy) that was no longer in the court’s jurisdiction. A habeas corpus writ is Latin fancy words for “you better bring him to court, or else”.

Mr Jean-Charles, who at birth became a Haitian citizen born in The Bahamas, was removed from the country by immigration officials because he could not prove to their satisfaction that he had a right to remain here.

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