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Bahamas: Migrants Warned: We Will Follow The Law

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said undocumented immigrants affected by Hurricane Dorian face no protections and will be subject to the country’s laws of apprehension and deportation.

“Our laws will be followed, full-stop,” he told The Tribune. “We have laws and they will be followed and adhered to. Those who have broken the law will be dealt with according to the law.”

The government had suspended apprehension and deportation exercises in areas affected by Hurricane Dorian in the immediate aftermath of the storm, but officials yesterday suggested that undocumented people displaced by the storm cannot expect to go about their lives as if they are protected from repatriation permanently. Many displaced residents, especially undocumented ones, are believed to be staying in shelters on New Providence.

Immigration Minister Elsworth Johnson said the suspension of repatriation exercises in Grand Bahama and Abaco was to to ensure that everyone, regardless of status, received social assistance and healthcare in keeping with international norms. Now, he said, undocumented immigrants must ensure that they have at least applied for legal status in order to escape deportation.

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