Bahamas Department Of Immigration Embarrassing Us Again?

Here we go again. According to press reports; “without warning, two uniformed men and one plain-clothes officer marched into the water park (at Atlantis) through a back gate, found the American citizen in the middle of a guest interaction with sea lions, and demanded that she produce her passport.”

When she told them she didn’t have it in her possession the officers reportedly put her in a government car and drove off.

It seems an officer at the immigration department was told she was working at Atlantis without a work permit.

Turns out that the permit was denied in December, but was under appeal and this gives the person the right to continue working until a decision is made.

When the officers found this out, they released the woman from custody.

Surely a phone call to the head of Atlantis Human Resources department or even the general manager asking for clarification of the “complaint” would have been a better approach?

Atlantis is the largest private sector employer in the country and does not have a reputation for breaking the law. So a modicum of respect is their due. If the hotel did not cooperate the department of immigration has every right to enforce the law.

Of course Mr. Fred Mitchell (PLP), Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration informed the press that; “the government will make no apologies for its commitment to Bahamianization.”

I haven’t heard or read that anyone asked him to apologise for their Bahamiansation policy, although it is dubious, but surely he can apologise for an apparent breach of the law by the Immigration Department?

It amazes me how we can carry out a “raid” like this in an instant, but can’t process the requisite paperwork in a timely fashion.

Sometimes it’s as if we have no brought-upsy. But when the Minister and the govenrment he serves constantly stirs the proverbial pot against businesses and foreign workers we should expect behaviour like this from the departments under his control.

Yours in liberty,
Rick Lowe
Weblog Bahamas