Published On: Mon, Apr 16th, 2018

Bahamas seeks US assistance in dealing with its illegal migration problem

new-herbert-minnisLIMA - The Bahamas is seeking assistance from the United States of America in stemming the tide of illegal migration into the island.

That was among issues further discussed in a meeting between The Bahamas’ Prime Minister, Dr Hubert Minnis and US Vice President Mike Pence on the margins of the Eighth Summit of the Americas held in Lima, Peru, last weekend.

“I had a one-on-one meeting with Vice-President Pence. We are more concerned about the problems we face with illegal migration and I pointed out that we need assistance in this matter,” Dr Minnis said, adding that he was very satisfied with the response from Pence who also acknowledged that he recognized the issues facing The Bahamas.

The Bahamas is “not looking for money, per se,” the Prime Minister said, but seeking assistance in improving its technology, skills, and its access to more supplies and equipment.

The Prime Minister said The Bahamas has also had this discussion with President Jovenel Moïse of Haiti, whom he said is aware of the problem and is willing to work with the government.

“They would allow us to take a ship ride into their waters so as to deal with this issue. But it would also help us with the problems we face with illegal fishing. Once our technology and manpower resources increase then we can deal not only with the migratory problem but also illegal fishing,” Dr Minnis said.

He said he also asked for assistance in dealing with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s blacklisting of The Bahamas as a “tax haven.”

“We are a transparent nation. We do all to stem corruption. We do all to ensure transparency, honesty and good governance…and if they think we are off track, let us know so that we can correct that problem and maintain world standards.

“But I pointed out that I don’t think it is fair to us or other small nations, because every time the bar is moved it affects us. So at least fix it for everybody so that we can have fairness,” the Prime Minister said.

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