Former Immigration Minister representing Cuban detainees
Two months after voters fired him as Minister of Immigration, Elsworth Johnson is now representing Cuban detainees being held at the Carmichael Road Detention Center.
It is unclear if he is representing any of the “agitated” Cuban migrants who set fire to garbage in the yard of the Detention Centre last week.
Johnson visited his new clients at the facility on Tuesday November 9th .
We’re told he is representing at least two of the 60 Cuban detainees currently at the Detention Centre.
He is said to be pushing for them to be granted political asylum.
This new role is a complete departure from Johnson’s position just a few months ago when he was the minister overseeing the detention of illegal migrants.
In January of this year, Johnson was listed as a respondent in a lawsuit filed by a group of Africans who allege they were falsely imprisoned at the Detention Center while seeking asylum in The Bahamas.
“During the period of their incarceration, some of the plaintiffs, including the second, third, fourth and fifth plaintiffs, were subjected to physical and/or verbal abuse and assaults by the immigration officers at the detention center, and assaults by other persons held at the detention center but instigated and encouraged by the immigration and/or defense force officers at the detention center,” according to legal documents.
In a widely criticized response to the group’s allegations of mistreatment, Johnson said The Bahamas provides “one of the best eateries” for detainees at the detention center, adding that there have been no reports of abuses that he knows of at the facility.
However, now that the government he served in has been rejected by voters and he is out of a job, Johnson’s stance on asylum seekers has clearly changed.
In February, Johnson said in an accomplishment report, “The ministry has made it a top priority to continue regular repatriation exercises to ensure that our facilities are not overrun by the influx of migrants entering the country illegally.”