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Top immigration officials release white illegal foreigner on Abaco

Despite boasting of rounding up 11 illegal Haitian migrants in The Farm, charging them with overstaying and deporting them, top Immigration officials

ordered officers on Abaco to release a white illegal on the island.

Austin Smith, an American, is accused of overstaying his time in The Bahamas.

After complaints were made to the Immigration Department by residents on the island, officers investigated, discovered that Smith had overstayed his time in The Bahamas and arrested him.

Officers also discovered that Smith was working on his house and had hired people to work despite not having status or a business license.

The American told immigration officials that Immigration Minister Elsworth Johnson told him that he did not have to leave The Bahamas even though he was instructed by officers on Abaco to leave the country until his application was approved

However, senior immigration officials on New Providence sent instructions for Smith to be released immediately.

Residents feel it is a slap in the face as the Minnis Administration moves to rid Abaco of illegal immigrants. They are now questioning if this strict policy only applies to black migrants.

On April 12, nine men and two women from The Farm shantytown in Abaco were brought before Chief Deputy Magistrate Andrew Forbes for various immigration offences.

Livens Marc Ernst-Sy Salomon, Ifraide Esteve and Jean Rouzier Louis all pled guilty to Overstaying and were subsequently convicted.

Respectively, they were fined $1,800, $1,300 and $1,200. If they couldn’t pay, they would have to serve at least a year in prison before deportation.

On April 13, six Brazilian nationals and one Haitian national were charged with Overstaying in The Bahamas. All migrants pled guilty and were ordered to remain in immigration custody for further processing.

Meanwhile, the white American went free with no punishment.

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