VIDEO: Untested Haitians arrive in Ragged Island amid backlash
Despite pushback from Ragged Island residents and their member of parliament, the Royal Bahamas Defence Force went ahead with plans to transport 29 untested illegal Haitian migrants from New Providence to Ragged Island today.
The Defence Force vessel arrived in Ragged Island moments ago with the undocumented migrants aboard.
They will be repatriated to Haiti from that island. Residents fear officials are putting their lives at risk by bringing in persons who have not been tested for the coronavirus to Ragged Island, which remains without medical facilities and a nurse since Hurricane Irma in 2017.
Concerned Ragged Island residents flew to New Providence and protested at the entrance of the Office of the Prime Minister on Friday in hopes of persuading the government not to send the migrants who have not been tested for COVID-19 to their home island, which remains COVID free.
Ragged Island MP Chester Cooper also opposed this “ridiculous plan” and told parliament on Thursday, “I protest it in the strongest possible terms and I ask the government to reverse this plan forthwith, because the people of Ragged Island have started wondering why you despise them so. This is contemptuous and I ask you to reverse it because the people of Ragged Island will not take kindly to it.”
The Haitian migrants were apprehended on Wednesday and transported to the Defence Force base. They were screened but not tested and there are no plans to test them before repatriation.