There is little information in the public domain about what immigration practices in the Caribbean. Now IDC member, Global Detention Project has added a detention profile for the Bahamas to their website. These islands, which have a population of nearly 350,000, reportedly host an estimated 30,000 undocumented Haitians and also serve as an important transit area for migrants from Cuba and Haiti, as well as increasingly from African countries. The Bahamas has strict immigration laws, providing for criminal sanctions in case of violations. Watchdog groups have reported appalling conditions at the country’s sole dedicated migrant detention facility—the Carmichael Road Detention Centre—and there have been numerous reports of abuse at the facility. Undocumented children are detained pending their removal from the country, as are asylum seekers while their claims are being processed.

“The government of the Bahamas operates one dedicated migrant detention centre—the Carmichael Road Detention Centre—as well as a prison that is reportedly used to hold non-citizens convicted of crimes while they await deportation Fox Hill Prison (aka Her Majesty’s Prison) (USDS 2011).
When operating at full capacity, the Carmichael centre has beds to hold up to 500 people, although as of August 2011 bed space was reportedly limited to 100 because two of the centre’s dormitories were temporarily shuttered (Carmichael Road Detention Centre 2011).
As of 18 August 2011 there were 72 migrants (irregular migrants and asylum seekers) being held at the centre, including a large group of Haitians and Cubans, in addition to migrants from Jamaica, Sri Lanka, Ghana, Guiana, Honduras, Iran, Kenya, Nigeria, China, Montenegro, and Sierra Leone (Carmichael Road Facility 2011). According to the U.S. Department of State, the highest occupancy at any one time during 2010 was approximately 252 (USDS 2011).
The country reportedly hosts around 30,000 undocumented Haitians (USDS 2011).”

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