By 1963, the illegal Haitian migration problem, had all but overwhelmed, British colonial officials, in Nassau. Reliance on regulations contained in The Bahamas Immigration Act of 1963, which specifically sought to limit both legal and illegal immigration from Haiti, had proved hopelessly ineffective. Every attempt at a fair visa scheme had been circumvented through corrupt tactics from Haiti, according to intelligence files.
Corruption in government, also within immigration and police departments, from Haiti to Inagua to Abaco to Nassau, contributed, to a substantial expansion in the hugely profitable, human trafficking business. This in turn, contributed to Britain wanting to wash its hands of the entire business. Britain’s own relationship with Haiti was on rocky ground from a 1962 which involved the recall of an ambassador.
British colonial officials effectively left the governing UBP (United Bahamian Party) to deal with the escalating problem, all the while knowing that, the Bahamas, was underfunded and under-resourced to effectively deal with the flow of illegal migrants.
By 1965, there were an estimated 14,000 illegal Haitian migrants in the Bahamas. The Bahamian government didn’t have a clue how to begin to tackle the issue.
Secret Government House Intelligence files (1963 – 1965) reveal the growing problem of illegal Haitian migration into the Bahamas.
British colonial officials, unable to stem the tide of illegal Haitian immigrants, were seeking to reduce its formal British Embassy presence, in Haiti, to a much, less significant Trading Office presence. It was effectively a resignation.
Their reasoning behind wanting to reduce their official presence in Haiti was to save money. Their decision, unwittingly or knowingly, would come to affect the internal, social, environmental and political landscape of the Bahamas.
Corruption, fraudulent document selling, fake passports and an active visa black market, all contributed to the inability of the British to stop the flow of illegal migrants into the Bahamas. Overwhelmed, Britain’s diplomatic officials, seemed to simply give up.
(1963 -1965) SECRET BRITISH GOVERNMENT FILES OPENED UNDER THE 30 year rule in 2001