Thursday, 4 July 1974
Dáil Eireann Debate
Mr. O'Kennedy: asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if his attention has been drawn to reports that all Haitians resident in the Bahamas are to be expelled within three weeks; and if he will state the Government's attitude on the matter.
Minister for Foreign Affairs (Dr. FitzGerald): The authorities in the Bahamas have, I understand, publicly requested all persons who are illegally resident in that country to leave. An amnesty was announced at the beginning of last month allowing illegal immigrants, who are apparently very numerous there, two weeks to declare themselves and leave the Bahamas. The amnesty was later extended by a further period of two weeks. I understand that this step was taken because of rising unemployment in the Bahamas.
My information is that the Bahamas Government are prepared to consider financing the departure or repatriation of those illegal immigrants who are unable to do so themselves. Foreign  residents in the Bahamas who are in possession of work permits will not, according to my information be affected by these measures and may continue to live and work in the Bahamas.
The Deputy will appreciate that this is an internal matter for the Bahamas but I understand that in so far as Haitians are concerned the action of the Bahamas Government was decided upon after consultation with the Government of Haiti.
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