November 25, 2021
Minister of Labour and Immigration, Hon. Keith Bell told immigration officers in Bimini and Grand Bahama, that the promotions they received was not just for the work they’ve done, but also for their capability to perform in their new roles.
The Immigration Minister oversaw the promotions, confirmations and recognition of a number of Immigration officers in the Grand Bahama and Bimini District during an official ceremony on Thursday, November 25, 2021 at the Bahamas Union of Teachers Hall in Freeport, Grand Bahama.
Minister Bell told the officers that their job as Immigration Officers was perhaps the most important one within all of the law enforcement agencies.
“Why do I say that? You were charged with the awesome responsibility of not only protecting our sovereignty as a nation, there are things which are enshrined in our written constitution, like citizenship and everything that flows from that,” said Minister Bell.
“Therefore, you are charged with protecting our borders, you are charged with ensuring that our laws that relates to citizenship are protected and enforced. As Ministers and the Directors of Immigration, we are here to support you and show you just how important each of you are to this country.”
Also congratulating the officers on their promotions, Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, Hon. Obie Wilchcombe called the promoted officers “true heroes,” adding that the officers had endured so much over the last several years, but never once compromised their commitment to The Bahamas.
“In spite of the lack of appreciation by some, it did not cause you to neglect your responsibilities that protected our nation. You continued to do so and we’re so very proud,” said Minister Wilchcombe.
“The Minister responsible for Immigration deserves our honor today. From the time that Keith Bell took office, he determined that he would not allow another day to go by without seeking to correct the wrong of all these many years. He moved with absolute haste. He was uncompromised in his position and he was, in my view, ensuring that the message of our great leader, the Honorable Philip Davis, would be carried out; that we would reinstall and reinvigorate the determination of our people to ensure that we take care of the true national wonders and treasures of our nation, the Bahamian people.
“What the Minister did was he took a position and fought for it, and he delivered.” As a student of history, Minister Wilchcombe said he could appreciate the fact that a little under fifty years ago many of the Immigration officers who were being promoted were not permitted to be a part of that agency, simply because they lived in Grand Bahama.
The Minister pointed out that the Immigration department did not exist in Grand Bahama fifty years ago. He noted that it was the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) after 1967, who got rid of the foreign police force in Grand Bahama and called for the establishment of Immigration in the second city.
“Back then, the law in Freeport dictated that one had to be of European stock to be employed in Freeport,” said Minister Wilchcombe. “It was our reality and something which we had to endure for those many years.
“But then things changed for the betterment of our country. So, you sit today in a place where you represent change. You represent what God caused to happen. In building a nation we are required to look at our past in order to build the future. It helps us to appreciate where we have come from and to understand all of the sacrifices that were made to bring you to this point.
“Our nation has still not arrived to the place where we would like to be, but we can get there, if we all work together to achieve that goal. So, our task now is to cause for all of our people to understand the roles that they must place in the growth and development of our country.”
News date : 11/25/2021 Category : Press Releases