• No commitment to citizenship at birth
• Birthright citizenship is complex and controversial
• DNA to outline comprehensive platform for Immigration reform
• Upholding Constitution and national interest is DNA's priority
• No more political games or kicking can down the road
The Democratic National Alliance (DNA) notes comments attributed to our former leader, Mr. Branville McCartney reported in the Tribune Newspaper (14th June 2019). As a former politician and private citizen, Mr. McCartney is entitled to his personal opinions and lends his voice to national issues from time to time. Additionally, as a former Cabinet Minister with responsibility for Immigration, Mr. McCartney also has some insights on this subject matter.
While it is apparent that views espoused by Mr. McCartney do not constitute the official position of the DNA, we wish to provide further clarity in this regard. The DNA’s Vision 2017 and Beyond did not commit to the policy of citizenship at birth. The issue of citizenship by birth is complex and controversial with serious implications for the citizenry. It is not surprising therefore that only approximately 30 countries around the world have such a policy in place and some have reversed their national policies in this regard. It is common practice for nations that grant citizenship by birth to have established criteria for qualification as is currently the case in The Bahamas, rather than grant the same automatically at birth.
The DNA will comprehensively outline its platform and position on Immigration for consultation with the Bahamian people. The DNA will not kick this proverbial can down the road like the Free National Movement and Progressive Liberal Party have done for decades. We will not play political games with an issue that is so important to our nation for political expediency. Our position paper will articulate our immigration policy in a holistic manner.
We believe in the protection of the fundamental rights and freedoms of Bahamians under the Constitution of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. We believe that there should be equity under the law and that all Bahamians, male or female, married or unmarried should have the unequivocal right to pass on citizenship to their children. This matter will be a priority among other things in our position paper.
Further, the long-standing issues surrounding illegal migration, shanty towns, issuance of work permits, interpretation of Article 7, residency and citizenship which have been inadequately addressed by successive administrations would also feature prominently in the said position paper.
It is the intention of the DNA to have open and frank discussions with the Bahamian people with a view to implementing our policies upon assuming office as the next Government of The Bahamas.
Deputy Leader, Democratic National Alliance