By RICARDO WELLS
Tribune Staff Reporter
SEVEN Haitian nationals pleaded guilty to illegal landing in a Magistrate’s Court yesterday.
All the accused – five men and two women – were ordered to pay a $150 fine or serve one month in prison by Magistrate Samuel McKinney.
In separate addresses to the court through an interpreter, each of the accused persons expressed regret for their actions, but claimed ongoing social and economic issues in Haiti gave them no choice but to leave.
“Haiti is in a very bad situation so I came to The Bahamas for a better life,” one member of the group said.
A second added: “I came to The Bahamas to look for a better life. I know I broke the law of this country, for that I am sorry.”
According to court dockets, the defendants were apprehended during a joint operation in New Providence on Friday, February 8.
When questioned by officers, none could provide an account of how they came to be in The Bahamas legally.
According to the Department of Immigration, the fines were paid and the migrants were subsequently turned over to the Department of Immigration for deportation.