The government has declined to take any responsibility for 51 Haitians shipwrecked for eight days on an isolated cay while trying to reach the United States.
The Haitians are running short of food and water, according to a U.S. mining company that is caring for them, and they are reported to have become unruly. The Bahamas wants Haiti to take them home, but diplomatic pressure has so far had no result.
"They will stay there until they leave the Bahamas," National Security Minister Loftus Roker said.
Roker, who is determined to rid the country of all illegal immigrants, said Haitian Consul Max Charles was informed and asked to see the Haitians but had not done so.
The Haitians claim they were on their way to Florida when their leaking 25-foot sailboat sank off Cap Ocean Cay, a man-made island 100 miles southwest of Miami.
The 41 men and 10 women--three of them pregnant--managed to swim ashore at Ocean Cay, where they have been cared for since Christmas Day by 23 employees of Marcona Corp., a subsidiary of General Electric.