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Author Topic: Refugees & Illegals in T&T Thread.  (Read 34285 times)

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Offline Brownsugar

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Re: Refugees in T&T.
« Reply #150 on: May 24, 2018, 05:34:31 AM »
Maybe I missed something but if you are living illegally in somebody's country you stand the risk of being deported right?  I eh understand what the hue and cry was all about (I say was cuz 9 days done past and de story off the headlines, I ah bit late on de draw.....)
"...If yuh clothes tear up
Or yuh shoes burst off,
You could still jump up when music play.
Old lady, young baby, everybody could dingolay...
Dingolay, ay, ay, ay ay,
Dingolay ay, ay, ay..."

RIP Shadow....The legend will live on in music...

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Re: Refugees in T&T.
« Reply #151 on: December 03, 2018, 01:20:29 AM »
Trinidad and Tobago: Authorities have no justification for failure to respect international obligations over asylum
Amnesty International

The Trinidad and Tobago authorities must stop criminalizing the peaceful protest of migrants and refugees and find human rights-based solutions for them consistent with its existing obligations under international law, Amnesty International said today.

In response to official statements from Trinidad and Tobago’s Attorney General, Faris Al-Rawi, suggesting that the country was not yet legally required to establish systems for addressing the growing number of migrants and refugees reaching the Caribbean island, as it has not ratified the UN Refugee Convention, Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International, said:

“The Attorney General is mistaken in his understanding of Trinidad and Tobago’s obligations under international law. Having acceded to the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol, the country is bound by international law to uphold the terms of these treaties. This means it must respect the fundamental human right to seek asylum and never return people to countries where their lives or freedom are at risk.”

The Attorney General made the statements after Trinidad and Tobago’s authorities reportedly arrested 78 Cuban asylum applicants and refugees, who had been peacefully protesting their human rights situation in the country outside the UN House in Port of Spain, reigniting debates on the growing number of migrants and refugees in the country.

According to news reports, the Cubans detained on 16 November were charged with obstruction of the free passageway under the Summary Offences Act and sentenced to two days in prison. When asked if Trinidad and Tobago was in discussions with the Cuban authorities to deport the Cubans, the Attorney General said the Minister of National Security was the lead on that issue.

Trinidad and Tobago is party to the the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees, which the country acceded to in November 2000. As such, it is obliged to fully protect the rights of those in need of international protection. Although Trinidad and Tobago has not yet adopted national legislation to guide its treatment of people in need of international protection, it is a rule of customary international law that a state may not invoke the provisions of its internal law, or lack thereof, to justify its failure to uphold the terms of a treaty.

In 2014, Trinidad and Tobago’s cabinet adopted a national policy to address asylum and refugee matters. The policy states that recognized refugees should be entitled to a series of rights including travel documents, identity papers, authorization to work, and right to education. In practice, those who apply for asylum or are granted refugee status are not allowed to work, leaving many destitute, and they are not permitted to send their children to school. The Cubans arrested had been protesting this situation.

“By criminalizing migrants and refugees who were protesting the country’s very failure to uphold human rights, the authorities in Trinidad and Tobago are taking a short-sighted approach to the growing numbers of people reaching their shores in need of international protection,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas.

Rather than locking up people who only want to rebuild their lives in safety, the authorities should build on the nation’s existing policy on asylum and refugees and put in place legislation to help it fulfill its existing obligations under international law.”

International law establishes that states must not return people to countries where their life or freedom would be threatened, or where they could be subject to torture or other human rights violations. Nevertheless, in April, Trinidad and Tobago deported over 80 Venezuelans, potentially in violation of international law.

Almost all states in Latin America have national legislation on refugees.


The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees had registered 2,286 people of concern in Trinidad and Tobago at the end of 2017. The majority were Venezuelans, with Cubans representing the second largest group of asylum applicants.

Amnesty International has documented severe restrictions on the right to freedom of expression in Cuba for decades, while tens of thousands of Cubans have left their homeland in recent years. Amnesty International’s report, Your Mind is in Prison, published in 2017 and based on interviews with over 60 Cuban migrants, documents Cuba’s ongoing mechanisms of control over freedom of expression in the country and the risks faced by Cubans who dare to speak out.

In March, Amnesty International released Emergency Exit, which documented how violations of the right to health, as well as difficulties accessing food and other basic services, are putting thousands of people’s lives at risk in Venezuela and fuelling a regional forced migration crisis.

In September, Amnesty International published an open letter to regional governments calling on them and the international community to agree on urgent measures to guarantee the rights of Venezuelans needing international protection. It also issued a report detailing the failure of the Curaçao government to establish effective procedures for people seeking asylum in light of the growing number of Venezuelan nationals in need of international protection.

Offline Flex

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Re: Refugees in T&T.
« Reply #152 on: February 03, 2019, 01:40:48 AM »
Venezuelan influx strangling T&T.
By RAD­HI­CA DE SIL­VA (Guardian).

Leav­ing their loved ones be­hind in a coun­try torn by vi­o­lence, star­va­tion and po­lit­i­cal per­se­cu­tion, hun­dreds of Venezue­lans con­tin­ue to risk their lives to come to Trinidad in search of a bet­ter life.

While the wealth­i­est of Venezue­lans can af­ford to come here legal­ly of­ten through the port of Ce­dros, hun­dreds more Venezue­lans board pirogues and fer­ries and sneak in­to the is­land through the hid­den in­lets and bays along the coasts. They sell their homes, fur­ni­ture, jew­el­ry, and even their hair to save enough US dol­lars to make the trip.

Since 2014, more than 1.8 mil­lion peo­ple have fled Venezuela be­cause of hor­rif­ic liv­ing con­di­tions. Many get a three-month tourist vis­it but end up stay­ing here for months.

Ce­dros Coun­cil­lor Shankar Teelucks­ingh said with the clo­sure of the Ce­dros port for eight days last week, more than 800 Venezue­lans are on stand­by to come to the is­land legal­ly in the first week of Feb­ru­ary, with about 300 card­ed to go back home.

"Many are flee­ing from po­lit­i­cal per­se­cu­tion and have no in­ten­tion of go­ing back. They pay fer­ry op­er­a­tors US$200 to make the trip," Teelucks­ingh said. Those who come il­le­gal­ly pay up to US$500 to cross the 20-kilo­me­tre stretch be­tween Trinidad and Venezuela.

Il­le­gal points of en­try

Dur­ing an in­ter­view, a se­nior of­fi­cer from the Im­mi­gra­tion de­part­ment said many Venezue­lans are con­tin­u­ing to en­ter the is­land through sev­er­al il­le­gal points along the Colum­bus Chan­nel where the Orinoco Riv­er flows such as Ica­cos, Gal­far, Erin, Chatham, Mon Di­a­blo, Buenos Ayres, and Quinam.

In Quinam

"In days gone by Quinam was once one of the most pop­u­lar beach­es in south Trinidad. How­ev­er, with coastal ero­sion and a re­cent rock revet­ment project done by the Min­istry of Works to ar­rest ero­sion, the Quinam Bay is hard­ly fre­quent­ed on week­days so peo­ple use that area for il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ty," a source from the area said.

A man who works near the new­ly opened beach fa­cil­i­ty con­firmed that every Tues­day in broad day­light a boat­load of Venezue­lans ar­rive.

"You can see them look­ing scared and starved. They run out of the boat as soon as they reach. There are al­ways peo­ple wait­ing for them. I just turn a blind eye be­cause these days peo­ple who see too much end up dead," he said.

The forests around Pe­nal is a wildlife sanc­tu­ary but with the ab­sence of game war­dens, pa­trols are not fre­quent. There is no cel­lu­lar sig­nal there, so arrange­ments are con­duct­ed open­ly.

In Erin, Los Iros

Mean­while, in Erin, vil­lagers said it is not un­usu­al for Venezue­lans to ar­rive at Los Iros and Erin Bay which is near­by to Chatham and Buenos Ayres.

Res­i­dent Paul Ne­hal said the Venezue­lans are well con­nect­ed and some of them may be in­to crime.

"There are peo­ple in the area who earn mon­ey from the Venezue­lan cri­sis. I have a van and they of­ten hire me to pick up the Venezue­lans from Erin and drop them in Ch­agua­nas," Ne­hal said. He said most peo­ple are cau­tious about bring­ing the Venezue­lans in­to their homes in fear that they could be crim­i­nals.

How­ev­er, some Trinida­di­ans have tak­en this chance.

South Oropouche

One woman, who did not want to be named, said she res­cued two Venezue­lan chil­dren who she found wan­der­ing in a com­mu­ni­ty in Oropouche.

Un­will­ing to give their names, she said the chil­dren were brought in with an aunt who was lat­er de­port­ed back to Venezuela.

The chil­dren, aged eight and ten, stayed with the woman for sev­er­al months be­fore she bought a tick­et and took them back to Venezuela to be with their par­ents. The woman said when she went to Venezuela to drop the chil­dren it was like a scene from a hor­ror movie.

"I re­mem­ber walk­ing along a street and there was a place where a man sat with a big gun and there were dirty hun­gry chil­dren there with him. This child not more than three years old stood look­ing out...there with a cut over her face and blood stream­ing down. She looked at me. I cried but the tour guide told me don't look. They could kill us. I stayed in my ho­tel room and I could not go out on my own. It was too dan­ger­ous. I feel wor­ried about the chil­dren who live there with no food, no med­i­cine, no help," she said.

In Ce­dros

In Ce­dros, res­i­dents said Venezue­lans have been com­ing through Ce­dros for decades.

Suraj Chick­urie said in times gone by they used to come to Ce­dros to sell ce­ram­ic pot­tery and jew­el­ry. "Now they no longer sell in Ce­dros. They go to Point Fortin in­stead," Chick­urie said.

Ter­ry As­song, who has been help­ing Venezue­lans at Bonasse Vil­lage, said many of them were good peo­ple. He said the Gov­ern­ment should find a way to help the Venezue­lan na­tion­als who come to Ce­dros by pro­vid­ing an av­enue where they could get med­ical aid, hous­ing, and food.

'A bless­ing and a curse'

Venezue­lan Judge Manuel Romero who fled to T&T with his wife, Lori­mar Sil­va and their two chil­dren said his friends were starv­ing in Venezuela.

"The cri­sis was so dire that they are break­ing up their fur­ni­ture and us­ing it as fire­wood," Romero said.

Trinidad seems to be both a bless­ing and a curse to many Venezue­lans who live here. Romero said since he came to Trinidad in Au­gust last year, he has done a va­ri­ety of jobs in­clud­ing fish­ing, paint­ing, se­cu­ri­ty guard, labour­er, con­struc­tion work­er, and sales­man.

He re­fus­es to speak about the ex­ploita­tion he suf­fered but in­stead ex­pressed grat­i­tude to all the good peo­ple he met along the way who pro­vid­ed his fam­i­ly with food and shel­ter.

At an agri­cul­tur­al es­tate in Debe, Venezue­lan labour­ers could be seen work­ing hard to cul­ti­vate a hot pep­per es­tate. Un­like many Trinida­di­ans, they work in the scorch­ing mid­day sun. Most of them could not speak Eng­lish and de­spite their work­ing con­di­tions, they smiled when ap­proached by this re­porter.

A Venezue­lan who works at a store in Dun­can Vil­lage said she has man­aged to build a life in Trinidad but it was al­ways dif­fi­cult.

"Peo­ple think I am a pros­ti­tute. Long ago when I first vis­it­ed here, peo­ple used to treat me with re­spect, but now they think I am a pros­ti­tute so they no have re­spect. I am hap­py to work here. In Trinidad at least I can find food. Right now I am very wor­ried about my peo­ple in Venezuela," she said.

Louis Ro­dri­go, who works in a cloth­ing store at Gulf City said it was painful be­ing in a place where he was not want­ed.

"Peo­ple have told me to (ex­ple­tive) get out of here. All we are do­ing is try­ing to live. I can­not wait to go back to Venezuela one day," Ro­dri­go said.

Sev­er­al Trinida­di­ans said they were con­cerned that the Venezue­lans were tak­ing away their jobs and stran­gling T&T.

Mar­i­lyn Nep­tune said, "They are in­vad­ing our coun­try, many are com­ing il­le­gal­ly and are con­tribut­ing to crime. They are mak­ing things hard for us."

Maris­sa Pe­ters of Fyz­abad said since the Venezue­lan cri­sis, pros­ti­tu­tion has al­so in­creased.

Ex­ploita­tion of the Venezue­lan peo­ple oc­curs in all sec­tor. In the con­struc­tion sec­tor, skilled Venezue­lans are paid $300 a day, $100 less than a Trinida­di­an con­struc­tion work­er. The un­skilled labour­ers get $200 a day while the Trinida­di­ans work for $300 a day.

Bring mi­grant laws—UWI pro­fes­sor

Faced with this ex­ploita­tion, Dean of Fac­ul­ty of Law at the Uni­ver­si­ty of West In­dies, Pro­fes­sor Rose­marie Bell-An­toine said prop­er mi­grant laws were need­ed in T&T. She said no­body knows how many Venezue­lans are cur­rent­ly in T&T as at­tor­neys were find­ing it chal­leng­ing to get sta­tis­tics from the de­ten­tion cen­tre and chil­dren's homes where the refugees are kept.

Say­ing the sta­tis­tics may be alarm­ing, Bell-An­toine said she was dis­ap­point­ed that ad­e­quate laws were not put in place as yet.

"Three years ago, we warned that it was go­ing to get worse in terms of the amount of Venezue­lans com­ing in and no­body was tak­ing us se­ri­ous­ly. Now there is some recog­ni­tion that some­thing needs to be done," Bell-An­toine said.

Say­ing there was now a move to pro­vide na­tion­al cards to iden­ti­fy the Venezue­lans, Bell-An­toine said, "That is a good first step. The laws must be im­ple­ment­ed in a struc­tured and hu­man­i­tar­i­an way and not in an ad-hoc man­ner."

She not­ed that the refugee cri­sis was hap­pen­ing through­out the world.

"That is why we have these in­ter­na­tion­al con­ven­tions to help us. We don't need to rein­vent the wheel. Peo­ple are say­ing too many Venezue­lans are com­ing in, but it is a tem­po­rary sit­u­a­tion. We have now re­alised that some­thing pos­i­tive and struc­tured needs to be done and we can get it go­ing," she added.

Bell-An­toine, who has been lob­by­ing for the in­tro­duc­tion of leg­is­la­tion in line with es­tab­lished hu­man rights con­ven­tions, said over the past three years, at­tor­neys and im­mi­gra­tion per­son­nel have been trained on refugee rights.

"We need to ex­tend a hand of friend­ship in Venezuela," she said.

Min­is­ter of Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Stu­art Young said last week that bor­der pa­trols will be tight­ened as the Venezue­lan cri­sis in­ten­si­fies. Po­lice Com­mis­sion­er Gary Grif­fith said the Air Guard will be mon­i­tor­ing the coasts.

Venezuela has been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a steep down­ward spi­ral since 2012 as oil prices fell sharply, a year be­fore the late pres­i­dent Hugo Chavez died. His pro­tégé and suc­ces­sor, Nico­las Maduro, 56, has faced crit­i­cisms of eco­nom­ic mis­man­age­ment, cor­rup­tion, and po­lit­i­cal op­pres­sion.

On Jan­u­ary 23, Juan Guai­do, 35, the pres­i­dent of the op­po­si­tion-dom­i­nat­ed Na­tion­al As­sem­bly, an­nounced that he would as­sume Maduro’s pow­ers tem­porar­i­ly, a move recog­nised by the US, Brazil, Cana­da, Colom­bia, Pe­ru, Chile and oth­er coun­tries in Eu­rope.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline Flex

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Re: Refugees in T&T.
« Reply #153 on: April 29, 2019, 12:25:07 AM »
$25m to keep immigrants at IDC
By Sean Douglas (Newsday).

JSC on Human Rights reports:

ABOUT $23 million a year is spent to house illegal immigrants and another $2 million each year to deport some of them, yet many detainees languish at the Immigration Detention Centre (IDC) because the language barrier slows down the processing of their cases.

This was revealed in a recent report by Parliament’s Joint Select Committee (JSC) on Human Rights.

The IDC was run at a cost of $12 million in 2014, $16 million for each year of 2015-2018, and $23 million in 2019 (recurrent expenditure). A further $6 million was spent on development work at the IDC over the past three years.

Further, $9 million was spent in repatriation costs from 2012-2016.

This was $2 million in 2012/2013, $2 million for 2013/2014, $4 million for 2014/2015 and $790,000 for 2015/2016. The $4 million bill for 2014/2015 included $2.48 million to charter an aircraft to Nigeria.

Without specifying any year, the report added, “The last two airline charters each cost an estimated $3 million and $5 million respectively.”

Of the 716 immigrants deported from the IDC in 2016, 162 were Jamaicans, 127 Guyanese, 101 Venezuelans, 95 Chinese, 78 were from the Dominican Republic and 31 were from Nigeria. The report shows the cost of deporting a Nigerian was $235,904, including his one-way ticket ($36,000) plus return tickets for three escorts at $57,000 each, totalling $172,440.

Despite this big expenditure, the report notes detainees complaining of difficulties posed by the language barrier, which impeded the hearing of their cases, whether applying for refugee status or fighting deportation.

Amid a huge influx of Venezuelan migrants, the IDC has only two staff members with CSEC passes in Spanish, respectively grade 1 and grade 2, amid a detainee population at any time of 120. One employee also speaks Mandarin Chinese.

The report showed a snapshot for March 2018, when out of 126 detainees at the IDC, some 81 were Venezuelan (51 men and 30 women). For all of 2017, some 585 detainees passed through the IDC, of whom 227 were Venezuelans (145 men and 82 women). For 2016, passing through the IDC were 1,146 people, of whom 222 were Venezuelans (125 men and 97 women).

“Approximately 19,000 Venezuelans entered the country legally from 2017 to 2018, and 17 per cent have overstayed their time in the country,” said the report. “Given the increase in detainees from Latin American countries, the IDC should recruit an in-house Spanish interpreter to facilitate communication between detainees and officials."

It also recommended, "Given the influx in the number of Venezuelan detainees at the IDC from 2015 to 2018, the Ministry of National Security should review other alternatives to detention.”

The report said detention at the IDC was due to breaches of the Immigration Act such as illegal entry, overstayed visit/working illegally/expired travel documents, drug trafficking or tendering counterfeit currency or fraudulent documents.

“Detention at the IDC is utilised as a last resort, after immigration officers have sought a relative or person who is willing to put up a security bond for detainee custody release under an order of supervision.”

In TT some 1,700 immigrants were on orders of supervision, paying a refundable security bond and being monitored by a team of 19 supervision officers.

Nine IDC detainees are awaiting deportation after imprisonment or paying criminal fines, but there are challenges in deporting them. These include the high cost of airfare, lack of permission to transit certain countries, language barrier and lack of interpreters, cost of escorts and the problems with the identification of detainees and acquisition of travel documents for them.

“The unwillingness of some detainees to sign visa documents or provide accurate personal identification information contributes to delays with the repatriation process.”

As of April 2018, the IDC held 25 people from African countries who lacked travel documents to be repatriated. The Ministry of National Security had sourced funds for this and found a route through Turkey, but this route was no longer feasible.

The report lamented the Immigration Act failed to specify the treatment of people who were refugees or registered as asylum seekers in TT.

The report noted discrepancies in the treatment of detainees between submissions from the Ministry of National Security and NGOs such as the Living Water Community (LWC) and the Emancipation Support Committee (ESCTT).

Living Water said an absence of procedures to submit complaints, as compounded by language barriers, had resulted in the alleged payment of bribes and a fear to submit complaints.

“The ESCTT indicated there was discriminatory treatment of detainees based on race and nationality that impacted the length of detention and punishments.”

The report noted concerns that IDC detainees were separated from their children.

“Female detainees were not allowed to have their children at the IDC and separate children accommodations were made at children homes. Children are allowed to visit the mothers via a special request made by the mother to the IDC officials,” the report said. “According to the ESCTT, family life is severely impacted due to the physical separation of husbands from wives and children. ESCTT recommended measures to permit the introduction of special family visits at reasonable intervals at IDC.”

Detainees are "aired" for two hours a day, a limit questioned by the report.

The report noted two cases of harm to detainees included suicide.

“A female Guyanese in 2013 committed suicide via hanging from the rafters of the ceiling of the washroom of the dormitory in the female housing unit.”

The report said the ESC lamented that a Ghanaian man was beaten in 2014, suffering head injuries, damage to his ear and chest pains. Subsequent lack of medical treatment led to him losing hearing in his left ear, plus an unhealed fracture that caused other medical problems.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline asylumseeker

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Re: Refugees in T&T.
« Reply #154 on: April 29, 2019, 07:42:51 AM »
Reduce costs by purchasing round trip tickets accompanied by a refusal of entry document that would effectively invalidate the return leg.   :P

It would be cheaper to employ language staff as this would mitigate inefficiency in the system.

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Re: Refugees in T&T.
« Reply #155 on: March 08, 2020, 12:55:51 PM »
5 Indian fortune-tellers arrested

POLICE have arrested five Indians for overstaying their time in the country. Their arrests took place, last Friday, in Fyzabad. A report claimed the five men were soliciting people for palm readings where they were arrested and taken to the Fyzabad Police Station, and then to the Immigration Division, Knox Street, San Fernando.

The report said a detention order was issued to the five men who were then released. They are to report on Friday, Newsday was told, with airline tickets for their guaranteed departure from TT. Police said the men in their 20s are from Bangalore, south India.

Around mid-January, six men and a woman, who are from India, were also detained for soliciting people for palm readings on High Street, San Fernando and in Chaguanas.

Attorney Indira Binda, who represents the five men, is assisting immigration authorities to determine if they committed an offence. Several people have reported they were fleeced of money by Indians who promised to predict their future through black magic.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline lefty

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Re: Refugees & Illegals in T&T Thread.
« Reply #156 on: March 10, 2020, 10:42:01 AM »
They  shoulda see dat comin
I pity the fool....

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Re: Refugees & Illegals in T&T Thread.
« Reply #157 on: March 10, 2020, 11:40:11 AM »

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Re: Refugees & Illegals in T&T Thread.
« Reply #158 on: July 27, 2020, 03:37:56 AM »
Public gives cops crucial info on illegal migrants
By Gail Alexander (Guardian).

Police Commissioner Gary Griffith is moving on several reports of suspected illegal foreigners housed in parts of the country, including South Trinidad—and he’s reinforced that any T&T national assisting such situations will also be charged.

Griffith confirmed this yesterday after information from certain areas, including South, was received.

This after National Security Minister Stuart Young on Saturday announced a crackdown on illegal immigrants entering T&T and, noting the recent spike in localised COVID-19 cases, moves to penalise boatmen, drivers, landlords, businessmen and legal Venezuelans who are facilitating illegal immigrants. The latter puts the public at COVID-19 risk.

Last Wednesday 66 people—disembarking vessels, hiding in bushes and found in guesthouses —were arrested in South and Tobago. Several T&T nationals were also charged in connection with that activity.

After Young spoke about the issue during Saturday’s COVID-19 virtual media briefing, members of the public reached out to authorities. Up to yesterday, police were contacting residents in various areas over suspected “new” foreigners.

Last Saturday, residents of several communities cited problems with illegal migrants and complaints were also made about certain “activities” at premises.

Griffith yesterday said they received reports on suspected foreigners being housed in certain areas, adding some people had very reliable information. He said police would pursue all leads, “and any T&T nationals assisting, supporting or directing such activities will also be charged.” He urged the public to continue submitting information, including via the 482-GARY hotline.

There are also reports that people in Venezuela are advertising services to bring Venezuelans to T&T.

T&T nationals also expressed concern about seeing Venezuelan vessels landing in Chaguaramas to “sell fish” but bringing between seven and 12 people—none of whom were seen wearing masks. In a social media posting, a man noted up to three boats in one morning, querying how they were allowed to operate.

Griffith has also been apprised of information where certain comments on a Spanish social media site had condemned—in extreme terms—T&T police who are holding illegal migrants.

Included was a rant hoping that T&T police “die”. The writer argued that people were coming to T&T to save their families and illegals shouldn’t be deported. Another complained of “no protection.”

Griffith acknowledged some people have always passed negative comments on T&T police, but declared, “We do our work - we press on.”

Also, the operators of a Venezuelan social media site have noted T&T nationals who’ve been commenting against the presence of Venezuelans in T&T, citing the need to protect this country.

The site later carried information—in Spanish—to its administrators that T&T nationals were “among” them on the website, watching their steps. It was advised that suspicious profiles be purged, that T&T groups should be blocked, persons should be verified and photos of participants be taken. Venezuelan participants were warned to ‘’take care of themselves.’’

The amount of “chatter” on Venezuelan social media about T&T has prompted certain local concern on whether some fleeing the Nicolas Maduro administration may pose a threat to T&T’s safety. Only those without criminal records were allowed under T&T’s amnesty. Concerns have also been raised on whether the amnesty cards can be duplicated. Cards carry special security features.

Young didn’t respond to queries on the issue yesterday.

But Opposition MP Roodal Moonilal said with localised cases of COVID-19, there was a genuine concern that some Venezuelans may be carrying the virus.

“We’re now in community spread of COVID. Government has failed with marginal testing when we’d called for wider testing,” he said.

Moonilal blamed Government for the continued influx of Venezuelans.

“We’d advocated a mixture of police, involving police and Coast Guard and international help, but in Parliament Young was arrogant, disdainful and dismissive.”

He said people from many areas have complained about illegal Venezuelans.

“We alert police ... Police are trying their best but you have to prevent entry via sea. The Coast Guard is National Security’s responsibility—they’ve failed.”

NGO concerned over Stuart's comments

The TTV Solnet Coalition for Venezuela says Minister of National Security Stuart Young’s call to denounce landlords and people harbouring illegal immigrants is causing it deep concern at the possible impact against all Venezuelan immigrants, especially those who have the ministry’s T&T permit and United Nations refugee status.

In a statement, the group stated both are categories are legally protected by national and international laws that include freedom of movement and from discriminatory persecution.

The group urged that “clarification or clear distinction on illegal and legal” migrants be made to ensure the safety of all migrants in the T&T under these legal migratory statuses.

“Currently, it’s estimated 24,000 Venezuelans are in T&T that are holders of one or both of these migratory conditions, unfortunately governmental sources don’t count for Venezuelans without a regular status so this number can be higher,” the group said.

“We’d like to commend the Government for taking firm measures to stop and combat illicit activities involving the smuggling and trafficking of Venezuelans into T&T by local criminal gangs and criminal businessmen. We praise the implementation of the 555 hotline as an official reporting channel, to bring to justice all organisations and individuals suspected of trafficking and smuggling of innocent people. This is indeed a step in the right direction, which we hope contributes to reducing the amount of human trafficking in CARICOM.”

The group urged the UN Commission on Refugees and other agencies to guarantee the protection of Venezuelan migrants, especially during the COVID pandemic, and be guarantors for the handling of detentions, quarantines, returns and possible deportations of Venezuelan migrants.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline Flex

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Re: Refugees & Illegals in T&T Thread.
« Reply #159 on: July 30, 2020, 06:23:56 AM »
CMO: Health, National Security partnering on illegal immigrants

CHIEF Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram said the Health Ministry is working very closely with the National Security Ministry, after reports that a citizen who is covid19-positive may have interacted with illegal immigrants

At the virtual health news conference on Wednesday, Parasram said, "We will share with them what information we have, bearing in mind that those persons need to be contacted.

"We have to ringfence whoever it is, person or persons that have been in contact there."

Parasram explained, "The plausible argument is that they would have been positive prior. So there is an area of spread and there is a risk of spreading to more persons in the community."

He said through the National Security Ministry and other avenues, "We need to find out where those persons or person may be, find that indivdual, test, treat and then ringfence any other contacts that may occur."

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh apologised to Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith for being unable to take a call from him last weekend on covid19-related matters.

"We had several projects ongoing and I do apologise for not returning the commissioner's call."

Deyalsingh said the police are "included in all our discussions via the CMO's chairmanship of a Cabinet-appointed committee where all agencies responsible for the covid response meet virtually."

He added the police's views "are always considered and the lines of communications between myself and the commissioner via the Ministry of National Security, have always been open."

Deyalsingh also said the Education Ministry has not made any request to his ministry to change the SEA date from August 20 as a result of the new covid19 cases reported.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline Deeks

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Re: Refugees & Illegals in T&T Thread.
« Reply #160 on: July 30, 2020, 11:13:32 AM »
Locals have to take some bwah in a substantial amount of these cases. They should get some bwah between they legs.


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