Police detain five undocumented Venezuelan migrants
Police said they have detained five undocumented migrants who police said appear to be Venezuelan nationals.
According to an update shared to the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) official media pages, the five men were found while on Los Iros beach in south Trinidad.
The five men were held by officers of the South Western Division’s Emergency Response Patrol Unit, with the assistance of members of the Defence Force, during an exercise conducted in the Erin district around 9:50 pm February 16, 2019.
During the exercise, officers proceeded to Los Iros beach, where they found the male immigrants walking along the shoreline.
Police said the men were caught entering the country illegally, and under the country's current laws they will be detained. They were taken to the Erin Police Station and the Immigration Division contacted.
The country currently has no established laws regarding the protection of Venezuelan nationals, who continue to flee their country due to economic and political unrest.
Trinidad and Tobago is a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention.
Two main clauses of the Convention include non-refoulement, or not returning refugees to their home country where their lives would be in danger, and non-detention, which advises that refugees not be detained or punished on account of their illegal entry or presence, if they are coming from a country where their lives or freedom was threatened.
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowle indicated earlier this year that government is currently reviewing policies with regard to issuing more protections for refugees and asylum seekers in Trinidad and Tobago.
Recently, 19 children, some of them thought to be Venezuelan, were rescued by the authorities from a suspected child prostitution ring which was being carried out in parts of north-west Trinidad.