Tuesday 26 March, 2019

Young: No crisis with Venezuelan immigrants

A policy is currently being drafted by the National Security Ministry to address the growing population of Venezuelan nationals and is expected to be approved and implemented shortly.

The policy will require these individuals, some of whom are here illegally, to register with the authorities and will also provide for Venezuelans to work legally for a period of time.

This from National Security Minister Stuart Young who has denied claims by Opposition MP Suruj Rambachan that Trinidad and Tobago’s borders have been left unsecured, allowing illegal immigrants easy entry into the country.

In a statement on Sunday, Young denied that T&T’s borders are unmanned stating that there have been increased border security operations taking place over the course of the past few months, which he said have led to a reduction in the porous nature of the country’s borders.

The Minister, assuring that border security is a priority and is being dealt with at a multi-agency level, said the latest claims by the Opposition is nothing more than a desperate attempt to create panic.

“The attempt by the Member of Parliament for Tabaquite to use a quote by the Acting Chief Immigration Officer in a Joint Select Committee hearing as she was describing the high number of persons being held at the Immigration Detention Centre (IDC) and the fact that there is limited room at this facility, as a declaration that Immigration would no longer uphold the law and would allow illegal immigrants into our borders, is a desperate attempt by the Opposition to create panic.”

“The reality of the situation is that Trinidad and Tobago has seen an increase in the number of Venezuelans coming here and the Government is dealing with the situation. There is no crisis. Unfortunately, the UNC Opposition continues to wish crisis upon Trinidad and Tobago but we are thankful that there is no crisis,” he added.

He assured that the relevant agencies, the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard, the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service and the Immigration Division will continue to protect the country’s borders and “deal with the difficulties associated with illegal immigrants”.

Young added that the inter-agency solutions among the bodies charged with the responsibility for border security for dealing with those detained as illegal immigrants include using and declaring for use, certain prison facilities not being used.

The Minister took the opportunity to thank the officers of the TTCG, the TTPS and the Immigration Division for their dedication and commitment to securing T&T’s borders.

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