Police report slowdown of migrant arrivals

Al­though it’s on­ly a day un­til Gov­ern­ment grants amnesty to Venezue­lans in T&T who have fled their coun­try’s eco­nom­ic woes, South West­ern Di­vi­sion po­lice say there has been no in­crease in il­le­gal im­mi­grants en­ter­ing the coun­try.

This is be­cause a spe­cial fo­cus has been placed on the beach­es and il­le­gal ports along the Colum­bus Chan­nel where hun­dreds of Venezue­lans have been able to get pass law en­force­ment agen­cies.

On Tues­day, Venezue­lan mi­grants: three woman and two men, were found hid­ing out at Beach Road, Pa­lo Seco. They were tak­en in­to cus­tody and hand­ed over to the Im­mi­gra­tion Di­vi­sion.

Two se­nior of­fi­cers told Guardian Me­dia that since 93 Venezue­lans were held in a camp in the hills of Pa­lo Seco and 17 in a di­lap­i­dat­ed ho­tel in Chatham, there has not been any sig­nif­i­cant find.

“We have had no large vol­ume of im­mi­grants since the dis­cov­ery of those per­sons in Pa­lo Seco.

We have not picked up any im­mi­grants in that mag­ni­tude. In the past, we know that im­mi­grants have come through Morne Di­a­blo (Pe­nal) so what the pa­trols do when they go out, they check the coast­line,” an of­fi­cer said.

An­oth­er se­nior of­fi­cer de­scribed the il­le­gal mi­gra­tion of Venezue­lans as a peren­ni­al prob­lem for T&T that has been made worse by the prob­lems across in the South Amer­i­can coun­try.

He said that it was even re­spon­si­ble for the heavy “Span­ish in­flu­ence” in places like Moru­ga.

In 2015 Venezuela’s so­cio-eco­nom­ic prob­lems turned in­to a cri­sis as low oil prices se­vere­ly af­fect­ed the coun­try’s rev­enue.

It im­pact­ed the coun­try’s abil­i­ty to pay salaries, im­port food and raw ma­te­ri­als for the man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor.

It led to hy­per­in­fla­tion, crime and an at­tempt­ed coup. It is the rea­son why thou­sands of Venezue­lans be­gan leav­ing the coun­try in search of refuge.

In 2017, the Unit­ed Na­tions High Com­mis­sion for Refugees es­ti­mat­ed that there were 40,000 Venezue­lans in T&T.

Min­is­ter of Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Stu­art Young said in March that there was no way to de­ter­mine the amount of Venezue­lans in the coun­try whether legal­ly or il­le­gal­ly.

He said the reg­is­tra­tion of Venezue­lans which is to be­gin on Fri­day will help the gov­ern­ment to as­cer­tain those fig­ures.

Reporter: Kevon Felmine

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