National Security Minister Stuart Young says Venezuelans currently housed at the Immigration Detention Centre will be allowed to register for the Government’s proposed one-year amnesty.
He made the comment as he gave an update on the amnesty which will target Venezuelans who are already in T&T but are now illegally here during yesterday’s post-Cabinet briefing at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s.
Young said a note on the issue has already been drafted and he will take it to Cabinet next week.
The amnesty will allow Venezuelans living in T&T to register and work for one year in order to prevent employers from exploiting and ill-treating them.
On another issue, Young admitted that Trinidadians who have been threatening Immigration officers in the line of duty may be operating illegal businesses.
Young again raised the issue of Immigration officers being threatened while carrying out their lawful duties, re-emphasising that anyone found guilty of committing such an offence will face criminal charges.
On Tuesday in the Senate, Young spoke about the setting up of police sting operations at ports of entry to nab anyone —local or foreign—who may seek to intimidate Immigration officers.
The move came after Immigration officers reported exclusively to the T&T Guardian that they had been threatened by either the relatives of, or persons associated with a group of Venezuelan nationals who had been denied entry into T&T at the Piarco International Airport last week.
But Venezuelan national and activist Yesenia Gonzales had countered that her compatriots had claimed they have been paying bribes to Immigration officials to gain entry into and stay in T&T. Young then called on Gonzales to take this information to the police.
Young made it clear that although reports had surfaced that Immigration officers had been threatened by Venezuelans, he had no such information. “There have been certain Trinidadian individuals who may have threatened Immigrations persons. Some of these Trinidadian individuals are persons of interest.
They may not be conducting legitimate businesses.
Again, this has been brought to the T&T Police Service’s attention,” Young said.
He said if the police catch “anyone engaging in this kind of activity they will be arrested and charged.”
Reporter: Shaliza Hassanali