Some of the 115 Venezuelans who completed registration at Achievers Banquet Hall in San Fernando on Friday say they are surprised at the line of questions they were asked during their brief interviews by Immigration.
Some expressed fear of being persecuted politically if the information they divulged was shared.
Speaking to Guardian Media through our translator Angie Ramnarine, Venezuelan Juan Fernandes said the questions were limited and did not take into account their medical problems or their medical needs.
Hours before the official start of registration began, hundreds of Venezuelans began assembling outside of Achievers Banquet Hall at Duncan Village, San Fernando.
Most had spent the night having walked with chairs and cushions in anticipation for a long night. Accustomed to having to line up for basic amenities in their home country, the Venezuelans were in good spirits, eagerly expressing their appreciation for the T&T people who had assisted them.
The Central Bank Governor has estimated that it will cost the state around $620 million dollars a year to support the Venezuelans who have migrated to this country.
Dr Alvin Hilaire said at first he was skeptical about that figure but then said after looking at the impact on Colombia, that 600-odd million-dollar figure seemed plausible.
Colombia has so far taken in almost 1.2 million Venezuelan migrants and refugees. This has cost that country around 0.4% of its GDP.
More homeless Venezuelans are trickling to Irwin Park facility in Siparia hoping to get free meals, clothing and shelter.
When Guardian Media visited the facility on Monday more than 20 Venezuelans were lounging on cots, and on chairs.
There were enough food and drinks to feed a hundred more people.
Itilda Wharwood from the Siparia Community Association and voluntary translator Jennifer Joan Cowie have been spending their time at the facility ensuring that people do not take advantage of the Venezuelans.
Squatting, squabbles and sex-related problems.
Reports of squatting in Central Trinidad by some Venezuelans and the occupancy of abandoned South houses are among the mixed bag of issues resulting from the influx of migrants to T&T in recent months.
Other issues include certain Claxton Bay-based Venezuelan women being followed home by T&T men after work—and maxi taxis ferrying “arrivals” out of certain La Brea coastal areas.
Saddened by the enslavement of Venezuelan migrants who are only seeking to fill empty stomachs in T&T, recently-installed moderator of the Presbyterian Church, Rev Joy Abdul-Mohan, says her flock will use their resources to alleviate the migrants’ hunger.
She said it was worrisome to think that police officers were involved in human trafficking of refugees to have them practice modern day slavery.
Seventeen Venezuelans have been caught hiding in an abandoned hotel infested with bats and rats at Chatham South beach.
They were picked up by the T&T Coast Guard after dawn, having been dropped off by a Venezuelan pirogue.
Among the 17 Venezuelans were nine females, one of whom is pregnant, a baby and seven men.
A source said the women were hiding in the abandoned hotel; while some were found in the bushes and on the beach.
The patrolling officers became alerted when they saw a few cars, waiting to pick up the Venezuelans.
Having endured a grueling boat ride from Tucupita to Trinidad and then several days of hiding in the forests of Palo Seco before their arrests, 17 Venezuelans have finally settled into a house at Morne Diablo, Penal.
They have limited food, a trickle of water and no medicine for their sick children.
Yet to them Trinidad is like a paradise. Compared to their homeland, there is no shortage of food here. The family gave Guardian Media an exclusive interview of their plight and their hopes for the future.
The family is renting the house for $3,000 a month.