Over 25,000 Guyanese living illegally in Trinidad and Tobago

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Downtown Trinidad[www.inewsguyana.com] – Trinidad Express – Oil- and gas-rich Trinidad and Tobago remains a land of opportunity and currently serves as a haven for 110,012 illegal immigrants. “You are talking about over ten per cent of your adult population,” National Security Minister Gary Griffith said following the National Security Ministry’s release of the “alarming statistics” yesterday.

Asked if there had been an increase in the number of illegal immigrants in recent years, Griffith said the problem did not start overnight.

“It is just that I am opening this Pandora’s box. And I intend to put an end to it. It is totally unacceptable,” he said.

This disturbingly high number of illegal immigrants comes primarily from 16 countries, of which only six are members of Caricom. The highest number of illegal immigrants comes from Guyana—25,884; followed by Jamaica.

There are 19,500 Jamaicans living here illegally, while Venezuela has 10,574 illegal immigrants residing here. Next in line are people from St Vincent—9,606; Barbadians—7,169; Grenadians—6,947; Colombians—6,388; Chinese—4,593; Filipinos—4,437; St Lucians—4,391; Indians—3,651; Dominican Republic—2,256; Surinamese—1,944; Cubans—1,434; Nigerians—1,071; and Bangladeshis—167.

Griffith said he was not on a “witch hunt”.

But, he said he had met a very “untidy situation” and he intended to deal with all aspects of national security.

He said once Immigration officials are able to locate people, they are deported back to their country.

He said in such instances this country had to provide for the costs associated with deportation. “For example, for the 11 Africans we have to deport, we have pay the airfare plus Special Branch personnel to accompany them. It is going to cost us over $2 million to send back those Africans over the next two weeks,” he said, adding the State had to also charter an aircraft.

He said, though, many of the illegal immigrants “stay under the radar”, and sometimes information is brought to the Immigration Department which facilitates the location of these people.

However, he also noted many Trinidadians hire illegal immigrants “and they abuse the situation because they don’t pay (National Insurance), taxes, and sometimes pay them below the minimum wage”. He said some of them worked in the security industry. Griffith said some were employed in the sex industry.

He said he wanted to reject statements coming from the Jamaican opposition that it was a common practice for many people to overstay their time in different Caricom countries. “Because it is normal does not make it legal,” he said. “When these people are here illegally, they are sometimes unemployed and they turn to a life of crime and this could play a very big part in criminal activities in a country. “These individuals also consume our health facilities, education, because there is free access to all, as well as housing and employment opportunities.

“I am not saying that we intend to throw everyone out. Many of them have settled here and may be of value to Trinidad and Tobago, but they need to be regula­rised and registered. If not, they can be abused by their employers and taken advantage of by recei­ving ridiculously low wages,” he said. Sources told the Express yesterday the Jamaican influence on the gang activity was being looked at.

Citing the recent case of Jamaican Tremin Thomas, who was killed along with gang leader Dillon “Bandy” Skeete last month, the source said there was infiltration into the gangs by some of these illegal immigrants.

People who have overstayed their time in Trinidad and Tobago and have not yet departed:

• Bangladeshis: 167

• Barbadians: 7,169

• Chinese: 4,593

• Colombians: 6,388

• Dominican Republic: 2,256

• Cubans: 1,434

• Grenadians: 6,947

• Guyanese: 25,884

• Indians: 3,651

• Nigerians: 1,071

• Filipinos: 4,437

• St Lucians: 4,391

• St Vincent: 9,606

• Suriname: 1,944

• Venezuelans: 10,574

 

7 COMMENTS

  1. How can you compare Trinidad to the USA? The USA is more than double the size Trinidad. Trinidad has but so many resources to offer its residents and legal resident. Why is for illegals to receive benefits and illegals that cannot be accounted for in the country. It’s is the same issue tha USA is battling. People are so ignorant. People need to go through the proper channels and earn their stay!

  2. I submit that Caricom brainstorm this situation to find a solution to the problem especially as it relates to people who can be granted work permits in different member states (either as exchange or needed skills persons) because I’m sure it exists in all Caricom member States. As far as the non-regional and non-caricom states illegals are concerned they will have to be declared persona non gratia and deported if they cannot meet the criteria for regularization!
    Where anywhere do you see that I even hint that Caricom
    Nationals be deported from Caricom member states????
    Why don’t you try to at least understand what you’re looking at before you make stupid statements! You’re the dumbo for commenting on what you seem not to understand!!! Go ask your handlers to break it down for you!!

  3. So Dumbo:
    Why you want them deported?
    Do you know how many illegals are in the US.
    maybe you too!
    People move all over the world whether for betterment or close to families.
    The wqorld belongs to no one but God.

  4. These are some STAGGERING figures!! I now see why T&T immigration ask me so many probing questions whenever I go there!!
    Even the “first world” countries (US, Canada and England) find it all but impossible to control/stop illegal immigrants!
    I submit that Caricom brainstorm this situation to find a solution to the problem especially as it relates to people who can be granted work permits in different member states (either as exchange or needed skills persons) because I’m sure it exists in all Caricom member States. As far as the non-regional and non-caricom states illegals are concerned they will have to be declared persona non gratia and deported if they cannot meet the criteria for regularization!

  5. they are there because trini saga boys dem dont like wok..
    dem trini saga boys and gals live in toronto by the droves and collecting tax payers dollars called welfare..dem trini dont like wok..

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