[www.inewsguyana.com] – Foreign Affairs Minister, Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett says the move by the Trinidadian Government to label Guyanese who were refused entry from that country as deportees is unfair.
During a press conference today, Monday December 22, the Foreign Affairs Minister explained that this move does not augur well for the integration movement which is being advocated by Caricom.
“It’s a very costly exercise and so I rather suspect that some countries would just put them on a plane and don’t have a record of that person deported and I tell you why; because in a few cases I have seen the reason for refusal entry is because you over stayed the last time so in other words you ain’t deport me, I could come back and that’s why I said there are deportees and deportees, so you might send somebody back because that person has a ticket, so you don’t have to incur the cost.”
Trinidad’ Attorney General Anand Ramlogan recently revealed that statistics from 2010 to October 2014 showed the number one country with deportees from Trinidad and Tobago is Guyana, with a total of 734 persons deported.
In response, Minister Rodrigues – Birkett said, “I don’t think that kind of information helps the integration process…I have spoken with my counterpart in Trinidad and Tobago, Minister Dookeram and I have asked him if he can provide us. I don’t want to read certain things in the newspaper, not that I don’t want to but I shouldn’t have to read it there if they can provide those information to us so that we can work on, if there are issues we have to work on.”
The Foreign Affairs Minister defended the travel of Guyanese people to the twin island republic.
“Most of our people are good people that travel and do their business and return because one might even want to compare that with the amount of visas that the Americans have said they have issued to Guyanese because obviously if we were a set of bad people we wouldn’t have… there are going to be a few bad people but most of our people are law abiding people.”
The Minister believes that many overseas Guyanese make a significant contribution to the country they live in but this is being overshadowed by the wrong doings of a few.
“Perhaps what might help is to highlight some of the good things our nationals are doing, and many of my colleagues in Caricom would tell me if the Guyanese leave certain territories and I won’t call their names here that they would have a serious problem in their security sector…so we have lots of our nationals working, contributing to the development of Caricom countries as well…like we have some Caricom nationals in Guyana in the aviation sector for example, some in the health sector that are working in Guyana.”
The statistics in relation to Guyanese refused entry in Trinidad and Tobago are as follows: in 2010, 199 Guyanese were refused entry, while in 2011, 536; 2012, 345; 2013, 277 and 2014, 265.