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.
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.
Illegal immigrants are currently being kept at police stations as there continue to be insufficient space at the Immigration Detention Centre in Aripo.
This was revealed by Minister of National Security Stuart Young in the Senate on Tuesday. Young was asked by Opposition Senator Wade Mark in light of statements made by the Chief Immigration Officer that exercises to detain illegal immigrants are on halt because there is no more room at the facility.
Political analyst Prof John La Guerre is warning Government to brace for an influx of Venezuelans seeking political asylum in T&T as the crisis in that country unfolds.
La Guerre was speaking with Guardian Media, as he weighed in on Venezuela's mounting turmoil, following Wednesday's protest action by thousands against President Nicolas Maduro.
Between Wednesday and Thursday, Venezuela reported 12 deaths and scores injured as the crisis escalated.