Venezuelans

Migrants worried about new visa requirement

Gov­ern­ment’s visa stip­u­la­tion for Venezue­lans is caus­ing con­cerns among some Venezue­lans who are due to come here soon, as well as re­cent reg­is­trants who had planned to bring rel­a­tives over.

Their con­cerns are about the pro­ce­dures to be and how ef­fi­cient­ly the sys­tem will be im­ple­ment­ed.

The stip­u­la­tion was an­nounced by Gov­ern­ment last Fri­day at the end of the two-week amnesty reg­is­tra­tion process for Venezue­lans. The visa news was wide­ly re­port­ed in Venezuela yes­ter­day al­though some of the trans­la­tion was cu­ri­ous.

Tobago Forwards wants answers on Venezuelans

Tobago Forwards (TF) leader Christlyn Moore is demanding that Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Kelvin Charles state the THA's plans for integrating Venezuelan migrants into the Tobago's population.

In a statement issued on Friday, Moore said her party supported Tobagonians' efforts to help the migrants.

"(We) support the ordinary residents of Tobago and the  Tobago Business community in closing some of the logistical and humanitarian gaps in the Venezuelan migrant registration process," she said.

'New' Venezuelans in registration line

Despite assurances from National Security Minister Stuart Young that T&T's borders were locked down, Venezuelan migrants who entered the country this week are among those seeking to sign up on the final day of registration for Government amnesty programme.

Up to Thursday, migrants entered the country through Erin and were outside the Achievors Banquet Hall, Duncan Village in San Fernando, seeking to register.

What happens with Venezuelans after 5pm?

De­spite calls from In­ter­na­tion­al hu­man rights bod­ies, the reg­is­tra­tion pe­ri­od for Venezue­lan mi­grants will close at 5 pm, ac­cord­ing to Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Min­is­ter Stu­art Young. How­ev­er, Young has an­nounced a sys­tem that will en­sure those who are present out­side reg­is­tra­tion cen­tres at the close of the process to­day will not be dis­ad­van­taged.

In re­sponse to a ques­tion from the Op­po­si­tion in the Low­er Houset, Young out­lined a process to ac­com­mo­date the back­log when gates close at 5 pm.

Migrants plead: Give us a chance to work

The grow­ing ex­pres­sion of xeno­pho­bic com­ments to­wards the Venezue­lan com­mu­ni­ty has left many of them fright­ened, but many of them say they are just ask­ing for a chance to prove their crit­ics wrong.

The group Venezue­lans Unit­ed by Work has been sourc­ing jobs for Venezue­lan mi­grants even be­fore the reg­is­tra­tion process be­gan, but they are hop­ing the reg­is­tra­tion will now al­low for the com­mu­ni­ty to show just what they can con­tribute to the coun­try.

Free room and board in Tobago

Three days be­fore the end of the reg­is­tra­tion process, hun­dreds of Venezue­lan na­tion­als re­main hope­ful they will get the chance to reg­is­ter in To­ba­go.

Most of them left long lines at the two reg­is­tra­tion cen­tres in Trinidad and trav­elled to To­ba­go with the hope that they can reg­is­ter at the Car­o­line Build­ing, in Scar­bor­ough eas­i­ly.

On Wednes­day morn­ing, many mi­grants re­turned to the To­ba­go cen­tre hav­ing slept at var­i­ous guests hous­es and ho­tels for free.

Former IIR Head: Accept Venezuelans, but have a plan

Former director of the Institute of International Relations (IIR) at the University of the West Indies' St Augustine campus, Andy Knight, is supporting  Government's decision to provide refuge to Venezuelan migrants who are fleeing the deteriorating conditions in their country. However, he is also advising that this should not be done in an ad-hoc manner to avoid any future complications.

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