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 (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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.