Kambon seeks to stop immigration authorities from sending Haitian student back home

Tuesday, November 1, 2016 - 08:00

Chairman of the Emancipation Support Committee, Kafra Kambon has penned a letter to the Chief Immigration Officer Charmaine Ghandi-Andrews, seeking to stop a Haitian student in this country from being sent back home.

Kambon says in his letter that the student fulfilled all requirements and even has a sponsor in this country.

He is citing the pending deportation as inhumane, given the economic and physical hardships in Haiti at this time.

CNC3 is seeking a response from the Chief Immigration Officer, on the following letter from Kambon.

"The Emancipation Support Committee of Trinidad & Tobago hereby calls for your immediate and urgent intervention to prevent an official injustice from being carried out on Saturday November 5th that will pain all those who possess a sense of humanity and bring shame and disgrace upon our nation.

Everyone knows that Haiti, already suffering from the aftermath of a major earthquake in 2010 and mass unprecedented and unjust deportations (tens of thousands) from the Dominican Republic starting in 2015, has just been further overwhelmed by the most powerful hurricane to hit the region in the last nine years.

Apart from directly claiming some 1000 lives, Hurricane Matthew, has destroyed homes, buildings, crops and livelihoods and precipitated a rise in cases of cholera.

The government and people of Trinidad and Tobago and other decent human beings around the world are making every effort to assist. Yet, at this very moment, a callous clique of

Yet, at this very moment, a callous clique of immigration officers are forcing a Haitian student who came here in August to pursue a degree at Cipriani College of Labour and Cooperative Studies to cease his studies and return to his devastated homeland, without presenting one single justifiable reason.

Mr. Luxon Saint-Herve, the young Haitian who is targeted, achieved academic success by overcoming all the obstacles in his country. He met all the academic requirements to get into the Cipriani College and satisfied the legal requirements to enter and study in Trinidad & Tobago.

He was admitted by the Immigration Authorities at the Piarco International Airport on August 16, 2016 specifically to further his studies at that institution.

As a Haitian coming from difficult circumstances it took tremendous sacrifice from family as well as the support of friends and organizations to get him here.

Fortunately a Trinidad & Tobago national undertook to sponsor his expenses in this country while he studies. 

Mr. Saint-Herve began his studies at Cipriani College on August 22 while completing the formalities to obtain his student visa.

The college provided whatever documents were required about Mr. Saint-Herve’s course of study and responded to all queries in writing.

Mr. Saint-Herve provided his original transcripts from Haiti in French and a notarized translation as requested.

His sponsor presented his banking information. It seemed that all was well.

However, much to his surprise and dismay, on October 25th Mr. Saint-Herve was told that his application had been refused. No reasons were given at the time.

In response to subsequent queries, immigration officials raised issues about the number of courses he was currently studying, the quality of his English and his financial status.

Cipriani College officials responded in full to the academic issues raised.

On the question of his financial status, Mr. Saint-Herve, as already noted, has a financial sponsor and there are other nationals who are willing to satisfy the immigration authorities with whatever it takes to put this supposed problem out of the way.

Despite all this being known to the authorities they have persisted in their heartless actions forcing the young man to come to the Immigration Office on October 28 with a ticket to return to Haiti by November 5th. So far all efforts to get this decision overturned have failed.

Without higher intervention, Mr. Saint-Herve will have to return to Haiti in a few days and some poor family that was looking forward with pride to the return of a graduate in three years who could help them to improve their circumstances will instead have to greet a young man in whom they have invested a great deal, now dejected having been rejected through no fault of his own or the College that accepted him. 

This is incomprehensible, reprehensible and particularly cruel in view of Haiti’s current plight. The Emancipation Support Committee of Trinidad & Tobago is calling on you and/or anyone else with the required authority to thoroughly investigate this matter and have it resolved with the greatest urgency in a manner that satisfies the sense of justice of the people of Trinidad and Tobago."

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