Trinidad Minister proposes amnesty for Venezuelans

...chance to legally live, work for one year

National Security Minister Stuart Young chats with a few residents at a parlour during a walkabout in Moruga on Tuesday.

(Trinidad Guardian) A pro­pos­al to of­fer all Venezue­lans a one-year amnesty to live and work in T&T will be tak­en to Cab­i­net soon says Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Min­is­ter Stu­art Young.

Speak­ing at a press con­fer­ence at the Moru­ga Po­lice Sta­tion yester­day, Young said a reg­is­tra­tion process will be­gin soon to doc­u­ment and reg­is­ter all Venezue­lan na­tion­als. He de­nied that the reg­is­tra­tion process will be su­per­vised by the Elec­tions and Bound­aries Com­mis­sion.

“This reg­is­tra­tion process is sim­ply to get the cor­rect da­ta of the num­ber of Venezue­lans who were stay­ing legal­ly and il­le­gal­ly in T&T. Right now you are hear­ing all sorts of ir­re­spon­si­ble fig­ures be­ing bandied about, so for the first time we will get the re­al fig­ures,” Young said.

He urged all Venezue­lans to take ad­van­tage of the op­por­tu­ni­ty.

“I want to say that all Venezue­lans who are here legal­ly or il­le­gal­ly, we are giv­ing you a time to reg­is­ter and there­after the law will ap­ply, “ he said.

At present, the num­ber is un­known as dozens con­tin­ue to come through the coun­try’s porous bor­ders. Asked whether the il­le­gal Venezue­lans will be per­se­cut­ed if they came for­ward, Young said no.

He could not say, how­ev­er, whether reg­is­tra­tion will give ac­cess to health and ed­u­ca­tion­al op­por­tu­ni­ties for Venezue­lans who are flee­ing their home­land in droves be­cause of so­cio-eco­nom­ic col­lapse.

“All of those things are to be de­cid­ed by Cab­i­net, es­pe­cial­ly the ed­u­ca­tion as­pect,” Young said.

For those Venezue­lans who fail to come for­ward, Young said they will even­tu­al­ly face the full brunt of the law.

“At the end of the day, the au­thor­i­ties will ask you for your reg­is­tra­tion card and if you don’t have the card then you will be tak­en to the de­ten­tion cen­tre,” Young said.

He al­so said a col­lab­o­ra­tive crime ini­tia­tive was in place to pull back on il­le­gal en­try by im­mi­grants. This in­cludes more coastal pa­trols and land sur­veil­lance, Young said. He said the US Army was al­so on board with the col­lab­o­ra­tion.  

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