Thursday, May 30, 2024
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Trinidad and Tobago botched Venezuelan migrant policy

Dear Sir:

Despite assurances to the contrary by this inept and incompetent Rowley/Young/Faris administration, our borders remain porous leading to thousands of new arrivals and immeasurable strains on our social fabric.

Archbishop Jason Gordon recently confirmed, what we all suspected but had no proof of, that hundreds of Venezuelans are turning up daily on our shores overwhelming our ability to absorb and treat with them humanely.

Archbishop Gordon by enlightening us of our migrant predicament now risks being deemed “unpatriotic” by this government trio.

Archbishop Gordon pleaded with the government to secure our borders “to slow the influx of Venezuelan migrants” as his Church was unable to cope with dramatic increases in demands placed on them. “Some 1,100 new Venezuelans are coming in for assistance each month and the church can only do so much” he advised. “The numbers are escalating every week and the acceleration is unprecedented,” he warned.

The Catholic Church through its Living Waters Community has spearheaded NGO efforts to assist Venezuelan migrants.

The United National Congress (UNC) has always called for a Venezuelan migrant/refugee policy that first of all recognize the limits of our absorptive capacity is humane, based on international best practices and acknowledges our international treaty obligations. This policy must be backed up by a rigidly enforced border control mechanism.

But clueless Young/Rowley/Faris went ahead with their ill-conceived registration process. As far as the government is concerned there are less than 16,000 Venezuelans registered while everyone else suspects that Venezuelans residing here could be three to four times that number.

Added to a failed migrant policy and the open border is the out of control murder rate. [Today] the murder rate stands at 514. Last year at this time it was 511. Under Edmund Dillon in 2017, it was 483 – 31 less than [today] under Young.

Dillon, based on performance was a considerably better security minister than Stuart Young.

This year we allocated in our budget – thousand times more on jails, prisoner transport, armored vehicles, a spy agency called the SSA, and guns and ammunition compared to minuscule expenditures on “Vision on Mission”, on cadets, scouts, 4 H clubs, police youth clubs, Servol and MYPATT.

Rodney Charles

Member of Parliament, Naparima



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