We warned them years ago that they ought to create a comprehensive refugee policy that would be humane, based on international best practices and considerate of our absorptive capacity. We warned them that a system to identify the number of Venezuelans coming in needed to be put in place in order to have accurate data on the numbers and age groups. We warned them that our borders needed to be properly protected and our Coast Guard presence needed to be heightened. We warned them that the asylum amnesty should not be an arrangement that would incentivise Venezuelans to come to TT illegally and in droves.
Now, with the registration period nearing, we are seeing Venezuelans rushing to enter T&T by the boatloads. Many of whom go undetected by our Coast Guard.
If there was an ongoing registration policy in place from the get go, there would not be a rush to be registered within the two week timeframe.
The Minister still cannot say how many Venezuelans TT is willing to facilitate. Instead, we are under the impression that all will be allowed to work for the one year period. A view which is no doubt shared by many Venezuelans which is possibly the reason for their rush to arrive here.
If the PM was serious about protecting the interest of TT, this PNM administration would have acted in a manner that considered the obvious fact that a poorly thought out Venezuelan registration policy would result in an influx of Venezuelans which can rapidly overwhelm our capabilities.
The cluelessness and ineptitude of this PNM regime is clear as the state of affairs have been worsening. We are witness to more and more Venezuelans seeking shelter at sporting facilities and even in the forests.
“I ask Minister Young now, can you finally acknowledge that we have a refugee crisis, and not a situation?” says Charles, “Instead of casting aspersions on members of the UNC, do your job and come up with a comprehensive plan before TT is overwhelmed. The UNC’s insistence that you think of and plan for worst case scenarios is not unpatriotic. It is simply the advice of a government which actually knows how to govern.”
We call on the Minister of National Security to resign since he is clearly unable to safeguard our borders, design an acceptable refugee policy, reduce murders or instill a sense of security, safety or hope in the citizens of T&T, who he was appointed to protect.
MP for Naparima