$123,000 in fines imposed against migrants

In two days, a to­tal of 47 Venezue­lans ap­peared in the San Fer­nan­do Mag­is­trates Court for il­le­gal­ly en­ter­ing the coun­try. The ma­jor­i­ty have been slapped with fines to­tal­ly $123,000.

Twen­ty-two ap­peared on Mon­day, 19 were fined a to­tal of $57,000 and three were dis­charged. On Wednes­day, 25 Venezue­lans, in­clud­ing six women, plead­ed guilty be­fore First Court Se­nior Mag­is­trate Jo-Anne Con­nor.

They ad­mit­ted to en­ter­ing the coun­try at a port of en­try which is not des­ig­nat­ed port and fail­ing to re­port to an im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cer.

The ma­jor­i­ty of them claimed they lost their jobs in oc­cu­pa­tions such as bak­ers, babysit­ters, con­struc­tion work­ers and me­chan­ics and came to here look­ing for work.

They sneaked in­to the coun­try be­tween Feb­ru­ary and May and had been stay­ing in var­i­ous lo­ca­tions, in­clud­ing Union Hall, San Fer­nan­do, Aripero, Rousil­lac, Moru­ga, Williamsville, Mara­bel­la and Palmiste.

Some were able to find jobs here do­ing main­ly do­mes­tic and con­struc­tion work.

Three women, a 23-year-old woman work­ing as a babysit­ter, a 21-year-old work­ing as a maid and a 25-year-old who holds an ad­min­is­tra­tive as­sis­tant de­gree and was earn­ing a liv­ing by clean­ing hous­es and cook­ing here, were all rep­ri­mand­ed and dis­charged.

The oth­er 22 were giv­en three months to pay the fines or serve six months in jail.

In any event, they will be de­tained at the Im­mi­gra­tion De­ten­tion Cen­tre to await de­por­ta­tion. Christie Ramkissoon was the Span­ish trans­la­tor while WPC Limo of the Im­mi­gra­tion Di­vi­sion laid the charges.

Reporter: Sascha Wilson

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