Assistant Commissioner of Police Ainsley Garrick said the Tobago Police Division is prepared for any eventualities that might arise after the registration centre for Venezuelan migrants at the Caroline Building in Scarborough closes at 5 pm today.
ACP Garrick told Guardian Media it is apparent that many migrants will not get the opportunity to register before the deadline. He said security personnel will be out in their numbers to ensure that peace is maintained.
"As the security service and the head of it, I will have my people in anticipation of not causing damage to property and injury to persons who are on the road and that's the most I could do, or the most I could share for now—that we would want the process to end in human peace.
"As to what is going to happen to them, I will have to listen to what are the next instructions from the authors of the exercise. One of the things is if this is the end, we have to know what we are doing with these people who are now in the country illegally, but again that is a conversation that has to come by way of initiative instructions," he said
Garrick said any action taken against Venezuelan migrants in Tobago must be in keeping with the island's tourism-oriented image
"The GDP in Trinidad is oil and gas and the GDP in Tobago is tourism, so that everything we do on the island, as it pertains to hospitality, we have to be careful. So even in treating with those who weren't successful in a bid to probably remove them, we have to remember what we do can also injure our tourism stock and Tobago will want to protect that. It is a critical position that we will need to treat with," he said.
Up to Thursday, approximately 800 migrants had registered in Tobago. Reports indicate that many of them have been returning to Trinidad after completing their registration process.