T&T is grappling with economic migrants since Venezuelans began to seek refuge here and it is a fact that the country has seen an uptick in “certain of the crimes” as result of some of the migrant issues, says Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi.
“The Police Commissioner can speak to that himself,” Al-Rawi added in Senate on Tuesday.
“But suffice to say the number of murders has been noted to have risen as a result of some of our migration issues. I’m not talking only about Venezuela, I’m talking about other positions.”
Approximately 300 Venezuelan asylum seekers, most of whom travelled from Trinidad, spent the night on the streets of Scarborough Monday awaiting Tuesday's 7 am opening of the Tobago amnesty registration centre at Caroline Building, Wilson Road.
According to Emily Lyon, a Venezuelan who travelled to Tobago to register, a list with names of persons outside the centre was organised by a group leader to determine each person's position in the registration line.
With the end of the registration period drawing close and the migrant numbers increasing, Venezuelans are appealing to the Government to extend the deadline.
The appeal came as hundreds of Venezuelans, many with their babies and children, converge daily outside of Achievor’s Banquet Hall in Duncan Village, San Fernando for hours, hoping to be registered.
Thousands of Venezuelan migrants are expected to enter the country’s workforce following Government’s recent registration policy programme and while employment will provide many with the lifeline needed during their stay, no measures have been implemented by the government for the state’s coffers to reap any benefits.
Imam Yusuf Diab, of the Crown Point Muslim sect, applauds Government’s move to register and offer Venezuelans employment and medical services for one year.
Speaking with Guardian Media at the Crown Point Masjid on the eve of the celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr, the Imam said he is happy the Government began the initiative.
He made it clear that as an Orthodox sect, his organisation did not get involved in Governments’ affairs.
However, as a businessman, he saw “the registration as a good idea.”
Venezuelan nationals seeking employment in this country after registering in the government's amnesty, are being catered for by some companies, with bilingual application forms.
Among those companies is Prestige Holdings, which has now adapted its forms with Spanish translations to ensure that the Venezuelan nationals could understand.
Prestige Holdings is the parent company of Subway, KFC, Pizza Hut, TGI Fridays and Starbucks.
The registration process runs from May 31 to June 14.
Chairman of the Siparia Regional Corporation Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh says that time is up for the Venezuelan migrants who have been staying at Irwin Park, Siparia for the last two weeks.
As they leave on Tuesday, Ramadharsingh said that they will be presented with mattresses and other items that have been collected for them over that time.
He said that he has ensured that all of the migrants have gone through the registration process of Government’s amnesty.