Venezuelan nationals deported despite pleas | Local News |

Scores of Venezuelan nationals were deported yesterday despite pleas from relatives for the State to keep them in this country.

From as early as 7 a.m. there was a gathering outside of the Venezuelan Embassy along Victoria Avenue in Port of Spain, as several migrants and caregivers had been given official instructions to bring the children of detained women to the embassy so that they could be deported to Venezuela with their mothers.

Some of the caregivers did as instructed because they were fearful they would be deported themselves for failing to adhere to the instructions.

About an hour later, the group was placed in three buses which left the embassy and were taken to the Heliport in Chaguaramas.

The buses were escorted by the T&T Police Service.

The group of people, estimated to be over 50 persons, including children, were then deported.

Among them was a nine-month-old boy who was born in Trinidad and whose mother had been detained at the Heliport for several months.

Speaking with the Express yesterday, attorney Criston J Williams, who heads the Quantum Legal Foundation, said yesterday’s exercise could bring shame and dire consequences to Trinidad and Tobago.

This is in contravention of the human rights convention and the rights of the child and can lead to legal repercussions, especially in the case of the baby born in Trinidad, he said.

He recalled that in July this year, some 200 migrants were detained after the police conducted a raid at Apex Sports Bar, St James. They were taken to the Heliport.

He noted some of them were released, some were deported, and that ten women whom he represents continue to be detained.

Williams also pointed out that some 46 who were deported all returned to ­Trinidad.

He said he assumed these ten women were not yet deported because they are the primary caregivers of their children here.

Williams explained that Justice Ricky Rahim had ordered the release of the detainees at the Heliport.

The State appealed this ruling.

He said his firm made an application for the appeal to be heard with urgency.

Williams said in a ruling Tuesday, Justice Ronnie Boodoosingh said he will deal with the application next Tuesday, and parties were invited to make submission by tomorrow.

He said he does not understand the decisions being taken to release and deport, especially when the court matter is ­ongoing.

Williams said children are being placed in a sad situation, as their mothers continue to be detained; and now there are reports of attempts to deport the children as well.

He said one of the children, a nine-month-old, was born in Trinidad to a Venezuelan mother. He said the child is currently rendered stateless because his registration has not taken place.

‘It is not humane’ 

Human rights activist Yesenia Gonzalez said yesterday she was frustrated and ashamed of the move to deport the children with their mothers.

“It is not right. It is not humane. Some of these children were born in Trinidad. But even without knowing that, what is to become of these women and children when they go back? What are they going back to?

“You are throwing them into the unknown and are simply washing your hands off them. Where is your humanity?

“How is this in keeping with all the human rights declarations that this country has signed to?” Gonzalez asked.

She said families were told if they did not bring the children, then the mothers will continue to be detained at the Heliport indefinitely. She said these women are literally being held ‘hostage’ as demands are made for their children to be deported with them.