DENISHA SIMEON (NYLO INTERN)
ARE there 100,000 undocumented migrants living in Trinidad and Tobago?
According to Global Detention Project, an international group based in Switzerland, this country is a hub for that alarming number of illegal immigrants.
The report also said that at the rate at which foreigners were migrating to T&T, the country’s national security could be seriously compromised.
The report is online and is titled “Trinidad and Tobago Immigration Detention Profile” and was released into the public domain in March this year. The Global Detention Project is a an independent organisation in Geneva that tracks immigration in countries across the developed world.
The report stated that sources in the TT Government revealed that the country had 100,000 undocumented migrants. The report, however, contrasted with a report by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs that lists this country has having 49,000 illegal immigrants up until 2015.
The report said that Trinidad and Tobago was a stomping ground for illegal immigrants because, it being one of the wealthiest countries in the Caribbean, its people enjoyed an above-average per capita income for the region.
“Its status has made this country an important transit and destination country as well as a major tourist destination,” the report said.
According to the report, Guyanese and Jamaicans formed the two major groups of migrants living illegally here. It added that Venezuelans and persons from Ghana were also seeking refuge in TT in droves due to the economic situation in their respective countries.
The Global Detention Project report also noted that TT’s treatment of detainees from Africa had been criticised due to the length of time they remained in custody. In many cases, immigrants remained in detention up to three years.
The report made no mention of the influx of Chinese into the country, though, unofficial reports from the Ministry of National Security up to April 2016, stated that 18,000 people had migrated from China to work and live here
National Security Minister Edmund Dillon did not respond to telephone calls and text messages when contacted on the report yesterday.