NATIONAL Security Minister Edmund Dillon yesterday made it clear that immigration officers are not involved with people seeking asylum in TT. Dillon made this statement in the House of Representatives in response to a question from UNC MP Christine Newallo-Hosein. Dillon said he had no information to verify an alleged report of immigration officers being involved in an asylum-seeking racket.
He explained that immigration officers are not involved in the process whereby people apply for asylum. Dillon said these people first approach the Living Waters Community, which is the local representative for the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR). He added that the UNHCR issues asylum-certificates to people who qualify for refugee status.
In the Senate on Tuesday, Dillon said three of the 82 Venezuelan nationals who were repatriated, voluntarily gave up their certificates. Speaker Bridgid Annisette-George disallowed questions from UNC MPs Rodney Charles, Dr Bhoe Tewarie and Barry Padarath about how many of the 82 Venezuelans got certificates, how many Venezuelans applied for refugee status in TT and if Dillon spoke with the United States on an unknown issue, respectively.