National Security Minister Edmund Dillon says the situation at the Immigration Detention Centre (IDC) is under control.
This follows a riot at the IDC, last week, in which seven angry Venezuelan detainees allegedly confronted guards at the facility.
In a statement, yesterday, Dillon said the ministry was working assiduously in arranging to repatriate detainees to their homeland and improve living conditions at the facility. “Over the past few months, the ministry expended more than one million dollars in the refurbishment, upgrade and outfitting of the facility,” he said. Dillon said the Immigration Division had encountered, and continued to face, numerous repatriation challenges by detainees housed at the IDC. “Many continue to refuse to provide accurate identification information such as their name, country of birth and their travel documents,” he said.
“Some, as well, have raised legal challenges against their repatriation.” In addition, the minister said some countries were not always willing to land deportees in transition. He said this created difficulties in sourcing cost-effective landing routes that would allow for their eventual return home. “This contributes to delays in repatriating many detainees, particularly those from far-off destinations.” Dillon said the ministry continued to work closely with foreign missions and embassies so that the Government could repatriate the detainees to their country of origin in the shortest possible time.
Naparima MP Rodney Charles had posed a question to Dillon on the Order Paper in the Parliament, last week. On that occasion, Dillon assured that Government would address the “remedies to deal with the root causes” of the riots at the IDC when the investigation into the “nature and causes” was completed.