Magistrate Sanara Toon-McQuilkin today said while she understood the hardships faced by asylum-seekers and refugees, they too were required to follow the laws of TT.
Speaking before 78 Cubans at the Port of Spain Magistrates' Eighth Court, Toon-McQuilkin said she was aware of the difficulties faced by the Cubans, but insisted that they broke the law by sleeping outside the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHCR) building on Chancery Lane, Port of Spain.
She said this could have led to the pedestrians walking in the street and potentially causing a road traffic accident.
"I understand that we don't have refugee legislation in TT and that puts you in an awkward position, but we do have laws here, and whether they are TT nationals or foreigners, have to respect the law."
After receiving advice from their attorney Shalini Sankar, the Cubans pleaded guilty to the offence of obstructing a free passageway.
While deliberating the sentence, Toon-McQuilkin considered the guilty plea as well as the five days spent in custody at the Immigration Detention Centre, and sentenced the Cubans to two days in custody.