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Thursday 23 May 2019
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Churches: Deport V’zuelan criminals

File photo: Venezuelan and Cuban asylum seekers protest outside the Parliament building in Port of Spain in February.
File photo: Venezuelan and Cuban asylum seekers protest outside the Parliament building in Port of Spain in February.

The TT Council of Evangelical Churches (TTCEC) has called for the immediate deportation of Venezuelans involved in criminal activity.In a media release yesterday, the church council also recommended that government “put a stop” to Venezuelans seeking entry into TT until it can determine the actual number of immigrants living in the country.

The TTCEC cited local criminologist Darius Figueira, who, in a recent newspaper article said the country is “facing the start of a Venezuelan crime wave.”It said, “For these reasons, the council is deeply concerned at the worsening of a very bad crime situation in TT because of the criminal elements among Venezuelan immigrants."

The council called on the government to deport immediately those Venezuelans who have committed criminal acts, saying it would also like the government "to be consistent and diligent with these deportations so that it is abundantly clear that such behaviour will not in any way be condoned; for the safety of the citizens of TT must take priority.”

On the continuing arrival of Venezuelan immigrants, the council said this should be stopped until law enforcement agencies can distinguish the criminal elements from genuine migrants. “Moreover, putting a stop to the entrance of Venezuelans at this time will allow the government to determine how many immigrants, generally, are already here; for it is not just the safety, but the economic security of the citizens of this country that must be the government’s priority."

It also opposed allowing in any more migrants "if they will be a burden to the economic resources of this country. It is a question of wisdom.”The TTCEC said, however, it was not against helping Venezuelan immigrants, but the government had to use “wisdom when helping them, for the Bible does assert that wisdom should be exhibited in all situations.”

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