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Friday 23 August 2019
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Gary to migrants: ‘No chit, no chance’

Photos: James Lanser
Photos: James Lanser

Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith and a large number of police and soldiers were present as more than 2,000 Venezuelan migrants were attempting to register at Queen's Park Oval this morning. Migrants who entered the Oval yesterday but were unable to register were given a numbered chit and told to return today with it in order to have priority.

Griffith said the extension of the registering date is not in his hands but that migrants who are in possession of a chit will be provided with the opportunity to register within the given time frame.

Griffith said the Trinidad and Tobago Police force will have a very nice conversation with any migrants who do not want to be registered. He highlighted that these Venezuelans are those that are not currently making the proper attempts to be registered.

"If they are any other Venezuelan nationals who are not here it means that they do not want to be registered."

When asked if due to the large influx of migrants, registration will possibly run into Saturday or extended Griffith said the call to do so would not be made by the CoP. He stressed that those who are at the registration centres and are given a chit "will be facilitated between today, tomorrow and Friday. After that, if you do not have a chit you do not have a chance."

Some migrants were complaining about not being allowed to go to the front of the line this morning despite being given a chit yesterday afternoon inside the Oval. "Over 200 of us were given chits yesterday at around 6 pm. We were told that when we come back today we would be allowed to enter, without any problems, before those without chits. Today I went with my family to the front of the line and showed them my chit but the security didn't care."

Newsday did notice however that officials managed to form an express line outside on the side of the normal line that was given priority. The express line was made up of pregnant women and women with children, behind the group of these women were people with chits. The regular line was over five times the length and consisted of those who had not yet been given a chit.

Inside the Oval at 9 am the entire Jeffrey Stollmeyer stand was packed with migrants awaiting registration.

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