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Monday 11 November 2019
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Migrants ready to work

Sando registration ends early Saturday morning

File photo: Venezuelans Diego Salazar, Valentin Osuna, Albert Astudillo and Eduard Pulvett are all smiles as they await their transport at Achievors Hall, Duncan Village ,San Fernando after completing the registration process last month. PHOTO BY VIDYA THURAB
File photo: Venezuelans Diego Salazar, Valentin Osuna, Albert Astudillo and Eduard Pulvett are all smiles as they await their transport at Achievors Hall, Duncan Village ,San Fernando after completing the registration process last month. PHOTO BY VIDYA THURAB

THE last batch of Venezuelans allowed into Achievors Banquet Hall in San Fernando following the end of the registration period on Friday evening was reported registered in the early hours of Saturday morning.

One of the migrants, Edward Jesus, said: "By 4 am (Saturday) everyone was registered. It had ended and there were no more people. I got through at about 2 am and I have been waiting here since Wednesday night. I am tired and very happy to be registered. The lines were orderly inside and the immigration officers appeared to be tired also."

The 22-year-old lives in Tucupita and cannot speak English. Sunday Newsday spoke with him under a tent at Duncan Village.

He was happy for the chance to be part of the historic process saying he wants to care for his parents and other relatives in Venezuela.

"I am an engineering student at a university in Vargas. But I am willing to work in any area. I can do construction work, I clean computers, I just want to get a job. It is my first visit to TT, "Jesus said. He came to the country two weeks ago.

National Security Minister Stuart Young, via a media release, said the registration process was completed at 1.45 am yesterday at Port of Spain and San Fernando.

The release said, according to information provided by officials at the San Fernando registration centre, all who were in the lines at as of 5 pm on Friday were taken to be processed. The exercise, it said, completed this morning.

He thanked all of the people who assisted and "made the two-week registration process the success that it was."

At about 6 pm on Friday, police through a translator told scores of migrants who were turned away in San Fernando to visit the immigration departments with their online registration documents to complete the process.

By nightfall, police cleared the street as the registration process continued indoors.

Another migrant Yeliannis Medina, the mother of two, said she was registered at midnight. She arrived in Trinidad on May 8 and had been waiting at the San Fernando centre since Tuesday.

"Thanks to God I got through. I feel very happy to be registered. It was not an easy process but, in the end, everything worked out.

A policeman addresses Venezuelans as they wait to register at Achievors Hall, Duncan Village, San Fernando late Friday evening. All migrants were allowed to register past the 5 pm deadline and the process ended early yesterday morning. PHOTO BY VASHTI SINGH

"I am a single mother. Life in Venezuela is very difficult. Up to now, I have not contacted them to let them know that I arrived safely. I have no phone and Internet is very bad in Venezuela."

Medina said her children, ages 12 and 10, are depending on her to get a job and help care for them.

She had been waiting for hours for someone to pick her up at Duncan Village. She too cannot speak English and does not remember how to travel to Brickfield.

Maribel del Valle Moya, 36, who lives in Tucupita, said because of the language barrier she does not know how to search for employment.

The mother of one said, like Medina, she came on May 8 to TT seeking a better life.

Moya said: "I am a housewife in Venezuela. I would be happy to work for a family, I can cook, clean, iron and so on."

Misael Osuna, 27, said he works as a barber and hopes to work in a barbershop although he cannot speak English.

Osuna said: "I have only been here for a few days. I am a barber and I hope to work in a barbershop. I got through with the registration, thanks to God. They finished at about four."

All the migrants waiting for transport outside the centre said the process ended around 4 am.

There was a local cleaning crew outside the centre yesterday and several migrants and even Trinidadians stopped to find out if the process was extended.

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