San F'do Immigration Division limits customers inside building

Persons gather outside of the Immigration Division in San Fernando which has adjusted its operations in response to covid19. - CHEQUANA WHEELER
Persons gather outside of the Immigration Division in San Fernando which has adjusted its operations in response to covid19. - CHEQUANA WHEELER

Workers at the Immigration Division in San Fernando assured that services have not been halted and its doors remain open to the public. However, they have limited the number of customers in the building.

"The Government imposed restrictions and we too have to protect ourselves. We are serving them. Some migrants came regarding their order of supervision, people came for their passports, people are coming," said a staff member.

For the second consecutive day on Tuesday and as a direct response to combat the spread of covid19, police and security officers have been ensuring that the customers inside do not exceed more than 25.

They were allowing people with appointments inside when Newsday visited on Tuesday.

But some customers expressed anger, having to wait outside and not in the waiting area inside.

A woman from La Brea said she was seeking an extension of her passport and complained saying the services were very slow.

"Yesterday (Monday), it was worse. I came at around 8 am and it was only around midday, they (staff) started taking information. They kept telling us that the office in Port of Spain did not want them to allow people inside," the woman said.

The woman, who did not want to give her name, added that she returned on Tuesday because she was missing a document to complete the process.

"People have to wait in the sun. Normally, we just go upstairs and wait. The service, it seems, has come to a halt. Everything is standstill. I am waiting here for about three hours."

Another woman complained about the "attitude" of some staff.

"I am just waiting for some information. One staff was very rude. He was talking like he was quarrelling. He was shouting and his attitude stinks."

Newsday learnt that at least 12 Venezuelans were taken from Immigration Department on Monday and faced a San Fernando magistrate charged with illegal entry to the island.

On Tuesday, a few Venezuelans waited in nearby streets for information from officials regarding more illegal migrants. At least 12 more were expected to be charged.

The National Security Minister and by extension the Government have been advising people to limit their exposure to public crowds and spaces.

Stuart Young further urged people to limit themselves to only essential or emergency travel and to take more precautions of using sanitary measures.

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