A group of concerned Trinidadians and Venezuelans, some of whom are the parents of children who were deported while High Court proceedings were taking place on Sunday, are expected to visit the Venezuelan Embassy in Port of Spain today for help.
Meanwhile, Newsday was told a joint mission of civilians, both Trinidadians and Venezuelans went out looking for the boats, which were said to have been stranded at sea on Sunday.
Boats left from Trinidad and mainland Venezuela early this morning to try to escort the stranded pirogues and the women and children aboard back to Trinidad.
On Sunday night, Justice Avason Quinlan-Williams ordered the State to return the group of Venezuelan children and women and produce them to the court at 1.30 pm on Monday.
Newsday understands National Security Minister Stuart Young was at the virtual hearing.
On Sunday, Newsday was told some 16 children and nine women were put in two unregistered boasts and escorted out of TT waters by the Coast Guard.
The group were allegedly held last Tuesday and kept at the Cedros police station,
Attorneys acting for them filed a writ of habeas corpus to prevent their deportation.
But the nine women and children were still sent back to Venezuela.
The would-be migrants were tested for covid19 and were negative.
They were held in custody until their deportation on Sunday.
Newsday was told the children’s ages range from two months to 17 years.
This morning, the group of Trinidadians and Venezuelans are expected to visit the Venezuelan Embassy to seek help in bringing the children back to TT.
They will take the court’s order, which directs the Chief of Defence Staff to produce “the bodies of the applicants.” The writ of habeas corpus was also ordered to be served on the Chief of Defence Staff.
Pastor Eliezer Torres told Newsday the parents of some of the children were concerned about their safety. One of the younger children has a heart condition, and they left with limited food and supplies.
Speaking to Newsday on Sunday, attorney Nafeesa Mohammed said some of the children’s parents were registered in TT and others were UNHCR (UN High Commission for Refugees) card-holders.
“When it comes to asylum seekers and refugees, the law is very different from the normal course of things,” she said. “You don’t take solely a law-enforcement perspective, you have to balance it with a humanitarian and human rights approach. It is really a situation involving children, where special considerations ought to be applicable.”
Attorney Jerome Riley is also representing the group.