THE CHIEF Immigration Officer and Chief of Defence Staff have appealed a judge’s orders to immediately release ten minors and four of their mothers from a detention centre at the Heliport in Chaguaramas.
On November 24, Justice Joan Charles ordered the 14 to be immediately released as she ruled that TT’s immigration laws and policies did not provide for the deportation and detention of children.
Some of the children were ordered to be released into the custody of relatives, who are registered migrants, while four mothers were also ordered released although they were awaiting deportation.
At the hearing of the appeal, the State intends to argue that the judge’s decision cannot be justified in fact or law and that she erroneously considered facts that were not before her from either the State or even the applicants themselves and placed disproportionate weight on matters of evidence not before her.
It will also argue that the judge erred in fact and law when she disregarded the deportation orders for the women, and ordered their release.
The Court of Appeal will also be asked to stay the execution of the judge’s orders.
The group of Venezuelans are represented by attorneys Criston J Williams and Kerrina Samdeo while the State is represented by attorneys Neil Byam and Nisa Simmons of the Chief State Solicitor’s Department.