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T&T intensifies drive to deport illegal immigrants
Over the last two years T&T has intensified its deportation of illegal immigrants and criminals as some 750 people were sent back to their respective countries in Africa, Asia and Europe. Statistics from the Immigration Department also revealed the US deported 630 criminals to T&T between 2011 and 2012 after serving sentences for offences including drug trafficking, robbery, gun possession and rape.
National Security Minister Jack Warner revealed the statistics at a media appreciation function held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Port-of-Spain, yesterday. “We have gone on an aggressive deportation policy to deport illegal immigrants and criminals from this country...If the US can deport our people to deal with crime we would deport other people including the US people when they commit crime,” he said.
In 2011, 272 illegal immigrants were deported to their various countries with Guyana topping the list with 121. “Among those deported in 2011 were 19 nationals from China, 27 nationals from the Dominican Republic, 16 Jamaicans, 14 Colombians, 11 from Ghana, 11 Indian nationals, seven Venezuelans, six Indonesians, five from St Vincent, four from Bangladesh and four Nigerians,” Warner said.
In 2012, a total of 482 were deported from T&T of which 283 were Guyanese nationals. Jamaica was the second highest country with 60, China 43, Dominican Republic 16, Columbia nine and St Vincent ten.
The National Security Minister said illegal immigrants from Cuba, Czech Republic, Gambia, Ghana, Indonesia, Mexico, Nepal, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Syria, Switzerland, the UK, USA and Vietnam were also sent back to their native countries.
In 2012, 129 females from Guyana were deported while 78 were sent back in 2011. Saying Government’s aggressive policy was going full speed ahead, Warner said this could only be successfully achieved with the help of the Police Service. On the issue of soldiers being precepted with full powers as that of police officers, Warner said soldiers and police officers could work together based on the proposed legislation.
“It is my function to bring a sense of safety to this country and anything that can be done to enhance this it shall be done,” Warner said.
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