Four months ago, Roy Cumberbatch and his family came to Trinidad and Tobago from Venezuela hoping to find refuge in a country in which he had ancestral ties.
Cumberbatch's grandfather was Trinidadian, but his family was not welcomed with open arms.
Instead of being granted permission to stay in the country, Cumberbatch, 25, his parents and his siblings were locked up at the Immigration Detention Centre (IDC), in Aripo.
His younger sister, aged 14, was also detained and placed in the Youth Training Centre and faces the charge of illegal entry into the country.
Three months ago, his request for refugee status was granted, but the rest of his family, with the exception of his brother who suffers from a mental illness, are still being detained.
He was among a group of Venezuelan and Cuban nationals who protested the treatment of immigrants outside Parliament on Tuesday.
They argue that the detention of those seeking refugee status, or in the case of Cumberbatch's sister, placing them in local jails are in contravention of the United Nations 1951 refugee convention.
"We just want the government to follow the steps they need to follow. We need to be respected. We don't need to be chased by police, we don't need to be jailed. For those who are committing crimes yes, take them to jail but we are not," said Alejandra Larez, "The only reason we are here because we facing bad situations in our country."
As the protest continued, a passenger in a yellow band maxi driving along Wrightson Road shouted at the group, "Go back home!"
But the foreigners said they were not here to live by the grace of the Trinidad and Tobago Government, they were simply seeking protection from the dangers in their respective countries.
Larez said the situation Venezuelans and Cubans were placed in by immigration officers were more likely to contribute to exploitation and further illegal activity.
"We have families to feed, we have children to maintain. We are human. We cannot work because there is no work permit, so we just exposed to exploitation working illegally and everyone knows that. Are you pushing us to do illegal acts in our country?" asked Larez.
Another Venezuelan Keyla Aquino lamented that her four-month-old daughter Ceskey, who was born at the San Fernando General Hospital, has never met her father who has been detained at the IDC for two years.
Venezuelan activist Yesenia Gonzalez called for the IDC to be shut down, as she claimed immigration officers too were exploiting Venezuelan families by demanding money from those seeking to visit their relatives.
"I'm asking the government to shut down to IDC, if they're going to have that violation of human rights, shut it down," said Gonzalez.
Ministry of National Security officials said there were unaware of the claim that money was being demanded from immigrants to visit their relatives.