Trinidad & Tobago Court Says Venezuelan Child Can Be Deported

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News Americas, PORT-Of-SPAIN, Trinidad, Thurs. Dec. 3, 2020: A High Court judge in Trinidad and Tobago has ruled that a Venezuelan child can be deported.

Justice Frank Seepersad, in a written judgement on Tuesday, dismissed an application that would have stopped the deportation of an 11-year-old Venezuelan girl, chiding her mother for the “brazen and bold disregard” for Trinidad and Tobago’s immigration laws.

He said the application by the child’s mother was void of evidence that she or her daughter were facing persecution in Venezuela, or that others like them had benefited from a policy for refugees and asylum-seekers.

The child’s mother lives in T&T and has United Nations High Commission for Refugee (UNHCR) asylum-seeker status, but does not have a ministerial permit under government’s amnesty programme.

“The evidence, at this stage, suggests to the court that the decision to come to this republic was driven primarily by self-centred socio-economic considerations,” he said. “There are many citizens in this republic faced with difficult economic circumstances and they too may wish to go to another country where economic prospects are brighter, but they cannot and should not be entitled to be refugees or asylum seeking status under the 1951 Convention (on the Status of Refugees).”

The child was part of a group of 26 who returned to the twin island Republic illegally on November 24th, two days after they were escorted out of Trinidad and Tobago’s waters by the Coast Guard.