Our hands tied with repa­tri­a­tion process Im­mi­gra­tion Of­fi­cers on riot at IDC

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Stabroek News Sunday - - REGIONAL NEWS -

(Trinidad & Tobago Guardian): Im­mi­gra­tion Of­fi­cers yes­ter­day said that while the sit­u­a­tion at the Im­mi­gra­tion De­ten­tion Cen­tre (IDC) in Aripo is a very sen­si­tive one they added that “their hands are tied” with re­spect to speed­ing up the repa­tri­a­tion process.

In fact, some of­fi­cers claimed that they are not even be­ing briefed by the act­ing Chief Im­mi­gra­tion Of­fi­cer, Char­maine Ghandi-An­drews, as to the sta­tus of the repa­tri­a­tion process of all na­tion­als at the IDC.

“We are told that it is up to the Gov­ern­ment to have the de­tainees repa­tri­ated and we are be­ing told that it is too ex­pen­sive of a pro­ce­dure and that the Gov­ern­ment can’t af­ford it,” one of­fi­cer, who wished not to be iden­ti­fied, said

He added that be­cause il­le­gal im­mi­grants are be­ing de­tained and brought into the sys­tem al­most on a daily ba­sis, the re­cently re­fur­bished cen­tre is “al­ready over­crowded.”

Over the years, there have been cries that de­tainees’ rights are be­ing vi­o­lated at the IDC.

In the past week, on two sep­a­rate oc­ca­sions, frus­trated de­tainees in­clud­ing Africans, Venezue­lans and Euro­peans have at­tempted to protest in a bid to voice their dis­gust over the sys­tem, in­hu­mane con­di­tions and in­hu­mane treat­ment by the rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties.

The de­tainees, through their re­spec­tive at­tor­neys, have claimed that they are de­nied wa­ter, good food and med­i­ca­tion.

On Thurs­day, some 10 Nige­rian de­tainees, who staged a protest and con­fronted two Im­mi­gra­tion Of­fi­cers were ar­rested by po­lice of­fi­cers.

Up to late yes­ter­day, it was not con­firmed as to whether or not any charges were laid against them.

Min­is­ter of Na­tional Se­cu­rity, Ed­mund Dil­lon, on Wed­nes­day as­sured the T&T Guardian that he will at­tempt to find out about an in­ci­dent that oc­curred ear­lier this week in­volv­ing seven Venezue­lans who were also en­gage in protest and con­fronta­tion with of­fi­cers.

At­tempts to reach him again on the is­sue fol­low­ing Wed­nes­day’s in­ci­dent proved fu­tile.

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