Two-island republic promises better accommodation for Jamaicans at Piarco Airport
TRINIDAD and Tobago (T&T) is to retrofit an area of its Piarco International Airport by July, to improve accommodation for Jamaicans refused entry into the two-island republic.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Senator Kamina Johnson Smith made the announcement at Gordon House as the Standing Finance Committee (SFC) of the House of Representatives completed its review of the 2016/17 Estimates of Expenditure.
Senator Johnson Smith told MPs that she had been informed of the decision in correspondence received from T&T’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Senator David Moses. This follows bilateral discussions during the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) meeting just over a week ago.
Johnson Smith said that the issue of the treatment of Jamaicans who are denied entry was a complex one, but that the new development was an indication of the progress being made in their discussions.
She said that, in respect of the discussions regarding the free movement of people, it has already been agreed to refer the matter to the Heads of Caricom meeting in July.
Senator Johnson Smith said, on the issue of the treatment of Jamaican nationals in Trinidad, Senator Moses has also committed that in June of this year his Government will commence customer service training for immigration officials, as well as people such as security officials who must interact with visitors who are denied entry.
Relations between Jamaica and T&T have been strained for several years now, due to increasing complaints from Jamaicans that they have been denied entry to Port-of-Spain, despite having met all qualifications required under the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas. The treaty stipulates that no Caricom national should be turned away from another Caricom state unless the traveller is considered undesirable or posing a burden on the receiving state.