“Thus according to the press release, the Honourable Minister advised officials of the Immigration Division that there was reliable information or advice that Bernard Campbell was an undesirable visitor,” Persad-Bissessar noted. “My client has been adversely affected by your decision that there was reliable information or advice that my client was an undesirable visitor.”
“Section 16 of the Judicial Review Act 2000 obliges you to provide my client with a statement of reasons for this decision and the consequent prohibition of my client’s entry into this country.”
The letter noted that Campbell is not contemplating litigation at this time, and is preferring instead to rely upon Joseph’s commitment and duty as a public officer to uphold the laws of the land. Persad-Bissessar said after the despatch of the letter she was subsequently contacted by the ministry’s permanent secretary who indicated, “they were prepared to withdraw what they are calling a rejection order and that they would allow Mr Campbell to enter the country.” She noted that Mr Campbell did not need a work permit. “What made Mr Campbell an undesirable visitor to this country?” Also yesterday Congress of the People (COP) leader Winston Dookeran stood in solidarity with the view of Persad-Bissessar on the matter of Campbell’s deportation.
In a release, Dookeran stated, “The denial of US consultant, Bernard Campbell, entry into Trinidad and Tobago will contribute significantly to a deterioration of the international image of the country.”
Dookeran is of the view that the complaint lodged by the US Embassy at what he described as “this act of discrimination threatens and erodes the progress in relations achieved by this country at the Fifth Summit of the Americas.”
It remained unclear yesterday whether Campbell will be returning to this country before the May 24, general election, but UNC officials reveal Campbell has indicated he will return on May 25 if the UNC coalition forms the next government.