As a result, the Ministry of National Security has embarked on an “aggressive deportation policy” targeting illegal immigrants and criminals. Addressing the media appreciation luncheon hosted by his ministry at the Hyatt Regency, National Security Minister Jack Warner said, “it is an aggressive policy, and we are going full speed ahead. This can only be successful with help from the police.”
Warner said, “if the US could deport people when they commit crime, we could deport other people, including US people, when they commit crime.”
Warner said people were coming to TT “through here with all kinds of spurious names, and I am taking a more intrusive look at people who come into the country than before. We have a work permit team that is aggressive. I have an immigration officer who is based in the ministry and we meet every morning, and do those things.”
He said immigration officers have been trained, and work was being done with the police and personnel of the Detention Centre.
As for people slipping into the country via pirogue, Warner said this was why TT was buying interceptor vessels. He said “coastal police stations” would be a joint effort with the police and Coast Guard. Warner said he could not provide all the details, but indicated that fishermen would also be enlisted to assist in the fight against drug trafficking.
“You will see some fishermen also being used on the boarders because the fishermen live there and work there, and if we can make them SRPs, then so be it.”
According to data from the TT Police Service over 2011-2012, 754 persons were deported of which 404 were from Guyana. A total of 482 persons were deported last year and 283 were from Guyana, 129 of them were females.
The next highest number of persons deported were 60 from Jamaica, 43 from China, 16 from the Dominican Republic, nine from Colombia, and ten from St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Illegal immigrants also came from several other countries including Cuba, Czech Republic, Gambia, Switzerland, UK. In 2011 of the 272 persons deported, 121 being Guyanese nationals.
Also deported were 19 Chinese nationals, 27 from the Dominican Republic, 16 from Jamaica, 14 from Colombia, 11 from Ghana, 11 from India, seven from Venezuela, six from Indonesia, five from St Vincent and the Grenadines, four from Bangladesh, and four from Nigeria.
Warner told media that “tough” moves were being made to deal with crime, and criminals should be frightened.
“For the first time the police are implementing anti-gang legislation. They have met the DPP, and worked out all the details so every gang leader would have cause to be afraid, I would not say much more than this.”
Reminded that murders have been taking place unabated, he said, “give us some time. Not a long wait, and see for yourself.”
As for critics of army personnel being precepted to assist in the fight against crime, Warner said there was much misinformation, and people were criticising without even calling him to get the proper information. He said around the world such as Australia and Chile, the purpose of armies had evolved. Armies dealt with external and internal threats, and the “real danger” to TT was within. He asked what was wrong with bringing legislation for the police and army could work together..