Church organisations comment on migrant issues

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Church organisations comment on migrant issues

Good news for the migrant community in Trinidad and Tobago as Foreign and Caricom Affairs Minister Dr Amery Browne says steps are being taken to integrate migrant children into the primary school system by September.

Speaking at a humanitarian breakfast series recently, Minister Browne said “The Ministry of Education is on board, the Prime Minister and the Office of the Prime Minister have been a big part of this impetus, this shift, this progression. It is going to take some considerable work between now and then, so we can acknowledge language barriers and several other challenges, but these are not beyond our capacity to solve.”

Sharon Mangroo, CEO of the Catholic Education Board of Management (CEBM) in an immediate reaction told The Catholic News “Amen! The CEBM and the Catholic Commission for Social Justice are rejoicing. We have worked on this for about four years.”

Meanwhile, the Living Water Community (LWC) says it respects a recent judgement of the High Court in a matter involving the deportation of asylum seekers and refugees based on legal grounds.

Justice Frank Seepersad ruled that all immigrants are subject to the provisions of the Immigration Act and therefore, refugees and asylum seekers can be deported even if they have registered with United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees.

A challenge to a deportation order of the Ministry of National Security was made by Venezuelan national Yohan Jesus Rangel Dominguez who pleaded guilty to illegal entry into T&T but contested based on this country’s international obligations to refugees.

In a statement the LWC said, “We recognise the importance of establishing and maintaining a robust and fair immigration system, one that balances national security concerns with the principles of human rights and compassion. Despite this ruling, we urge the government and relevant authorities to review and reconsider the implications of this ruling, ensuring that the rights and well-being of asylum seekers and refugees remain at the forefront of their policies and practices.”

—CN contributors