FLASHBACK… Venezuelan nationals wait to register outside the Achievors Banquet Hall, Duncan Village, San Fernando, in June 2019. (Image: RISHI RAGOONATH)

Venezuelans living in Trinidad and Tobago legally are being encouraged to take advantage of the government’s call to register.  

They are also being told not to encourage illegal entry into the country by other Venezuelans.

Activist Ignacio Smith says while it is difficult to live without one’s family members, those Venezuelans who have been given the opportunity to live and work here should not encourage others to enter the country illegally.

“A lot of these Venezuelans do have family, and most of them would like to be reunited with their family,” he points out.

He adds: “As a person, and as a permanent resident of Trinidad and Tobago, I am not going to encourage illegal entry by any means.  However, the reality is that other Venezuelans want to be reunited with their family, and it is a tough situation for them”

Venezuelans who came into this country after the 2019 registration amnesty period are not being allowed to register now.

Ignacio Smith is encouraging those that are here legally to stay within the confines of T&T’s laws.

“If you cannot, or do not, comply with the Immigration Act, you are subject to deportation.  The Government of Trinidad and Tobago has the right to deport these people who come into the country illegally,” he says.

On Tuesday, the National Security Minister announced that over 16,000 Venezuelan migrants who registered in 2019, will be required to re-register from Monday March 8th to Friday March 26th.