A High Court Judge has stopped the deportation of two Venezuelan women and two children, who have immigration cases pending.
Guardian Media understands that the group was among the 25 adults and children, who returned to T&T days after being sent back by local authorities in late last year.
While most members of the group filed individual lawsuits and obtained injunctions pending the determination of same, the injunctions for the two women and two children only lasted until the Court of Appeal heard and determined the case of an 11-year-old, who was denied an injunction by High Court Judge Frank Seepersad, in late December.
According to the application, which was heard and determined by High Court Judge Avason Quinlan-Williams, this week, the group’s lawyers claimed that when they enquired about the status of the two women and two children, earlier this month, they were told that deportation orders had been issued after their injunctions expired.
“The exceptional circumstances of this case requiring the immediate intervention of the court is that if the claimants are deported or in any other way removed from the jurisdiction before the application for constitutional relief is determined, the court would be deprived of the ability to grant effective relief to the claimant,” the application stated.
Quinlan-Williams granted the extensions and ordered that the case be determined expeditiously. She also set deadlines for the filing of submissions and said that she would give her judgement on the substantive case by March 5.
The group was detained shortly after arriving in Chatam, on November 17.
The migrants, the youngest of which is four-months-old, were tested for COVID-19 and were all found to be negative. They were then held in custody at several police stations until their deportation.
The migrants were placed on two civilian vessels and escorted out of T&T waters by the Coast Guard.
Quinlan-Williams ordered that the group be brought before her during a hearing the following day as she was informed that they were floating near the maritime border. However, she was forced to dismiss the case after the Defence Force said that they had already arrived in Venezuela.
The following day the group landed in Los Iros and was immediately detained by police and taken for a medical examination. They were held at the Erin Police Station before being placed in quarantine at the Chaguaramas Heliport.
The group is being represented by Gerald Ramdeen, Dayadai Harripaul, Umesh Maharaj, and Nerisa Bala.