Trinidad and Tobago has seen a recent influx in migrants from impoverished Venezuela which has led to resentment and hostility.
It has led to Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley saying “under no circumstances” will Trinidad and Tobago implement an open-door policy to migrants.
Noting that just over 16,000 Venezuelans were registered to work legally there during a government exercise last year, Rowley said for small island like T&T that figure was a lot. He added, however, that most of the registered Venezuelans are gainfully employed and provide skills to this country.
“As a small island with limited resources, we cannot have an open-door policy where persons come in their tens of thousands at will,” Rowley said as he addressed issue of migrants and the region’s approach to solving the crisis.
His said T&T continues to control its borders and the number of migrants that it can manage best, given the current circumstances it already faces.
Rowley said given the hardship in Venezuela, T&T had initially received a small portion of migrants from that country and accommodated them. “Initially it was a small flow, which became a larger flow, whom we did register and allowed them to function without restrictions,” Rowley said.