Tue | Mar 28, 2017

Fewer J'cans refused entry into Trinidad - Johnson Smith

Published:Thursday | January 12, 2017 | 1:00 AMSyranno Baines
Johnson Smith

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade (MFAFT) Kamina Johnson Smith has disclosed that there has been a 64 per cent reduction in the number of Jamaicans who were refused entry into Trinidad and Tobago between March and December last year.

"We are noting our work on Trinidad as one of our successes of the past 10 months. We've had a reduction in complaints about ill-treatment, and we've had a reduction in formal complaints as well," Johnson Smith.

She said that up to March last year, on average, 49 Jamaicans per month were denied entry into Trinidad. The Government intervened, and, as a result, the average from April to December fell to 29 persons per month. The total number of Jamaicans denied entry up until March was 174, and for the year, it totalled 435.

Johnson Smith said: "We're also very pleased that the Trinidadian government kept their commitment to retrofit an area at the Piarco Airport to accommodate people that have not been landed while they await return to their country of origin, including Jamaicans. Trinidad also kept its commitment to undergo no less than two significant service-training sessions for immigration officials, and reports from the high commission and general travellers speak to an improved experience at the airport."

Johnson Smith also pointed to more positive business attitudes from Trinidad, which has resulted in easier business transactions with Jamaican counterparts.

Trinidadian Prime Minister Keith Rowley's visit to Jamaica and engagement with Prime Minister Andrew Holness last July have been cited as a catalyst to the strengthened all-round ties.

The MFAFT has also embarked on a public-education campaign geared at educating the Jamaican public about travel within CARICOM countries.