Trinidad says illegal Jamaicans putting a strain on its resources
The Trinidad and Tobago government says the influx of thousands of illegal Jamaicans into that country is putting a strain on its resources, resulting in the loss of more than a billion dollars annually.
National Security Minister Gary Griffith made the disclosures this morning in a statement defending the actions of Immigration officers in the twin island republic who deported 13 Jamaicans last month.
Griffiths says immigration authorities cannot act as a rubber stamp when it comes to allowing people into the country.
According to him, there are more than 19,000 Jamaicans in Trinidad and Tobago who entered at legitimate ports of entry, but remains there illegally and cannot be accounted for.
Describing the figure as alarming, Griffith pointed out that those persons who are in Trinidad and Tobago illegally are dependent on State resources such as education and health care.
In addition, he says while some may be employed, they are not subject to taxes, which results in a net revenue loss of over $1 billion annually.
The Opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) this week urged the Jamaican government to immediately address reports that Jamaican nationals were being harassed when they visit Trinidad and Tobago.
JLP spokesman on Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Edmund Bartlett said he also wanted the government to deal with what he said was the increasing incidence of harassment and demeaning treatment of Jamaicans attempting to visit CARICOM member states”.
WATCH: THE GLEANER MINUTE