Sun | Feb 18, 2018

Holness expects positive results after immigration talks with T&T Prime Minister

Published:Wednesday | July 6, 2016 | 10:02 PM
Prime Minister Andrew Holness speaking at a press conference. With him are permanent secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister Elaine Foster Allen and Director of Communication Robert Morgan - Jovan Johnson Photo

Jovan Johnson, Staff Reporter

Prime Minister Andrew Holness says he is looking forward to a "positive" response from Trinidad and Tobago to his concern about the treatment of Jamaicans by immigration officials in Port of Spain.

Holness told journalists at a press conference Wednesday night that he expects to get a report from his Trinidadian counterpart, Dr Keith Rowley, when he visits Jamaica on a four-day trip starting July 17.

"We've had direct discussions, and frank discussions with the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago and I believe the government has responded in a very positive way and I am expecting to have a positive report in a few week's time when Prime Minister Rowley visits Jamaica,” Holness said as the 37th Caribbean Community (CARICOM) heads of government conference ended in Georgetown.

The complimentary movement of labour is equal to the movement of goods if this CARICOM Single Market and Economy is going to work," Holness reiterated.

Earlier today, Rowley insisted that his government reserved the right to assert the sovereignty of his nation in determining who is allowed in Trinidad and Tobago.

A protocol is to be developed and ratified by CARICOM states that will outline how immigration issues involving CARICOM nationals are to be dealt with.

"The protocol will be adopted in the understanding that there are certain reserves and preserves that will remain under any circumstances with the receiving country," Rowley told journalists.

Immigration issues between Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago have been a nagging issue sparking anti-CARICOM sentiments among citizens of both countries.

The Gleaner has obtained a CARICOM report which condemned several CARICOM countries for breaching the community’s laws as well as court decisions which affirm the right of nationals to be allowed entry into member states.

The report also noted that countries were not reporting the number of citizens denied entry or the reasons for denials.